Click here to read the introduction: How to Overcome Regret?
Regret is inevitable. But it doesn’t have to take us to the negative zone, and hit us right between the eyes. There are two types of regret, one, which holds us back and makes us wallow in self pity, and the other, the good one, which makes sure we don’t lock horns with the same deal again.
You should be worried if regret is your constant companion or even if it creeps within you once in a while leaving you in a dark mood and forcing you to deal with oscillating frequent mood-swings. All of us frequently experience the urge to run away to a place where there is no regret. Have you ever noticed that when you shed tears, you feel refreshed the next day? Tears wash away all our woes. Same is the case with regret.
When you regret, it leaves you stronger and at the same time, more vulnerable. But generally, we take being strong as being bitter and familiarity with an unstoppable resilience. And we are left with many unanswerable questions and with culpability.
The whole point here is that regret can be your worst enemy or your best friend. It all depends on how you treat it and what you want.
Categorizing the Evil
How can you figure the kind of guilt that’s nagging you, is it the good one or the bad one? The answer lies in the fact that regret is destructive only when we chose to make it destructive. There is no good or bad regret. We live in the present and we somehow never regret the present, the two time zones that we ponder over and grieve in are the past and the future. Generally, and more precisely, it is the past that gnaws us. What often goes unnoticed is the powerful energy of regret.
As stated earlier, we grieve and regret over the past. But what is the past? This isn’t a grammatical question for which you need to search your old stack of high-school language manuscripts. It is a memoir, a psychological story. Literally, regret doesn’t exist. Mea culpa exists only in a mental state. If there were any means to change the past, who would have regrets? Inexorably, these emotions creep into our mind. So, is there any way we can change the sting of regret into happy vaccination syringes. Well, we can’t change the past, but we can transform the way we think of the past. We can try to get regret to work as a stalwart protector instead of working as a diseasing virus. Try these steps.
The “If Only” Disease
“If only I could do that”. This one is shoddier than your zit which has a unique way of popping up on thanksgiving or a wedding. We’ve all been through this “if only” phase and sadly it has never worked. It has always left the person drained emotionally and with a bitter mood for days. A friend of mine, who was dumped by her boyfriend never got another one because she thought it was her fault that he left her and regretted it to the point of obsession. Everyone other than her knew that the break-up was not her fault, and that some guys just want to play the field. Many of us think along these lines, “if only I had done (blah), (blah) wouldn’t have happened”. But it did.
We all know that the past cannot be changed. If it could be, it wouldn’t be called the past. Of course, we understand that regret, at times, is unbearable. But you can’t go back and change what has happened. Grieve but don’t well up in it. Regret, but not unproductively. The “if only” regret is unproductive and would not give you any output.
Click here to continue reading: The Different Kinds of Regret
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