Living with Regret

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Guilt is regret for what we’ve done.
Regret is guilt for what we didn’t do.”

Guilt comes in many forms. You can feel guilty for eating that bowl of pasta on your low-carb diet or you can feel guilty for hurting someone you love. I have learned that there is healthy and unhealthy guilt. Healthy guilt helps us to recognize what we did wrong so we can amend the situation. For example, you can do an extra 15 minutes of cardio to negate the effects of the pasta.

Unhealthy guilt on the other hand can consume you and can become a constant reminder of not so good choices we made in the past. This reminder is called regret ~ the feeling we get when we wish we did something differently in our lives. Now that we got that straight....raise your hand if you have regrets in your life. (*raises hand*) I believe we all have some regrets.

However, holding on to regret can stop us from moving forward. I often think about certain choices I made in my life, the "should haves", the "what ifs" and the "if only I hads". Wow! There are so many of them. Should I have done some things differently? Yes, in some cases my decisions weren't always the best. But the question is how long should we live with regret? Regret can be a constant reminder of choices we made that we wish we hadn't. Regret has a way of replaying the outcome of these decisions in our head like a broken record. Regret can steal your joy and destroy your self-esteem. But only if you let it. The only way to get rid of regret is to learn to deal with the consequences of those choices. This is where forgiveness comes in. Thank God!

We need to forgive ourselves even if others can't. Forgive ourselves for the things we wish we did and didn't do. Forgive ourselves for those decisions that turned out not to be the best ones. Forgive ourselves for hurting the ones we love. I can no longer hold on to unhealthy guilt. While dwelling on past regrets our present life can be passing us by. So instead let's learn to forgive ourselves, make amends where we can and let God handle the rest.


Alicia@ Mommy Delicious on July 28, 2011 at 12:34 AM said...

A-to-the-MEN! This: "I can no longer hold on to unhealthy guilt." Well, that about sums it all up! My life is not perfect. My story isn't perfect. i've made mistakes. But.... It's high time we put our big-girl pants on, get a therapist if need be, and get over it. All the way over it. And move forward as best we can.

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