Regret

“As products of an imperfect world, all of us are imperfect.  Every one of us has done some wrong.  There are things we regret – things we have done or things we should have done.  Acknowledging our wrongdoings with a genuine sense of remorse can serve to keep us on the right track in life and encourage us to rectify our mistakes when possible and take action to correct things in the future.  But if we allow our regret to degenerate into excessive guilt, holding on to the memory of our past transgressions with continued self-blame and self-hatred, this serves no purpose other than to be a relentless source of self-punishment and self-induced suffering.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness

How would you live your life if you could re-live it over again?

“If I had my life to live over again, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.  I’d relax.  I’d limber up.  I’d be sillier than I’ve been this trip.  I would take fewer things seriously.  I would take more chances, I would take more trips, I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.  I would eat more ice cream and less beans.  I would, perhaps, have more actual troubles but fewer imaginary ones.  You see, I’m one of those people who was sensible and sane, hour after hour, day after day.

Oh, I’ve had my moments.  If I had it to do over again, I’d have more of them.  In fact, I’d try to have nothing else – just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day.  I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute, If I could do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.  I would go to more dances, I would ride more merry-go-rounds, I would pick more daisies.” ~ Nadine Stair

“We may believe that mistakes have been made already and that we cannot go back to the past to change things. When we look deeply into the relative nature of time, we see that the past has created the present. If we seize the present moment with mindfulness, we are in touch with the past. We can actually go back to the past, while staying firmly rooted in the present moment, and heal the past. We forgive ourselves for our mistakes, knowing we didn’t have enough wisdom or the right conditions at that time to do better. We transform our regrets in the present into compassion and understanding, and in this way we also transform the past.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Savor

“It’s important to remember that whatever stage we are at in life, there is no need for regret. The process of regret is one that provides nothing but suffering for ourselves as we begin to allow the past to dictate how we should feel now. Instead, we can use the past as a reference point to understand what adjustments we would like to make moving forward. The adjustments do not have to come out of pain, sorrow, regret or judgment, but simply a choice to do things in a different way. We are learning all the time, we can very quickly slow that learning process down by getting stuck in the idea of regret. When it comes to making changes, be at peace with the past and remember that each moment is a new choice.” ~ Joe Martino

 

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