Dealing with a Tough Emotion: Regret
Is it just me, or does it truly feel like the month of June is going by just oh-so-slowly? I mean, really. I started this blog in April, and spent all spring getting it looking right and creating content. May was spent more or less focusing on things at home, and June is the month that I finally snapped out of it and decided to get back to work–on writing as well as on myself.
How have I been doing? Well, better than I expected, honestly. But seriously, it’s only the 17th? Only halfway through June? Not like I’m rushing it or anything. I learned long ago not to rush the passing of days or the changing of seasons, because life is far too short. That’s pretty deep, but it’s true.
I suppose I should be happy that June is passing by so slowly. Truthfully, I’m enjoying the warm weather, but I’m also feeling pretty darn discouraged with my health and weight loss goals. I know I can do it, it just seems that every time I take a step forward, I take two steps back. I know that’s kind of cliché and it’s said a lot, but I truly feel it. I already knew that this wasn’t going to be the summer I rocked a rock-hard bod, but I was hoping this would be the summer I would take it easy on myself and learn to love my body. I’m still learning, so at least there’s that.
Speaking of learning, that leads me to some of the material I wanted to briefly talk about. I created this quote (and graphic) when I was doing some critical thinking about
Check it out…
For this entire spring, pretty much after I quit my job at ULTA, I have been feeling pangs of regret. No, not regret for quitting ULTA…in fact, that was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while. No, I’ve been feeling regret for my life not going exactly the way I planned it at this point.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “But Helene, nobody’s life goes exactly the way they plan it, especially not at your age!” (I’m 22). Well, yes, I know that. But you have to understand the full story. My life was going pretty close to the way I wanted it to go. But I flipped that table suddenly to uproot myself because I thought it was best for me. And you know what? It actually was the right choice.
It was what was best for me. I am on a straightforward path to my ultimate life goals now. The path is more difficult, yes, but it is miles and miles shorter. I won’t say that taking the fast track to your goals is better than taking the slow-and-steady approach, but in some cases, such as mine, it is better. I guess I just lucked out that way. I guess all it took was a mental slap in the face, gathering up what I had, and making a break for it. It’s risky, but life is about taking risks, isn’t it?
Regret is a very tough emotion to deal with. It’s one of those tear-jerking, heart-wrenching negative feelings that makes you second guess every one of your decisions.
At the end of the day, we have to trust ourselves in our choices and forgive ourselves for our mistakes. I always like to say that until someone invents a time machine, we are just going to have to get over our regretful feelings and forgive ourselves, look forward, and march on. It seems cheesy, but honestly, it’s just that simple.
That’s not to say that life is easy. It’s certainly not to say that everything will be okay if you just ignore it and refuse to learn from the past. But there is a huge difference between letting go and looking back. It’s like Daenerys said in ASoIaF, “If I look back I am lost.” Yes, I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan. Anyways, this quote has always resonated with me, and it does especially now.
I only have one life to live (as far as we know it, anyways), and I can’t spend it regretting decisions long made and situations long passed. I know exactly what I want in life, and I pretty much know how to get it (for the most part). So things haven’t always worked out perfectly thus far, so what? There’s no need to regret things, because that only holds us back. We can instead focus our time, energy, and heart into the things that make us happy, healthy, and whole.
As long as we haven’t lost our dreams, our wills, our creativity, and ourselves, we still have a chance out there.
I want to hear from you, what are some of the ways you deal with regret, and how do you find yourself moving on from it? It’s a really difficult emotion to handle, and it takes a lot of hard work and practice, but it can be done. I’m always looking for new ways to help my mind process all negative emotions, so please let me know what you think! 🙂