Dictionary.com defines regret as “a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction, etc.” When I hear people speak of their regrets, they are usually thinking about their pasts. But we all know that we can’t change the past and we can’t predict the future. So, what function do regrets really have?
Author Rory Cochrane once said, “I do not regret the things I’ve done, but those I did not do.” So whether you’re thinking of something you wish you hadn’t done or maybe something you wish you had, regret can function as a guide for present-moment decisions. And all we have is the gift of right now – that’s why it’s called the “present.”
Personally, I can honestly say I have no regrets. I’m one of those people that believe that everything happens for a reason, so what is there to regret? The Cochrane quote really had a big impact on me the first time I read it. I have been an anxious person most of my life, and was allowing the fear to make my world smaller and smaller. Reading that quote made something “click” in my head and helped me say “yes” to things that I wanted to do but usually would have said “no” to out of fear of the unknown.
Are there things that you regret? Perhaps there’s a person that you’d like to reconnect with or a situation that you can correct. Today is the first day of March. While Spring doesn’t officially start until the 20th, why not start anew today? Fix the things you can and work on letting go of the things you can’t. Regret, like guilt, can be an excellent motivator, but hanging onto it too long is just a waste of precious energy.