“Live life with no regrets.”
God I hate that phrase.
If you don’t have any regrets in your life, then you haven’t challenged yourself enough or come across enough situations that really cause you to stop and think long and hard before making a decision.
The phrase comes from a perspective of looking back in hindsight and judging our lives. However, until a time machine is invented, we do not have the luxury of hindsight in the present moment. We can’t live in the future in order to help us make a decision in the present. And that is the only place life actually shows up! We can only assess the present moment and make the best decision from there. And I imagine that in that moment, we all make the best decision we possibly can.
So why torture yourself with judgment?
Don’t put yourself in purgatory; constantly thinking about your choice, judging yourself, and wondering if you made a wrong decision. I just don’t see the value of assessing and reassessing a decision and continually judging ourselves for it. The only result that can produce is a life of unhappiness and uncertainty.
Personally, I think regrets emerge in life when we make decisions based in fear. Things we did or didn’t do because we were afraid. I have to believe decisions made from that place will always lead to regret.
I think the true intent of the phrase above is to make a decision; own it; and go forward. If it turns out to be a bad decision. Fine. Make another one. A different one. One that suits you better . . . now. In the new moment.
That, in my opinion, is how you live without regrets.
In the end, not having regrets is not about the decisions you made, but rather the ability to forgive yourself for the decisions you made and learn from them.
This is a great time of year to think of any regrets – and forgive yourself. Forgive others. We are all doing the best we can. Release that energy and allow yourself to move on and start the new year fresh. Otherwise you will forever be stuck in the past, in a life you don’t want.
“Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. No other path, no other way, no other day but today.”
– Jonathan Larson
Living a life of regret is more about living in the past, not being able to forgive yourself, or thinking that your life should be different or look different than it does. Second guessing your life away . . . well, I imagine that is a life where you can rarely find peace.
The truth is, we have but 2 choices in our life. Love the life you have . . . or begin taking action to change it. Anything in between will feel like purgatory.