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5 Tips to Let Go of Regrets
You might be familiar with the idea of minimalism, people let go of their possessions and opt for a more streamlined life. It isn't just about letting go of material things, though. The idea extends beyond that to letting go of everything that may diminish your sense of well-being. A lot of different things can complicate your life, but one of the biggest burdens many of us carry throughout life is regret.
If there is one thing you can guarantee it's that regret can act as a compelling anchor that keeps you firmly in the past. When you're anchored in the pains of your past it prevents you from enjoying your present life and that inhibits your progress for your future. Regret can be an all-consuming prison and it will hold you back from finding happiness.
No matter your age, you likely have at least one regret. There's a good chance you've done several things in your life that you wish you hadn't. Sometimes we wish we could rewind and get a do-over and it might be that no one else was affected by your actions, it might be that you were the sole victim.
There are complicated regrets that involve other people, and often, those are the most difficult to overcome because it isn't right to seek someone out just to seek forgiveness. In those types of situations, you have to process your own forgiveness without dragging the past up for someone else.
Let's talk about how to let go of regret.
Your mistake was real, it happened, and you cannot change it or rewrite it. You can't go back and dig up the seed and hope to replant it. Neither can you absolve yourself of responsibility. You have to accept reality by acknowledging your part in the mistake and that is the first step to letting go of your regrets.
Think about the specific regret lingering over your head and how you would respond to a friend dealing with the same issue. Give yourself the same compassion and kindness that you would give to them if they sought you out for advice.
You cannot continue to beat yourself up for something that cannot be undone. In a perfect world, you would get a do-over and you could stop it from happening. Unfortunately, we live in the real world and you will never be able to let go of your regrets if you don't first learn to forgive yourself for the mistakes you made. It won't make your regrets go away, but it will help you start the process of letting go.
If your regret revolves around someone who is still in your life then you can approach them to make amends. Offer a sincere apology, but don't try to make excuses. Do what you can to repair the hurt but be reasonable because some people will try to make you pay for it beyond what is appropriate. Your regret could cloud what you view as reasonable, but you have to let your own inner peace guide you.
The past needs to remain there so don't keep dredging up old mistakes and failures. The more you voice them the more powerful they will seem. If it reminds you of your regret, let it go.
You cannot do anything to change the past, but you can take control over the decisions you make and the actions you take moving forward. Regret is painful, but it is an effective teacher. Take the lessons regret teaches you and hold them dear.
We will always make mistakes because we are human and to err is human. Rather than rueful regret try positive action on for size. If you wish you had done something differently, do it differently next time.