Do you live with regret for things you've said and done in the past? Has regret become a ball-and-chain for you?
Someone asked that question recently, and a handful of women responded in various ways. I've been thinking about that a lot since then. It's understandable that, as we look back on our lives, we recall some things we said or did with regret, sometimes even with shame. However, unless we use that sense of regret or shame to cull some lessons from those experiences, such emotions can weigh us down and prevent us from really moving forward freely. It can keep us stuck and weighed down. Once we draw the life lessons from such experiences, it's healthier to forgive ourselves, let go and move on.
Forgiveness and letting go are such crucial parts of a healthy life as we age. We don't want to be weighed down by old baggage. We can't change the past. We can only change how we do things going forward. And here's the other thing: All the experiences in our past, both the good and the bad ones, add up to make us who we are today. We would not be who we are and where we are without a variety of life experiences and without making mistakes and learning lessons from them.
And so I invite you to be grateful even for those things you regret—yes, I did say be grateful. For, we hope, you have learned much from those things you regret having said and done. I know I have. I've probably learned more from my mistakes than from any successes I've ever had! Forgive, let go and move on. Ah, feel that serenity settle into your heart.
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