We all have regrets. Some might be exponentially more serious than others, but I think it's safe to say we all have actions, words, and thoughts that linger in our minds.
I'm not sure if it has to do with the year ending and going home for the summer or just the fact that as I get older I become more and more conscious of my past. Whatever the reason, it's becoming evident that as the years tick by, regrets seem to build and build.
They become more haunting, too. You end up wondering who could still be in your life. You wonder where you could be. You wonder if you could have become a different person if you had made different choices. You wonder if people would see you differently.
I get that it's hard. Recently, for me, it's been a particular musing of my day-to-day life.
As I've been thinking about it, I've come to realize the hardest or most draining part of dwelling on regret comes from the fact that it inherently requires us to take responsibility for our actions, past or present. Regret makes us accountable for things we've done or could do in the future. As humans, unfortunately, we have an egregious tendency to withhold responsibility of anything. Yet somehow regret holds us to our truths.
As important as the vehicle of regret might be to our consciousness, it also serves a seriously debilitating purpose on our confidence and ability to learn and adjust.
Regret, although inevitable, needs to be recognized as simply a function of our psychology that can lead us down a path of further self-harm.
Regret inhibits our ability to move on, to learn from our mistakes. It harbors us in the past, in actions that we've already completed and can't change.
The truth about regret is that it isn't helpful to our learning experience or to our futures. We can't let it define us. Our true worth isn't in our past actions; it's in our ability to move on and grow. Our worth is found in our ability to not let our regrets define us.
As we move through our lives, it's important to recognize our past. Of course, we need to be accountable for our mistakes. We need to be conscious of when and how we hurt others and even ourselves. However, we can recognize our regrets without letting them define us. We can choose to define ourselves with positivity, growth, change, and confidence.
At the end of the day, so few people will often remember the things you regret. Regret only brings darkness to your life. Focus on the positivity of growth and your personal ability to change. This will define who you are.