‘No amount of regret changes the past. No amount of anxiety changes the future. Any amount of grateful joy changes the present.’
Honesty moment, and time to ask yourself a hard question. Let’s use the proverbial street analogy: Which way do you look? Do you look forward, toward your destination? Do you look backward, at where you’ve been? Do you think about the places you will go, and what you will do? Do you wish longingly for the comfort of what you knew and loved? Do you worry and fret about the unknown, hoping that whatever the future will bring will take it easy on you, and not be unpleasant? Do you rue the past, wishing for another go at it, and wish for an opportunity to go back and make changes that might change where or who you are today?
Do I even need to tell you which option would be less constructive? My friends, remember this: regret and anxiety are absolutely the two arch enemies of inner calm and happiness. Rather than wish for something to be undone, focus on this: What are you going to do about it? Make change happen.
Accept, accept, accept. Or change, change, change. Those are your two options, really. It takes a lot of energy to sit and rue what has happened, and do you really want to waste effort on something that is completely unproductive? You have a limited amount of time and effort each day that is not already allotted to specific tasks like work, and family and general life-day-to-day. What you do with that limited amount is clearly up to you, but ask yourself this: What value is my time? What can do I that would be productive and bring me happiness? What can I focus on to increase my satisfaction? I promise you, very few people would answer those questions with ‘Regret regret regret.’ Because regret brings no positive results.
Oh, trust me, I have had many moments I regret. Sometimes, almost instantly. But, I try very diligently to not focus on the should of’s or the what if’s and instead think about what I can change or do to better the situation my unfortunate words/actions/circumstances have created. I can’t undo, but I can repair or rebuild. I can do better. I put my effort and energy into making a situation more positive. Not always the easiest thing to do, though. Although not every circumstance begs for lemonade, there are definitely times that I have wanted to just kick the d&#^ pile of lemons. But I force myself to ask ‘what does that accomplish?’ I am rather efficient, and I can appreciate not wasting effort. The effort I could put in boobing about a negative situation is much better spent on positive things. So, reminding (okay, or nagging) myself into a better frame of mind is important.
Let’s be real: the glass cannot always be half full. It can, though, be refilled. Remembering that, you can get up and get things rolling in a better direction, each and every time the less-than-ideal happens. Be grateful for what did happen, learn what you have to in order to do/be/act better, and then do that the next chance you get.