How to deal with regrets.

‘Regrets, I have a few, but then again too few too mention’

‘Regrets, I have a few, but then again too few too mention’

I’m turning 50 this year (to be honest I’m quite surprised I survived this far so am looking forward to it!) As it’s such a milestone, it has got me thinking back to regrets I have had my journey. 

It’s good to take an inventory of our lives, not to re-live the past but to encourage us to be in the present. This can give us the conviction to grasp our now and therefore create a meaningful future. However, regret is a funny old chestnut. On the one hand it can inspire us to move forward so we don’t have anymore regrets but on the other hand it can cripple us with guilt, shame, and disempower us.

According to science we are rational creatures and regret is supposed to make us analyse our life clearly, I read somewhere it being described as the oil warning light on the bonnet of life, which I thought was a charming analogy. However science has also established that sometimes being rational can make us make the wrong choices. 

Psychologists Wilson and Schooler conducted an experiment involving choosing jam. They got people to fill out a long questionnaire rationalising what they liked about jam. But they found that if they over-analysed what they liked about jam, they ended up choosing jams they did not even like. This is another good analogy of life! The point of the story is that when we live and regret we can sometimes miss opportunities that are right in front of us because we no longer trust our choices. We cannot fix the past but we can heal in the present and if appropriate make amends.

One of my biggest regrets was on my 16th birthday. I was living in a squat in Brixton and my mother had come all the way from Hanger Lane with a cake and was knocking on the door. Although she was crying, I never let her in. We had a difficult relationship and my life was very damaged at the time plus I had just left a children’s home. But to this day, I think about how cruel that must have been and i shudder each time I think of it. However I don’t regret spending her dying days with her and being with her when she passed over. You see, we can make amends and turn our regret into something healing.

It’s normal to have regrets. If we didn’t this would mean we have learned nothing from our mistakes and choices.  We mustn’t let regret torment us, but use it as fertiliser to grow a beautiful life based on what we learned from making the choices we did. 

One of the biggest regrets people have is connected to things like work and education and yet it is never too late to learn and go after your dream. Samuel L Jackson was 43 before he became a succesful actor. Laura Ingalls Wilder was 65 when she published her first book ‘Little House’ a.k.a. Little house on the Prairie and I read of another writer who wrote a best seller at 92. It is never too late.

Many clients ring for a psychic reading to ask about past relationships and regrets about the past. When it comes to a regrets around love this is where we can get very stuck; beating ourselves up over choices we made and wondering if we could have done things differently. I can safely say that any relationship that I have had that has ended ESPECIALLY the ones that hurt the most let me to a life filled with much more happiness.

Moving past relationship regret first involves understanding there were two people involved in the situation. You were both at different stages of soul growth. First see what lesson you have learned. If we can see there is a soul lesson and a take out from the experience – even a negative one. This allows us to see we have learned from it and we can see it as an opportunity rather than a disaster.

If you are still feeling regret imagine yourself sitting in a room with an empty chair opposite you. Then imagine the person you feel regret over coming in and sitting opposite you. Now, tell them exactly how you feel. Watch their expression and when you have finished speaking wait for their response. Not only will you receive amazing insights into the situation you may feel much freer and so energetically may they.

If someone is passed on and you have regrets write their name on a white candle and light it and invite their presence to come to you. Visualise your heart open and love pouring out of you and speak from your soul to them saying you are sorry. This can be incredibly healing.

Remember – to experience regret is to experience learning and by doing so, you invite in a new outcome – and a new future. But when we live in the moment, and spread love and forgiveness to all – including ourselves, then regret really does cease to have it’s power over us. 

It’s good to take an inventory of our lives, not to re-live the past but to encourage us to be in the present. This can give us the conviction to grasp our now and therefore create a meaningful future. However, regret is a funny old chestnut. On the one hand it can inspire us to move forward so we don’t have anymore regrets but on the other hand it can cripple us with guilt, shame, and disempower us.

First published in Soul and Spirit magazine.