​Life Can Only be Understood Backwards, but It Must be Lived Forwards

Was it something you did or something you didn’t do that has you chasing your latest version of sleep bunnies or creasing your face with regret lines?

You are not alone. Everyone regrets something. Even the “YOLO” screaming and “No Regrets” tattoo wearing compadres of yours I’d like to think, got to that point in their lives by having a few regrets. Let them not fool you. No shame should be found in regret.

While no shame should be found in regret, it should not be a place you seek permanent residency. Regret can keep you tied to the past and when you are consistently parked there, you are not growing or living.

Regret is always viewed through the lens of present awareness. Hence the reason why it can be a powerful yet pain filled emotion. When you know better you do better. If you had known then what you know now, you would have done something differently. We all would have. So stop using what you know in the present to judge your past actions.

If you’re going to live your life in pursuit of the most authentic expression of your purpose, know this. There are so many variables that make this life messy. Life will give you plenty of chances to screw up and screw up you will. Regret is unavoidable.

Viktor Frankl said, “Even the most negative aspects of human existence, such as guilt, suffering, and death, can be viewed positively, given the right attitude.” 

Regret, as painful as it might be, is trying to direct your attention towards something. This can offer you a tremendous opportunity for learning and transformation. What you should have or should not have done is now irrelevant. Rewinding time is not possible, but the opportunity for “do-overs” actually are so, if they present themselves, by all means, take them.

Happiness on earth is not just for those who have no regrets. You do not have to suffer from regret. Forgive yourself, look for the lesson, take action and move on.

What is right in front of you and better yet, what lies ahead of you is yours for the taking. You’re just going to have to let the past go in order to have the space to catch it.

At last I can see life has been patiently waiting for me
And I know there’s no guarantees, but I’m not alone
There comes a time in everyone’s life
When all you can see are the years passing by
And I have made up my mind that those days are gone                                                                ~Rascal Flatts

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