Living with Regrets

If anybody would take at least ten minutes to reflect, to look back at all the choices they’ve made, there will likely be at least three things in life they would’ve done differently. Looking back now, in hindsight, we could tell the perfect story of how it should have gone. We could look back now, knowing how we should have filled every moment, many which are now considered wasted, and could now say how every moment should have been spent. For those who find themselves especially regretting time that’s been wasted, might have moments even today where they spend beating up on themselves mentally. There may be resentment of the slackness they’ve somehow managed to use over the years, named it some other creative excuse, landing them where they are today. Some, on the other hand, have even learned to say ‘I have no regrets’ and would rather succumb to the notion that ‘I am where I’m suppose to be’.

Yet regrets, as bad as they sound, may not always represent the negative. In fact, having regrets can actually present more opportunity to want better, to want differently because you now know different choices could have led to better and different results, had they been chosen before. To experience any personal resentment towards yourself simply says ‘I knew I had what it took to succeed, but I chose to succumb to fear and doubt that I somehow, at some point, learned to live by’. Looking back and realizing you were indeed capable of achievement can cause you to experience today, the worst beatdown mentally, yet it can also present the opportune time to apply what you now know for sure you possess.

But if you’re not careful, past regrets and resentment can also cause you to believe it’s too late. They can cause you to completely erase your dreams and began to only live being grateful for the good path that life now drives for you while you simply ride. It may seem too late to achieve because now, five or ten years later, there are new obstacles. Now there are new sacrifices that must be made. However, the one who is more willing to make good on those regrets will also expose to themselves, the lies, the doubt, the fear, the life patterns that swallow up precious time, that if not changed, will even become a part of regrets again, five years from now. The good in having regrets and personal resentment is found in the ability they give you today to acknowledge what is important and what is not important. They help you have a deeper respect for time. They help you have a greater respect for life and they allow you to become aware of your own weaknesses, the choices that you’ve made, and how they fit in where you are today. Regrets…if you choose to have them, at least pay attention to them.

It sounds easier, however, to say ‘I have no regrets’ and I’m right where God wants me to be, but if you choose to have no regrets, make sure it’s not because you choose not to reflect and learn. Make sure you’re not running from truth instead and ignoring what needs to be changed. As for God, He allows us to live by free will, meaning we make choices that have brought us where we are today, and although you might find that you’re actually living in a better place than where your choices should really have you, that’s simply grace. That’s God making good, even in bad decisions. He’s always working with the decisions you make. You do have the power in your own life to make better decisions and to use time respectably. And you will continue to land where you land because of decisions you make. Yes, crises do happen that we have no control over, but even then, we will freely make choices on how to move forward. And that is what God will work with…the choices we make.

So know that it’s not always a bad thing to have regrets or to even resent. It is always what you choose to do with either. Regrets and resentment are simply moments in thought where ‘better’ is being acknowledged. And when you know there’s better, you then have the opportunity to reach for it. But simply knowing there’s better is one thing. To actually go for it is another. How many times have you said ‘ I thought it was too late five years ago, but if only I had started then’. ?? Choose to change for the better today or choose to continue the same and experience the vicious cycle of having the same regrets five years from now. It is always up to you.

Tawana R. Powell

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