21-5-21 Positive Regret


Positive Regret

Regret: A feeling of sadness or disappointment about something that happened to you or something you did or did not do. An expression of a distressing emotion (as sorrow). Self-reproach, perhaps shame.

Positive Regret: An opportunity to learn responsibility for our actions and thoughts. To feel any self-debasing regret or shame, and step through that harmful and useless negativity. To fully accept the past deed, and let that awareness mix with your wisdom and compassion and the aspiration to not re-engage in those negative thoughts and actions. Make amends if needed, then let it go, as the new person you have become moves forward. To grow in awareness, compassion and right action. When we practice this discipline, a surprising lightness and connection occurs as our negative energy dissipates.

Self-hatred is toxic, it undermines us, it makes us miserable, it weakens us. The right thing to do right now is to bring as much mindfulness, compassion, forgiveness, and wisdom into this moment as you possibly can. To the best of your present ability, let these qualities manifest in you. You’ll be a better person as a result—not in the past, but in this moment and in moments yet to come. Recognize that you need to forgive yourself in order to forgive others.

In an addiction or obsession, we feel constant regret and shame at behavior we believe is harmful. Often we don’t know what else to do and are kept in a negative spiral. When we begin finding a way out, the most important thing we can do is to forgive ourselves and step into a new life without regrets.

The important thing is to learn to deal with the pain of regret in a way that doesn’t cause us more pain. Regret is a natural and important part of being a human with ethical values. “Felt regrets” pertains to a change of attitude or intention…a feeling of responsibility for wrong-doing. In this scenario, we accept responsibility, do what we can to remedy the situation, aspire to not do that again, and move forward. 

All our regrets are included in our life’s history. But when they’re properly acknowledged, and when we have done the best we can to make amends, we can then transcend that part of our behavior and replace it with a more open and useful attitude; one that will uplift ourselves and others in our lives. It is difficult to admit being wrong when we to want to be perfect, though we know we aren’t. We maintain an illusion, a false sense of self which brings suffering. To open to the humanness and imperfection that we really are is freeing and presents so many possibilities. 

That is what it’s all about; not hiding, not being a victim, not trying to re-create the “good” past, not constantly replaying the past, but stepping boldly where one has not gone before (sorry, Star Trek). With a knowledge that failures and successes will happen, and we will be there for it all. 

“And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone…” p. 84, Alcoholics Anonymous. This is very liberating!

How often do we not accept what we know to be true, and continue expending useless negative energy on it? BE WRONG! You will be, at times. Admit it, learn, and move on!!!

In order to learn from our past, we need to be willing to be taught. We need to feel the veil of ego and defensiveness fall away. What remains is an open, spacious mind-heart that yearns for the truth. The truth about our possibilities being reality. That we should not spend so much time concerned about ourselves and our “problems,” but instead focus on how we can become closer to, and more aware of, our Divine spark and our true compassionate self. How can we be connected, kind and happy in this world? Everyone has their own path and strengths, but regret and self-reproach will not take you anywhere, except bound in life-restricting chains.

How do you let go of something? You do not try to rid yourself of it, you simply accept it.

“Be willing to have it so.  Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.”William James

“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” — Jim Rohn

Being able to take ownership of your mistakes will ensure you learn important lessons that will prevent you from repeating those same mistakes again.

I take responsibility for my actions in the past as well as what my present actions will influence in the future. If I am resentful of the past, I will act out of fear, continue my suffering, and bring on suffering for others. If I have examined and accepted my past, with the aspiration to live clearly from now on, I will be free.

“Regrets are not inherited. Regrets are those elements of life that seek to undermine our enthusiasm and our willingness to assume a life filled with new discoveries and the attainment of goals. Let not your regrets be your undoing but instead your vehicle to learn from what did not work.” — Byron Pulsifer

“Since everything is but an apparition, having nothing to do with good or bad, acceptance or    rejection, one may well burst out in laughter.”  — Longchenpa

Are you unhappy because things are not as you want them to be? Show me one person who is happy because everything is exactly the way they want it to be. That person may exist, but only because they let go — by accepting.

I have a regret from the past crop up occasionally, something I did or that was done to me. I   recognize that I have dealt with it the best I can, and will not permit it to ill affect me anymore. 

It has occurred, it is something that has happened (past tense), I have transcended it and am a  different person NOW. I let it go one more time than it crops up.

And because you’re a strong, smart, capable person, you’ll find ways to make this new direction meaningful for you. To make up for what you lost by gaining something equally important in the aftermath, whether it’s a new understanding of your strengths, a new idea of who you want to be, or a new opportunity to try again, being a little wiser.

You have a lot to do and only a little time. Get busy and love life; the rest is just a side show.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step

The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for

May you be well. May you be happy. May you find peace.

Heart Of Recovery web site  — fcheartofrecovery.com