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Friday, May 6, 2011

Buyers Remorse

Is it possible to avoid regret?  Should we even try?  What if our regrets are necessary?

regret -  feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, esp a loss or missed opportunity)

Regret can be a very strong emotion and we need to be careful not to let these moments of guilt keep us stuck.  Guilt is a very strong emotion that can lead to serious illness if not nurtured and cleared.

When we are resentful toward other people because they have more than us, we risk living in someone else's shadow.  This type of thinking holds us back, leaves us feeling inadequate and can amount to us giving up on our own dreams and potential.

It's one thing to regret something we have done but we must be mindful that we don't become consumed by circumstances that we are less than proud of.  We can't give our misdeeds that much power.  

We also need to forgive ourselves.  We shouldn't be so hard on ourselves for not always being perfect.  Sometimes we make the wrong choices.  Sometimes our circumstances call for drastic measures.  Sometimes our fight against nature vs. nurture gets the best of us and we find ourselves in precarious situations.  

Is it weakness to give in or are we strong for wanting to get away from it all?  I learned to hide from the past.  Somewhere along the way I acquired a love for the night and all that it brings.  If I counted all the nights I have had the number of missed days would be staggering.  

With the missed days come many missed opportunities.  But I wasn't strong enough to face the daylight and look at myself in the mirror.  I was too busy hiding.  Hiding from my past and all that had been done to me.  I was also hiding from the things I have done to others.  I couldn't face them.  It was all too much.  But then one day you wake up and the payoff of regret isn't enough anymore.  You're still emotionally broke and crippled by the why me's of it all.

Regret can be healthy if we keep it all in perspective.  Go easy.  We shouldn't be so hard on ourselves.  Our lives aren't backed by buyers remorse.  We can't exchange those moments for new ones or give ourselves back since we weren't given a receipt to begin with.

Suck it up!  Take out a sheet of paper and fold it in half.  Label one column regrets and the other column outcome.  In the first column (obviously) make a list of everything you regret.   The other column should be a list of the things that have come out of the regretted experience.  And chances are there will be some things on the outcome column that will make you smile and that will quite possibly help you realize that we can find the positive counterpart in most everything we do if we take the time to be nice to ourselves and look deep within to that place of purity.  

If we take the time to nurture ourselves, forgiveness will come.  If we can make allowances for things we got wrong next time we will get it right.  

My list is long. I was harboring resentments I didn't even know I had.  I have been so angry.  But I was also in serious denial about how angry I was at my parents and my upbringing and all the horrible things that have ever happened to me that it was hard to see what I was bringing to the table.   

I was so busy trying to be happy that I chased happiness for the moment, in the night, only to be left more bereft then when I started.  I've regained my composure and I have decided to make peace with my resentments, my regrets, and all the things I can't take back.  I'm being accountable and I am sorry.  Sorry to myself and sorry to those I have wronged or hurt along the way.  

I am thankful to have found the courage to persevere.  When facing the eyes of adversity I am making different choices now.  I haven't seen the midnight moon in a long time.  And my time spent in the sun has brought with it a courage I hadn't known before.  

Do I wish my past had been different?  Yes, I still do.  But who I am today is because of all the things that happened along the way.  The list of accomplishment is long.  Today, I can honestly say, I don't regret who I am now.  

What does your list look like?

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Words on Screen & Words on Paper

  • Blink, Malcolm Gladwell
  • Casablanca (1942)
  • Chocolat (2000)
  • Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, Susan Jeffer, Ph.D.
  • Harold and Maude (1971)
  • Invictus (2009)
  • On The Waterfront (1954)
  • Singin in the Rain (1952)
  • The Celestine Prophecy, James Redfield
  • The Four Agreements, Miguel Ruiz
  • The Greatest Salesman in the World, Og Mandino
  • The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle
  • The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra
  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  • The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff
  • The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  • West Side Story (1961)
  • What Happy People Know, Dan Baker


  • Use Somebody, Kings of Leon
  • You're Beautiful, James Blunt
  • Love, Love, Love, Tristan Prettyman
  • Just Fine, Mary J. Blige
  • Banana Pancakes, Jack Johnson
  • You and Me, Dave Matthews
  • Just Breathe, Pearl Jam