How much time do you spend regretting your choices?
You might be suffering from
"Woulda, coulda, shoulda syndrome."
Here's how one Juicy Wise Woman confronts her regrets ...
While resting in Savasana (Deep Relaxation Pose) at the end of my yoga practice this morning, I found my mind wandering to the place inside where I hold my regrets. I don't think of myself as particularly regretful so I was surprised when multiple vivid images flashed across my mind's eye. It seems there are plenty of moments stored in my "self-condemnation archives." These moments, long past, are filled with pangs of guilt, sorrow, longing, and dissatisfaction. "Why?" I thought, "Why would my mind choose this beautifully relaxing moment to torment me with a slide show of regrettable choices?" STOP. Right there. Had I allowed myself to jump into that particular rabbit hole, I would have eventually and ironically, regretted it. Making the regrettable choice to ruminate over regrets only serves to darken the horizon. I am happy to say that I went the other way. Instead of rewarding the self-condeming aspect of my mind by taking a deep dive into the past, I made a firm and conscious decision to stay focused on the present. "Return to the breath," I gently reminded myself. My well trained mind's eye immediately shifted focus. I purposely brought my attention to the movement of my inhalation and exhalation. Nothing more. Simply breathing. Simply being. Moment by moment. By the time I arose from my deep relaxation, I felt refreshed and renewed and free of torment. We all have mental scars that remind us of our mistakes. Life is about making mistakes and learning from them. That's how we gain wisdom. But, we have to be careful when revisiting those mistakes because obsessing over them will suck our souls dry. I've learned that regrets don't magically disappear. They stay with us, like the scars that remain long after falling off our bikes. Just as we can survey the scars of the adventures of our childhood without revisiting the pain of the scrapes and bruises, we can take emotional distance from the scars of our mistakes. We can lovingly accept the errors of our earlier ways, knowing they helped us become who we are today. We can offer ourselves compassion and celebrate our very human development. Our juiciness, our zest for life, depends on forgiveness. Our wisdom is a function of our mistakes. The next time you find yourself staring into the rabbit hole of regrets, STOP. Right there. Breathe and remind yourself, that was then and this is now. Be grateful for the wisdom borne of your bad choices. ~ Namaste, Dee