I can’t forgive myself for making such a mess of my life.
What does your mind focus on when you daydream and ponder? Are your thoughts continuously rehashing the past? Do you find yourself wishing you were someone else? If so, then you are living a life that is full of REGRET.
The Harm Regret Causes
Here is a tell-tale sign that you are harboring regret. Your thoughts will be full of “If onlys….”
- If only I had gone to college…
- If only I had not married so young…
- If only I wasn’t in so much debt…
- If only I was smarter and better looking…
- If only I didn’t have so many kids…
- dissatisfaction and discontentment
- an incapacity to live for today and plan for tomorrow
- an inability to come up with viable solutions for positive change
- a paralyzing lack of gratitude
Breaking the Cycle
So how do you break the relentless cycle of regret? You start by forgiving yourself.
Feelings of regret come on the heels of being sorry for the actions you’ve taken—or not taken. It is likely that you have owned your mistakes or you wouldn’t be regretting them. Acknowledging your poor judgment and/or missed opportunities is a start—but if that’s all you do you will just wind up with a lousy self-image and a hopeless heart.
Change Your Perspective
It is helpful to understand that there is a difference between condemnation and conviction.
- Condemnation says: You are bad and always will be—Conviction says: What you did was bad, you can do better next time
- Condemnation says: You deserve to be miserable—Conviction says: You can have a second chance
- Condemnation paralyzes—Conviction empowers
- Condemnation produces shame—Conviction produces wisdom
When you are under conviction you admit your error, forgive yourself and move on. Your past does not have to dictate your future. Wipe the slate clean today.
Forgiving yourself is just one step toward healing. Don’t go away, learn what else you can do.MORE ON FORGIVENESS