We all know life is short and we want to accomplish the things that are important to us. But sometimes when moving forward on a new and exciting path, we get held up by past experiences and regrets. We all have regrets, it’s part of human nature. However, it’s important not to live under a cloud of regrets that stifle our future. Getting past some regrets may take some analysis and planning.
I can give a couple examples of regrets I’ve worked through. I grew up in a small town until I was 15 years old. I was then sent to live in the home of the family in Chicago. There were no cell phones or personal computers back then so there was no way for me to keep in touch with the friends in that town. They were a big part of my growing up experience and certainly impacted me in many ways. I moved on and made a new life and formed new friendships. Over the years I thought about this on and off, and regretted losing those friendships. So, when I heard my small town was having a 20 year high school reunion I asked the reunion committee if I could attend. Even though I had not graduated from that school, they allowed me to attend. I had the opportunity to meet again many of my childhood friends! What a gift that was and I am still in touch with some of them today.
I’ve heard a number of people express regret at not finishing college. As I worked to grow my career in business I came to regret also that I had not gone to college. I made a plan to go to college part time while working, and earned my BA at the age of 42 years old. We are fortunate when we can go back and “fix” a regret, like the two instances I mentioned.
Sometimes we can’t undo or fix a regret completely. An example might be regretting you didn’t tell someone you loved them or feel you didn’t show them enough love before they passed away. While that cannot be undone, perhaps this is a lesson you can share with others so it doesn’t happen to them. And, you can commit to never letting something like this happen again.
It’s worth it to take time to think through any regret we may have and determine if there is a way to address the situation. There probably is to some extent and there is certainly value in doing so. The beautiful life we are given is a great reason to do the work needed to add positive experiences to it. We all deserve that.