"I wish I hadn’t." "I should have." "Why was I so stupid?"
When we wrestle with regrets these are the questions that come to mind. And until we accept what happens as part of the dance of life, they’ll keep tormenting us ad infinitum.
Let’s take a second to explore why we make the choices we often regret. The Netflix series ‘Dark’ does a great job of breaking down our ability to choose:
"...you can choose as you want but your wants are chosen for you. All the paths we take in our lives, every choice we make is guided by our deepest desires. It’s pointless to fight this sense of want. It determines every one of our actions, no matter how difficult and unimaginable they seem.’
We can’t ignore where our compulsions to make decisions come from. It is literally who we are. And we can’t keep on regretting who we are.
Maybe the best approach is to see life as a video game. Be mindful of the decisions we make and if they serve us or don’t serve us. Just like a video game, we’ll make a wrong turn, fight bogies that are out of our league, and fail.
But if we stick with the game, we always end up finishing it. Unless we’re playing the wrong game.
So, the ultimate question is, is the game we’re playing worth finishing, or do we need to blaze a new path, pick a new direction?
The constant weight of regrets is simply noise. Until we stop shaming ourselves with hindsight and become more mindful of the path we’re on and accept it, the drum beat of regrets won’t change.
And when in doubt… Pause. Breathe, And Quiet the Noise.