Redefining ‘regret’

Revisiting my post titled ‘The short and bitter line of regret’, I end up pooling with disgust and horror and maybe even find my own being a little bit sickening.

There are people who will change your life indefinitely, but there are few people who will make you change your life because you’ve realised you can be a thousand times better than who you are right now, and you can be worth a thousand times more than you think you are.

In my mind, in my heart, Nicholas has always been a good, kindhearted and considerate person, with good intentions, a being whom I could honestly never live up to. Since being with him, I’ve learned that my almost-childish, careless nature of “I regret nothing” was a detrimental thought process that did more harm than good. I’ve realised that it is difficult to be caring, selfless, sensitive, or even remorseful, if my motto for mistakes is to try not to regret things.

So I changed it.

Although it wasn’t my motto per se, “I regret nothing” was detrimental, not only because it has an undermining element of “YOLO” or “you only live once”, but because it convinced me, almost immediately afterwards, that every wrong thing I had ever done was – well – totally A-OK.

Well, it’s not.

I really don’t think I could have forgiven myself had I, for instance, killed an innocent man, but… why would I choose not to regret hurting someone such as my parents, or my friends? No matter whom I hurt, feeling regret would acknowledge my wrongdoing, would make me reflect on my actions and realise how they affected others, and in turn feel remorseful and apologetic.

I believe I have always been a selfish person, and it makes me tear up because I know that I could be way better than that. It’s inevitable that regret is often daisy-chained with wrongdoing and other people, and it’s crushing to realise that such a large percentage of it is because – for even just a split second – you chose to only care about yourself.

If I stop for even just a moment and think about things I’ve regretted, then I realise, and completely understand, what is of value to me – be it hobbies, places, experiences, or people and things I love.

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I think there’s a difference between regretting your actions on a particular occasion and using it to better yourself (but not unnecessarily dwelling on that occasion) and spending your entire life making mistakes and wishing you could fix them – when obviously you can’t go back and fix the past. Use experiences to learn, sure, but you really do only live once and living in the past is a waste of time.

I was always so stuck in the past and wishing things happened differently, which is why I started to have a “no regrets” attitude instead. We’ve all done our own share of bad things but after realising that I kept making the same mistakes, I had to come round and find the right balance, and I am glad I did. 🙂

I admit I regret things, actions, and words I’ve done, but I know with that regret, I propel myself forward learning the lessons clearly. Regret is a powerful tool to help you grow as a person. It’s experience and I use that experience in a sense to level up. I better myself, and that is the important thing to remember. You don’t dwell in that regret, but force that regret to help you grow. Help you mature into the person you are meant to be. Everyone regrets something, even if they don’t admit it, but know that you are stronger for regretting and changing your behavior.