Regret came up in conversation yesterday. My friend Carissa and I both agreed it was a bad little seed that wasn’t welcome in our lives, a seed that could truly take root and discourage. For many, many years I’ve rejected regret, claiming life is too short to hang onto the past. I figure lessons are best learned through our mistakes, which only spur us on to overcome in the future.
Regret says: You idiot. Why did you do that? You are such a loser/failure/disappointment. It’s negative by nature and self-deprecating. Nothing good can come from regret.
The opposite of regret is thankfulness, gratitude. It celebrates the chance to learn and do things differently the next time. And it opens the door to positive results. Above all, it has the power to change your heart. In the wake our mistakes, it takes humility to recognize the impact and strive for reconciliation and growth, be it relational or circumstantial, job-related or personal.
Coincidentally, I battled a bit of regret yesterday. Not an hour after I posted about the end of my cleanse and the determination to continue to make healthy food choices, I splurged. I was gathered together with a group of girlfriends and just did it. I went straight for the hot cocoa with peppermint whip. And then I threw some candy cane in there. This was after the fact, mind you, that I ate a perfectly petite square of dark chocolate en route to the gathering.
Yes, regret was tempting. I had the chance to choose tea. And not just any tea: my favorite “treat” tea: Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride, a Celestial Seasonings variety that only comes out seasonally, during Christmas. But no. I chose the fakey powdered chocolate mix topped with months-old Ready Whip. I know you were envisioning something really fantastic, something like the picture, at right. Yeah… not so much.
I only sorta enjoyed it, truthfully. But then later, the regret came down hard on me. I thought I was going to make good decisions? I rallied. What happened back there? I asked myself, driving home.
But I recognized that evil little enemy soon enough. And I said, To heck with regret! I’ll learn. Truly, honestly, I would have been more satisfied with the tea. That’s all there is to it. Store-bought, pre-packaged goodies are out. Homemade treats, on the other hand? My ultimate weakness. But worth the splurge! I have to enjoy life, too! It’s not all about avoidance. It’s about choosing which splurge is worth it… and being thankful.