In my 27 years on earth, I have yet to meet someone who didn’t have at least one significant regret. As humans, we experience regret starting at a young age. While the regrets I had as a 6-year-old child may seem far less important now that I’ve experienced more life events, I think it’s important to remember that our regrets are based on what is paramount to us at the time. Who’s to say that regretting my crayon of choice during an art project is any less significant than feeling remorse about certain decisions I’ve made as an adult?
A mantra commonly used by millennials these days is “NO REGRETS,” something which I find troubling. While this philosophy is certainly not a new concept, I do find it troubling that this “YOLO,” “NO F*$CKS GIVEN” and “CANNOT DEAL” mentality is potentially interfering with individuals’ willingness to connect with a totally normal emotion: regret.
To live a life with no regrets is completely catastrophic, impractical and, in my opinion, a totally unprincipled outlook.
The thing is, when you regret something, you can recognize that something you did wasn’t up to your personal standards and enables you to reflect upon how you can improve yourself going forward. The problem with regrets is that many of those who do allow themselves to feel the emotion tend to dwell on it for a bit longer than what is healthy or necessary. While it certainly depends on the individual as to how much self-reflection or, at the very worst, extreme anxiety, they may feel when thinking about their life choices, I think it’s important to focus on a positive outcome.
The key is not allowing yourself to stay in the rut. Deal with the emotions, meditate on it and do whatever it is you need to without granting permission to those negative feelings that may be a bit too keen to linger. Without regret, how can you learn about yourself and how you react to unfavorable situations? It’s impossible.
To live a life embracing your regrets doesn’t mean individuals must concentrate on their decisions. It just means to embrace the fact that we are human beings who have a wide array of emotional capabilities and feelings and I think it’s absolutely necessary to respect that. Each mistake shapes our lives and conscious beings just as much as the wonderful bits.
My current mantra that I’m trying to implement into every aspect of my life is “let it go.“
There is no point in trying to change the past, nor is there any trace of sanity in thinking that it is possible. However, the only vehicle for people to understand their wrongdoings or flaws is simply by learning to embrace regret.
Next time you find yourself in the midst of a conversation and uttering “NO F*$CKS GIVEN” or any of this year’s trendy catchphrases which insinuate that you couldn’t care less, examine why you’re allowing yourself to give off these negative vibes to your conscious – allow yourself to feel. There are far too many things in this world (like literally keeping up with the Kardashians) to be unenthusiastic about. Your life shouldn’t be one of them.
your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
― Charles Bukowski, “The Laughing Heart”