Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Regret is a 4-letter word

Do you have any regrets?

Credit for picture

Regrets. It's such a nasty little word.

I regret to inform you - that phrase is meant to be polite but it's so informal, it's almost callous.

I think I may know why I have such a almost hatred for the word regret.

My nature, I try to be optimist. If something bad happens, I worry, I fret, I cry, but I also try to see if there is a silver lining. I'm not delusionial, I know when things are awful, but I do try to see the good in everyone and everything.

Regret, by its very nature, is dark. It's depressing. It's being sorry for a past action. Something that can't necessarily be changed or fixed.

Instead of forgetting what you regret, it's important to try to move on, move forward. But it's most important to learn from your past mistakes and regret and go on to be happy, a better person because of your past.

Your past, your failures and mistakes, your regrets, your triumphs and succeedings, make you you. Make you who you are. Make you a better person, a better friend, a better husband/wife/son/daughter.

So maybe regrets aren't so evil and dark. If you learn from your mistakes, if you become a better person, changed and happier, then maybe having some regret isn't such a terrible thing.

What do you think? Do you have any regrets?

And don't worry. I promise to blog about more cheerful subjects, I swear!


Angela Felsted said...

Of course I wish I'd done some things differently in my past, but I don't call those things regrets like I used to. I see them as necessary mistakes. If I didn't mess up, I wouldn't have learned some of the things I have now.

Good post.

E.J. Wesley said...

My only regret at the moment is that I don't own that poster!

Jessica Bell said...

Regret latches onto joy and tries to rip it to shreds. I try not to regret things, but rather learn from things I think I shouldn't have done. I have the rest of my life to get it right. No point in mulling over the past.

Cherie Reich said...

I try not to regret things, but I do tend to dwell on mistakes from time to time and think how I could've done things differently. Once I've dwelled on them enough, I try really hard to just move on. It can be difficult, though. Very difficult.

Faith said...

I do my best to learn from past mistakes or choices, rather than regret them. I don't want to waste energy thinking about things I can't change... I get stressed out enough as it is, so I need to focus on the present and what I do have control over.

That said, I need that poster. Really, really need that poster... lol.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I have regrets, but they aren't the soul tearing kind. Just the ones that are easily forgotten except for on the odd occasion.

You're right, 'we regret to inform you' is callous. Especially since the 'we' probably doesn't regret it at all. ;)

Angie said...

I love that picture. LOL. I agree about regret. It does no one any good, unless of course you use it to change then let it go and move on. I am trying not to have any regrets, although I make lots of mistakes.

E. Arroyo said...

It took me three decades to find out what I want to be when I grow up. LOL.

Chris Phillips said...

Love the poster. my regrets are fairly small and insubstantial.

N. R. Williams said...

There was a time in my life when I made some pretty stupid decisions and I do regret some of them. However, as you have said, you can't change the past but you can learn from them. So if what you've done has affected someone negatively, apologize and don't forget to forgive yourself.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Carol Riggs said...

That's hilarious, the photo as well as your post title--a "four" letter word. LOL Yeah, regret is often part of an agent's rejection. I suppose some really do regret rejecting some manuscripts. They have to be in LOVE with the ms, totally and whole-heartedly, or they won't be effective in selling it.

As far as my own regrets--interesting, I was just thinking about a few things I regretting doing in the stupidity of my younger self/age, the other day. I'm just glad it's in the past, and yes, hopefully I've learned from it. True regret brings about true change.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I regret some things I've done, but I worry more about the things I haven't done. I don't want to reach the end of my life and regret that I didn't do what I really wanted to do.
However, you should have no regrets about posting that picture - that's awesome!

Colene Murphy said...

Great post. I do have regrets but I see them as "hey...don't do that" moments. And, "can't do anything about it now" moments. The R word is not one I like to use ;)

lexcade said...

Regret is an ugly monster. It's hard to keep in perspective that everything we do leads us toward a greater goal, but when we look back through situations, we wouldn't be who we are now without those horrible times, regrets or not.

However, that poster is so worth having...

Also, I need your mailing addy so I can send you your gift card. Congrats!

Julie Musil said...

I have many regrets, but I can't dwell on them. As you said, those things I should have/could have done better are what make me what I am today.