Maybe you’re experiencing hardship right now. Perhaps, you have something very difficult in your life that you haven’t been able to get past. You regret choices or your own lack of action that made you feel responsible for your dark times.
Everyone experiences challenging times at some point in their lives. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. These hardships can be severe—things like the death of a loved one, a business going bankrupt, a betrayal from someone you trusted.
They shake your very core. You aren’t immune to this, and neither am I. We all face these dark times in our journey.
Often when we’ve gone through challenges, regret becomes an underlying theme. It eats at our self-confidence and we blame ourselves for things that are not really our responsibility. The darkest times of our lives can scar us in ways we carry. Those regrets linger unless we use tools to work through them and understand our trauma.
In times when our regrets stem from things we’ve done, or things we didn’t do, the despair and guilt can be just as detrimental as the negative emotions of anger, betrayal and hurt. Sometimes regrets are false blames we put on ourselves. Other times, they’re earned. But in either case, you need to work through those situations to find forgiveness for yourself and others to move forward.
These are the points that fill us with regret. Did I do enough? Am I to blame? If I had done something differently, could have I avoided this heartache?
We regret decisions we made and people we trusted. We carry those feelings with us, until we resolve them.
There are brave thinking tools you can use to remove those regrets. You get to determine who you’re going to be while you’re going through difficult times. You get to determine your mindset, but only if you choose it.
My own mentor, Jack Boland, told me about his own dark night of the soul. A serious betrayal from someone he trusted. As a brief overview, he went into business with his brother-in-law when he was a young man. Jack poured his heart and soul into the business and even borrowed money from his father.
After months of hard work, he discovered that his brother-in-law had stolen all of the money. He was left with enormous debt, a bankrupt business, and many years of work to pay everyone back. What was worse, his brother-in-law never even showed any remorse.
Through the course of this period, Jack’s whole life changed. He split up with his first wife and moved.
There were so many things he saw in hindsight. He regretted ever trusting his former partner. And he regretted borrowing money from his own father for the business. He regretted the effort and time.
The anger didn’t stay on the surface. Jack wasn’t angry all the time. But he noticed that when things reminded him of that earlier situation, or his former brother-in-law, the anger rose like a bubble. Those negative feelings were there in his subconscious. Always beneath the surface.
One day, several years later, Jack was remarried with a five year old son of his own. He realized that he needed to release that resentment because it was weighing him down. It wasn’t allowing him to fully bring the love and happiness he wanted into his world.
Jack developed a process to release the anger and replace it with love. He started to concentrate on the image of his own son, because that filled him with unconditional love.
Once he had the image set in his mind, he replaced it with an image of his former brother-in-law. He verbally wished the brother-in-law love and happiness.
Jack told me that the process was not easy at first. With practice and consistency, he was able to remove those negative feelings of anger and regret that were attached to his former brother-in-law. Even to the point that when he ran into the man, he truly wished him nothing but happiness.
As we’ve seen with Jack’s story, as well as my own, those feelings of regret, anger, betrayal, and grief cannot serve you moving forward. You must resolve them. You can never live into your full potential if those negative emotions of regret and self-blame are weighing on your subconscious mind.
I invite you to examine your own life. Are there dark times in your past or current situation? Are they things you cannot change?
I want you to look at those situations, and surrender to them. Accept them. Lean into them. If they were in the past, really bring those feelings to the surface and live in them. If you haven’t resolved them yet, they have been at work in your subconscious this whole time.
So lean into them and surrender. Let go of your regret and accept the lessons those hardships brought to you. Feel the release. Feel the relief. And feel the odd sensation that you don’t want the situation to end until you get every last drop of knowledge from the lesson.
This one is more challenging. But I want you to keep working at it until you fully achieve complete forgiveness with the person and situation.
Choose someone in your life who you love without condition, like Jack chose his son. Picture them firmly in your mind and feel all the joy and love and wishes of happiness you feel for that person. Then change the image to a person who betrayed you, who you still hold anger or negative feelings for.
It is difficult. But with practice you will be able to do this. Once you have their image firmly in mind and can hold it while maintaining feelings of love, say something affirming to them. That you wish them happiness and a wonderful life. Then let the anger go.
What if the person you hold responsible is yourself? Well, wouldn’t it be lovely to give yourself the same level of care and love as you would give to the person you love best?
Forgive yourself for any regret you have. Whether deserved or not. Repeat this exercise with an image of yourself.
At the end, when you’ve truly surrendered and forgiven those past situations and people, you’ve surrendered the thing that’s held you back. You can move forward to live a life with no regrets.
We each have a mindset that’s either installed consciously or unconsciously. You don’t get to not have a mindset. You don’t get to not think, and neither do I.
What I think is up to me. What you think is up to you, if you choose to embrace it. You can choose a mindset that is in harmony with where you want to be a year from now. That is completely within your control if you employ the skillset to notice what you’re noticing. If you’re holding anger and regret, notice what you’re noticing. Don’t let these negative emotions play underneath the surface in your subconscious.
As brave thinkers, we use tools to help us navigate through difficult times. These teachings help us to maintain our vibration on the same level as the life we would love to live.
No matter where you are or what you have, you are a powerful human being with unlimited potential. If you’ve been holding regret from past trauma, or are currently in the throes of a dark time, there are brave thinking tools you can use to move through it.
Ask yourself, What would I love?
Don’t worry about what seems possible. Remove, if only for a few moments, the logical part of your thought process that tries to tell you that you can’t do something.
There is a difference between what is true and what is fact. The facts may indicate that you can’t have what you want. But the truth is that the facts are subject to change. If it’s true that you would love a life, that love tells you where your purpose is. Lean into it. Lean into love, and let it guide you to a better life!
When you’re deep in regret over mistakes you’ve made, you need to remember that you are a spiritual being having a human experience. We all make mistakes, but you’re more than that.
This can be so difficult for so many people, especially with regrets. When you hold onto regrets, you’re afraid of trusting yourself and taking risks because you think you’ll make more mistakes. You think that you can’t have a thing because you don’t have all the tools right now. But you can take baby steps toward that thing.
Those baby steps start by you doing what you can, from where you are, with what you have. When you look back in three months or a year, you’ll see the progress you’ve made from where you are now. Some goals don’t happen all at once or overnight. But if you always do what you can from where you are, you’ll undoubtedly reach the vision you hold in your head.
Each day, you have the opportunity to live a life you love living. You can design each day with intention. By creating habits and routines that are focused on being present, you learn to let go of the past with its regrets, too.
So often, we only think of the final goal or the bigger picture. But you don’t create a life as an end goal. You create a life through the little moment of every day. That means that you get the opportunity each day to make yourself happy and live into your purpose.
Every single person who experiences greatness also experiences fear. The difference between those individuals and many people is that they befriend their fear.
Your biggest fear, when it comes to regret, is that if you move on you’re not really sorry. This is a myth you tell yourself. It’s a subconscious way to punish yourself for things you feel guilty about. The truth is that spirit doesn’t want you to hold onto regret. Moving past it doesn’t mean you were never sorry, it means that you’ve taken ownership and moved forward toward your purpose.
Look back at the points in your past when you felt great fear. Consider the lessons you learned during those times and make them part of your greatest strengths. Look at the fears you experience today. Recognize that these fears are a stepping stone on your journey forward.
You block your dream when you allow fear to grow bigger than your faith. So befriend your fear. It’s there to guide you and help you grow.
Forgiveness is absolutely integral in creating a life you would love living. When you carry resentment and anger around with you, it doesn’t allow you to truly enjoy things. It becomes a shackle that holds you back. And it doesn’t do anything to the people who have betrayed you. It only punishes you.
Learning to forgive is difficult. The more serious the betrayal, the more difficult to forgive. You will find that once you have forgiven those great hurts, they no longer hold you back. In terms of regret, don’t forget that forgiving yourself is important, too. Learning to forgive yourself for the things you regret doing, saying, and not saying are important practices that will help you live into your full potential.
The voice of truth is within you. There are facts that show you what the world currently is and what your situation is. But those facts change. You’re not predetermined to stay within those facts. The choice is yours.
The voice of truth would never condemn or rehash regrets. Those voices are not your truth. They are part of your subconscious self-talk that you need to notice and change to live into your purpose.
Listen to the small, still voice in yourself. Ask yourself what you would love. Understand that what you would love is your purpose and your truth. No matter what the facts tell you or what seems possible, let go of the doubt. Don’t worry about the how – how will you get these things when they seem out of reach?
Concentrate on the what. What would you love? That is your truth.
I mentioned my own mentor, Jack Boland, in this post. Working with a mentor is an amazing way to illuminate your journey in ways that simply aren’t possible alone. I’ve spent much of my life studying different religions, philosophies, and teachings. Those are wonderful ways to lean into your journey.
A mentor can help you attain that level of growth in a much shorter span and will often become a beloved resource and friend. Your mentor can help remind you of who you are, beyond what you regret. Often your regret will sabotage success because it diminishes your sense of deserving. A mentor can help you identify and overcome those voices of regret.
I can’t recommend working with a mentor highly enough. I know I’ve benefited from it immensely.
The terrible moments and difficult times of life will leave you feeling regrets. Many of those regrets aren’t even things you own. You weren’t really responsible for someone else’s betrayal just because you didn’t see it coming.
In other cases, you may regret wrongdoings on your own part. I’d like to imagine that the people who wronged me in my life might have regretted it and worked through it.
The only way to live a life of no regrets is to work through them. You need to surrender to those dark times and use your tools to come through the other side. This isn’t an instantaneous process.
It took me many months to fully surrender, even though I was already a person who firmly believed that there was a seed of good in everything. It’s something you need to work on consistently.
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