Monday, March 24, 2008

How Big Is Regret?

By Te-Erika Patterson
Empress Magazine

Ahhh…Regret. We've all been there before.

"If only I had gone for that law degree instead of sociology, I'd be making six figures by now." or "Why didn't I break up with Damian the first time he lied to me? I wouldn't have all these trust issues with men."

You could probably write an entire book filled with vivid descriptions of the life decisions that you have made and the confusion or bliss that followed. Although past joys will most likely outnumber disappointments, for some reason we tend to focus on what seemed to be our failures, magnifying the experiences and allowing the memories to become predictors of our future.

Regret has two sisters, misery and depression. When these twisted sisters sneak into your life, it's difficult to get them to leave. Even when you manage to close the door, they sneak back in taunting you through distorted mental images and breaking your spirit. You can break the vicious cycle of regret. The key is to learn to trust yourself.

Do you trust yourself?

Do you understand that you are the only person who is equipped to make the best decisions for your life? Each choice that you have made along your life's journey yields to you becoming better at defining what you DO want for your life. No choice is a mistake. Every choice is a defining moment.

You define your best life by experiencing the contrasting moments, those moments and situations where you KNOW what you have is not what you really want. You would have never known that you prefer chocolate cake over vanilla, if you hadn't tasted them both. You would have never known that you desire open communication in a relationship until you were involved with a man that kept secrets. Allow each of these contrasting experiences that you encounter to be the springboard for making life choices that reflect what you do want.

I recently went out with a man who was funny, handsome and successful, but he was also selfish. After our date I didn't become upset because he didn't treat me the way that I desire to be treated. Instead, I focused on those qualities that he had that made me attracted to him, and then I replayed the date over in my mind with him behaving in a manner that was more suitable to my tastes. That exercise allowed excitement and joyful anticipation to flow through my spirit. If I continue to brood over the disastrous date, I may never go out with a man again. Why should one train wreck of a date derail my potential happiness? Now that I know what I don't want, it will be much easier to recognize (and appreciate) those things that I do want.

While you are sitting there, slumped over, focused on the boulder in your life, you're oblivious to the alternate pathways to moving forward to where you really want to be.

When you're focused on the problems of the past, your subconscious mind is searching for evidence to validate your innate beliefs.

I always make the wrong choices.

I never get it right.

I can't do this.

As a result, you become less confident in your choices, which will inevitably lead to regretting every decision when the slightest challenge presents itself. Your life will be much more pleasant when you trust that you have always made the best decisions for your life and you will continue to do so.

Replace those limiting beliefs with these heartfelt affirmations:

I am capable of making the best decisions for my life.

Every choice that I make sets me on the right path to my most brilliant future.

I am wise enough, strong enough and intelligent enough to achieve anything my heart desires.

I trust myself in every way.

The past is dead. The future is waiting. The ultimate power is in your NOW. Regret nothing. You have not made a wrong choice. Trust yourself, you always get it right.

1 comment :

Raul said...

Te-erika, that is brilliant what you wrote there. I'm going to share it with family and friends. You should write your own "The Secret", with success not defined by wealth, but rather defined as happiness.