A life without regrets
Is it really possible? Can we live a life without guilt, regret and remorse? Given that our mind is like velcro for negative thinking, feeling guilty is easier and more natural, than forgiveness. In fact, there are situations when feeling guilty is more like a shield: we say to the inner critic “Look, I am not taking pride on my achievements, actually I acknowledge that I could have done better”.
Crazy as it might seem, this somehow resonates with most of us. Perhaps because we all have some examples of conditioning that we have experienced- with hard wired fears and beliefs about ourselves that we accept without judging them. In this harsh relationship with ourselves, there is no room for forgiveness when a mistake actually occurs. What we need is a plan, a strategy to cope with guilt and move on.
First and foremost, we need to acknowledge and accept the mistake we ‘ve done, regardless how minor or big it was. We need to experience the emotional and physical reaction that remorses bring along, until we reach the point to understand that to err is human. It can take you one minute or days, it doesn’t matter; you might even see that you are not ready to deal with it right now, so just put a pin in it and come back when you feel ready. The only thing that matters, is that at some point, you will start considering forgiveness as a possibility.
Throughout this process try to talk to yourself as you would talk to your friends and follow your own advice. We tend to be softer and more compassionate when it comes to others and so much harsher when it comes to ourselves. Hence, empathy is the cornerstone of guilt free relationships, including the one we have with our self. Being kind is not a sign of softness or indulgence, it is realism. We all make mistakes and we all deserve to be forgiven.
The key to a life without regrets is to be in touch with our emotions and our thoughts. Conditioning together with our inner critic will always find ways to make us doubt, inserting thoughts of guilt where least expected. If we practice what we preach- don’t believe in anything you think- they we will be able to distance ourselves from our thoughts, to notice them, without accepting or internalizing them. This mindful stance towards life is the result of regular meditation and breathing exercises that ultimately allow us to take control over our thoughts and emotions. If you wonder why you should engage in mindfulness, take a second to picture this: how would you feel if one day you wake up without the burden of regrets in your heart? Well, this is why.