‘Only thing worse than death is a regret filled coffin’ – J Cole
I regretted not leaving private school after I turned 16. I regretted not having a girlfriend. I regretted not getting a full-time job that Summer. I regretted not revising hard at my A-Levels so I could get into my first choice at University. I regretted not going to that retake exam.
I regretted a lot of things. Holding that letter that said I had failed first year of University sent me into a spiral of regret. Why did these things happen to me? Why didn’t I just do what I had to do? Why was everyone else so lucky?
I didn’t understand at the time. It would come. I would eventually realise that regret is the most pointless thing in the world. Now, today is not the time for me to tell my story. I just wanted to give you a sample of some of the regrets that I HAD.
Had is the key word. Now I regret nothing. All the bad things, the good things, highs and lows they all had there purpose. They were supposed to lead me to this place. Talking to you and hopefully helping you not feel the pain from those regrets as well.
I like that J Cole quote. It may seem a little morbid to some but it has a key point. Having a bunch of regrets is actually worse than death. At least with death it’s over. No more pain, no more thinking (debates on an after life for another day!). The regrets stay with you though; they nag you and gnaw at you until either you consciously choose to move on or you don’t. I’m not sure if it’s an official study, but I’m quite confident that regret is in the top three factors that lead to suicide. Personally I contemplated it (never seriously though, the thought did cross my mind).
In order for you to do anything you have to move past the regrets. They won’t go away straight away. It’s a process. It’s up to you to accept the past. That’s the key.
You have to accept the past for what it is – past. It’s done. There’s a famous saying that ‘there’s no do-overs in life’ and it’s the truth. Similar situations may arise but the exact same moment will never happen twice. So accept it.
I mean it’s the silliest thing in the world when you think about it, we can’t change the past and we know that so why do we dwell on it? (There’s actually a term for this Google ‘Cognitive Dissonance’)
Acceptance is the key component for building your foundation. Accept the situation for what it is. You’re in it and you can’t go back.
But you can go forward. And here in lies the beauty. Once you achieve that level of consciousness you know that you don’t want to feel that pain. Now every day you can work towards changing your situation. Your half way their because now you know how you DON’T want to feel.
In Part II I’ll delve deeper into how I moved forward. I’ll also share some tips on how you can do the same.
Thanks for reading, comments and feedback always appreciated