Day 10: Regrets, I’ve had a few

Leading up to Thanksgiving, each day I will blog about what I’m doing to be more grateful. I invite you to join me, and to share your thoughts, observations, suggestions and ideas.

Day 10: Instead of regretting the past, being grateful for the present

This week I’m blogging about the reasons I’m not as grateful as I know I should be — I kicked off the series of gratitude stoppers here.

Besides spending energy wanting what I don’t have, and being frustrated by life’s annoyances, another thing that distracts me from gratitude is regret.

With the benefit of hindsight, my life is peppered with events I wish I could do over. Mostly they’re times when I haven’t treated people as well as they deserved.

It’s easy for me to invest a lot of time turning those events over and over in my mind and beating myself up for them. I would like to reclaim some of that time and energy to redirect it into gratitude.

Does that mean giving myself a pass for the mistakes I’ve made? Absolutely not.

Instead, I’m looking for ways to learn from those experiences:

  • think about why I made the choices I did
  • think about what I’d do differently if I had the chance
  • apologize to those I’ve hurt

And yes, I’d even like to be grateful for those regretable memories. Because as long as I’m paying attention, maybe I learned something that will help me become more of the person I’d like to be.

Sort of like touching a hot stove helps you learn that it’s a bad idea to touch a hot stove.

Can you give thanks for mistakes you’ve made in the past and lessons you learned as a result?


Categories: lifestyle

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12 replies

  1. Sometimes I think when we regret a choice, it doesn’t necessarily mean we made the wrong choice but that it was a difficult choice. Maybe what we really regret is not having twelve simultaneous lives to try out each thing.

  2. Regret and its cousin, guilt, tend to interfere in life a lot. Learning from those mistakes is so much more valuable than the approach many people take: justifying them.

  3. ps. Thanks for not commenting on the fact that “doofusness” is unlikely to be found in the AP Stylebook. 🙂

  4. Colleen!
    So glad our wavelengths crossed today on the topic of regret. Thanks for commenting over on my blog!

    Corny graphics aside, self-forgiveness frees up a whole lot of energy for productive output in the world. And Mr. Tebeau is right re: mistakes as building blocks.

    Keep on climbing!

  5. I have. Every ‘mistake’ I’ve made has brought me to where I am now, and I have to say, that’s okay with me. I’m a lucky devil! (as David Cross once said)


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