Saturday, October 06, 2012

Let go of regrets

Tomorrow night is nothing but one long sleepless wrestle with yesterday's omissions and regrets.  
 William Faulkner

There are some stories that we need to let go.   That is not to say that it you should forget the experiences or the learning but it can be unproductive and even unhealthy to hold on to the regrets, omissions or errors. 

In the spirit of full disclosure, I should admit that I struggle with letting go.  I'm always reviewing, reliving and reprimanding myself over things that other parties have typically largely forgotten.  Truth be told, that is one of the things that prompted me to take on this blog topic.  That and the previously described tendency to hold on to physical stuff that you can read in an earlier post, if you are so inclined.  My husband, who helps me to lighten up and put things in perspective, has come to accept that I will not easily move on from something I have perceived to be a mistake.  He once told me that the difference between the two of us on that front is that I always think that I can still fix things.  He might be right on that (don't tell him that I said that) and it definitely gave me something to think about as I become [more of] a free spirit unfettered by regrets.

I am determined to not make tomorrow night a sleepless wrestle with yesterday's regrets.  Here is my plan and maybe it will work for you too. Tell yourself to:
  • Let go of memories that hold you back by prompting feelings of anxiety, anger, jealousy, regret, envy or any of a myriad of other draining emotions. 
  • Track the learning that you want to take from the experience and let go of the rest.


Get a realistic picture of an event that you are reliving, one that is not focused only on what you did / didn't do and wish you hadn't / had done. 
  1. Name the event so you can catalog and let it go (more on this later).  
  2. Describe the event / situation.  Try to be objective.  Use as much or as little detail as you like to paint yourself a picture.
  3. Identify what you did wrong (by your reckoning) AND what you wish you had done differently.
  4. Try to objectively consider whether it would truly have resulted in a 'better' outcome, with 'better' meaning one that would not have caused you to have regrets.
  5. Consider how other parties would feel about the situation   Try to be realistic. How did they react?  Would they even still be thinking about it?  It is quite possible that they didn't notice or place the same value on what you said or did.

Tomorrow, strategies on how to let it go and move on to new chapters.

Have a great day.

Mary Elizabeth

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