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Old 10-23-2012, 12:47 PM
 
Location: On the corner of Grey Street
6,067 posts, read 8,340,519 times
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It's easy to look back now and come down on yourself for past mistakes. Looking back now it's easy to see I shouldn't have married my first husband...but at the time I loved him and I thought it was the right thing to do. So I did it. And it was the wrong thing to do, but I learned a lot and I moved on. And then after him I was with a few more guys that were bad for me...so making one mistake doesn't mean you'll never make the same mistake again. Sometimes we have to make it a few times before it really sinks in. Don't have regrets - they are pointless and a waste of time. Learn the lesson from your mistake and move on.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:19 PM
 
13,675 posts, read 13,522,289 times
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I'm very happy with my life right now, so regrets seem pointless to me. I mean, I never got myself wrapped up in addiction or crime or an abusive relationship or bankruptcy, so there's no big bad choices in my past that make me wish I'd chosen a different course. There are things I would have done differently and situations I handled poorly, but I can honestly say I did my best with what I had to work with at the time, so I'm not sure what I could/would change.

I don't dwell on my past screw-ups, which I can't change. I can only resolve to do better in the future and learn from my mistakes or wrong choices. In cases where I've harmed someone through my actions, all I can do is atone as best I can and accept that sometimes atonement isn't possible.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:26 AM
 
28,906 posts, read 46,631,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckygirl15 View Post
How do you handle past regrets?

I married someone years ago that I knew I shouldn't have, but I did it anyway because I didn't know what else to do. Actually I was too afraid to say how I really felt.

I wasn't a kid, I was 30.

That's just one of things I regret and wish I could change. There are many.

People will say that you learn from mistakes but it seems like I just keep making these mistakes.

I have accepted jobs that I knew I didn't want. And failed miserably at them. I had jobs that started out good but then changed. I should have left but felts "trapped" and stayed until I was finally laid off with everyone else.

I do think of people like Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had a marriage and family, but never let anyone get close. Plus, he cheated on Maria. Now at 65 he is getting a divorce. If he didn't make those mistakes with those women, and if he had let Maria get close to him, he could still be married and enjoying his family.

Of course, I'm not Arnold or anything, but it just makes me see that anyone can make a big mistake.

My question to you, if how to handle these life mistakes? Losing someone you really love, giving up a child, giving up on a career, friends, family, whatever.

I mean, how do you go on and be ok with life and what's happened in yours?
Everybody has made mistakes. Holy cow, I've made some lulus. The quest for perfection in one's life, the demanding it of yourself, is really an act of egotism.

The question becomes this: How did you handle your mistakes? I took a terrible job once. The offer looked good on paper, but I quickly realized what a hellhole the place was. So I worked a decent amount of time there while I networked and found a different place.

To me, you have to look at where you are now. Are you happy with the life you have? Can you look at yourself in the mirror and say, "Okay, I've done more things right than I've done wrong"? And most of all, you have to forgive yourself for your own fallibility.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Back in the gym...Yo Adrian!
9,371 posts, read 17,981,327 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
They serve in many ways - by increasing awareness, developing compassion, becoming more loving and less ego-driven, creating humility, increasing wisdom - deepening . . .opening the heart, etc.


Of course they only serves useful purpose so long as they aren't consuming you. If you find that you can't move forward because of regrets, you need to either find a way to repair it or come to terms with it and let it go. It appears the OP is having a tough time coming to terms, in that case I say be a better friend to yourself and learn to live with it. Regret is going to be in the room with you, that doesn't mean you have to sit right next to it, take a seat on the opposite end of the room.
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,483 posts, read 35,950,842 times
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Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
I think to not have regrets is to live a life unexamined. If you are a thinking person with a heart, you are going to regret some uninformed, unfortunate things you did or said.

I have many regrets and I have learned from them.
RIGHT ON. It always surprises me when I hear people say "they have no regrets."

I've made mistakes. I've made poor judgments. I've made wrong choices for all the wrong reasons. What fifty year old person HASN'T? Heck, what thirty year old person hasn't?

I am not, however, FILLED with regret. I don't mull these things over, ruminate on them, beat myself up about them, grieve over them. I learned a lot of lessons, and I have had a very interesting and fulfilling life, in spite of my sometimes poor choices. I've also made some good choices, and I'm proud of those. I'm a human being - not a winner, not a loser, I don't allow myself or others to categorize me as one or the other.

The biggest lesson I have learned is humility and how humility keeps us from being judgmental of others. And I THANK GOD EVERY DAY that I learned that lesson pretty early on. It has been a mindset that has enriched my life and opened my eyes every day.

The only regret that I have a hard time shaking off of me is that when I divorced my kids' dad (a good choice, not a bad choice) I remarried too soon, and married a real jerk who was a dismissive, uncaring, unloving man to my children - and I tried to make that work for ten years because I didn't want to "put the kids through another divorce." This added MORE stress to their lives and put a real damper on the joy that every child deserves in childhood. I cannot take that back, and I can't give them another childhood. What a sad thing for them - and it's my fault.

I have asked them to forgive me - I've grieved openly with them about this - and three of the four apparently have forgiven me and we now enjoy healthy relationships. But my youngest is still bitter toward me, which breaks my heart. I mean, I understand his bitterness so I can't really be angry with him, but I feel that I've lost him.

Then again, my parents provided my youngest brother with everything in life - love, wealth, education, comfort, guidance - and he rejected it all and absolutely hates my parents and is an alcoholic and drug addict, so...maybe three out of four kids isn't so bad. I guess some people are just going to reject those who love them regardless of the situation. Who knows?

Anyway, that scenario makes me sad if I sit around and think about it - so I don't allow myself to get morose over it. I cannot change the past, but I can live each day to the fullest and learn from my mistakes. So I continue to reach out to my youngest son, but I don't grieve over him anymore. I have a feeling that the older he gets, and the more mistakes he makes (as we all do), the more he may understand my perspective. I hope so.

Meanwhile, CARPE DIEM!
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:55 PM
 
793 posts, read 1,284,747 times
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KathrynAragon, your story is exactly what I'm talking about. I'm sorry about your child and I hope that one day he can see that what you did by staying married, was what you thought was the best thing at the time. It's so hard to get divorced. I can't imagine going through it twice but it happens a lot. I think we do the best we can with the knowledge that we have at the time but also our insecurities play into a decision as well. I do think that your child will come around on day. The older I got, the more compassion I had for my mom and things she did. That's just part of growing up.

Good luck to you! Sounds like you have the right attitude.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,483 posts, read 35,950,842 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckygirl15 View Post
KathrynAragon, your story is exactly what I'm talking about. I'm sorry about your child and I hope that one day he can see that what you did by staying married, was what you thought was the best thing at the time. It's so hard to get divorced. I can't imagine going through it twice but it happens a lot. I think we do the best we can with the knowledge that we have at the time but also our insecurities play into a decision as well. I do think that your child will come around on day. The older I got, the more compassion I had for my mom and things she did. That's just part of growing up.

Good luck to you! Sounds like you have the right attitude.
What a very uplifting and kind post. Thank you very much!
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Cary NC
1,049 posts, read 1,432,371 times
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At 54 I have made many mistakes that I can live with and only have one big regret if I could go back I would definitely do it different, of course it would have changed my life and I am a happy person so I guess it all worked out the way it should.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
10,236 posts, read 13,956,477 times
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I can't be so noble as to say that I have no regrets. There are a lot of things that I wish I could go back and prevent or unravel.

But I view regrets as mistakes, and a mistake is a chance to do your best. Mistakes/Regrets offer value if you learn from them and don't repeat them in life.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:19 AM
 
Location: CA
2,464 posts, read 5,813,585 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckygirl15 View Post

Of course, I'm not Arnold or anything, but it just makes me see that anyone can make a big mistake.

My question to you, if how to handle these life mistakes? Losing someone you really love, giving up a child, giving up on a career, friends, family, whatever.

I mean, how do you go on and be ok with life and what's happened in yours?
I never could figure out why some people say, "live your life without regret" or "I have absolutely no regrets in life." I on the other hand, have my regrets because I'm aware of what I did and how I affected people and have no excuses for it. I think that's a sign of maturity when you are aware and take responsibility for your part in mistakes. Even though none of us can turn back the clock, at least we can learn from it and not repeat that mistake. I don't regret my path in life but I regret the people I hurt along the way. I think now, I am more considerate and kind because I know more now than I did back when I was wrecking havoc on people who loved me. So we can learn from our mistakes even though we've learned it the hard way.
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