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Old 12-12-2018, 01:39 PM
 
9,448 posts, read 5,363,999 times
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How do you cope? I have regrets about everything from serious issues - feeling I've failed loved ones at the end of their lives or our relationship and my career choice - to more trivial matters - not buying a particular car or piece of real estate. In general, although I try very hard to make the right life decisions, I feel I often fail at that, and it makes me nervous about making more life decisions going forward. Above all, I keep dwelling on what I feel have been my past mistakes. Is there a secret to dealing with such regrets?
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Old 12-12-2018, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
4,008 posts, read 2,714,648 times
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I often say that my life is a river of regret, but I choose not to swim in it too often. It's easy to look back and regret things we've done, but if you really look at it we probably made the best decision at the time. None of us are perfect, we just do the best we can. I try to focus on the things that DID work out well and realize that I can't go back and change the things that didn't.
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Old 12-12-2018, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
10,307 posts, read 6,644,765 times
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I’m sorry to hear that. Sorry and surprised, since you always seem to have it together.

Isn’t regret sometimes inappropriate guilt? It’s especially easy to fall into the trap of inappropriate guilt when a loved one passes away. I’ve felt that way when my pets die. There must have been something more I could have done...Why didn’t I see he was sick sooner...I failed him. I swear to myself I won’t fail the next one, but it inevitably happens due to some factor I didn’t foresee.

Don’t be so hard on yourself. I’m certain you haven’t messed up as badly as you might think. We are all fallible.

Could this have anything to do with the fact that you’re approaching retirement, a place fraught with uncharted territory?
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Old 12-12-2018, 02:46 PM
 
9,448 posts, read 5,363,999 times
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"Could this have anything to do with the fact that you’re approaching retirement, a place fraught with uncharted territory?"

Yes; I have huge, life-altering decisions to make for the next chapter of my life and, in my own opinion, not a very good track record when it comes to making the right ones!

I seem to have an inability to project how I will feel in the future if I take certain paths in life; only after the fact, when it's too late, can I clearly see that I should have done this or shouldn't have done that. I don't know if that's typical or just me.
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Old 12-12-2018, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
5,359 posts, read 4,888,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
"Could this have anything to do with the fact that you’re approaching retirement, a place fraught with uncharted territory?"

Yes; I have huge, life-altering decisions to make for the next chapter of my life and, in my own opinion, not a very good track record when it comes to making the right ones!

I seem to have an inability to project how I will feel in the future if I take certain paths in life; only after the fact, when it's too late, can I clearly see that I should have done this or shouldn't have done that. I don't know if that's typical or just me.
It's not just you, trust me. Almost every major life decision I've ever made should have been the opposite. Think George Costanza from Seinfeld.
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Old 12-12-2018, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
Yes; I have huge, life-altering decisions to make for the next chapter of my life and, in my own opinion, not a very good track record when it comes to making the right ones!
So it's anxiety, as well as regret and maybe some guilt. I seem to recall you have a job. Perhaps if you retired and regretted it, it wouldn't be that easy to go back to it? Or maybe it wouldn't even be possible.

Thinking about that's gotta be stressful.

Some people get to the point in their work lives where they're fed up with the specific job or just working in general and so the decision becomes easy. In some ways they're the lucky ones.
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Old 12-12-2018, 04:07 PM
 
1,008 posts, read 439,162 times
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Rectify what you can. Pray. Ask for forgiveness and wisdom for past grievances. Wash your face and move forward.
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:39 PM
 
8,370 posts, read 4,074,660 times
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Gosh...it's not easy to live with. .
But I'd sit with a person who has regrets vs the one who says...I regret nothing!
Regret says...I would have chosen differently given the reality of the result. (That's wisdom in the works!). So in essences you got a lot of wisdom ...utilize that side of it..it eases the discomfort....
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Old 12-13-2018, 12:12 AM
Status: "Phlegmatic." (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
29,087 posts, read 15,324,864 times
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Living with regret is like walking uphill with increasingly-heavy weights on our ankles.

Deal with it. Shuck it. Do what needs doing to make restitution. Lose those weights.

The most unhappy people I've ever known in my 67 years on the planet spent their present eating up their future ruing their past.
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Old 12-13-2018, 01:21 AM
 
Location: Washington state
5,620 posts, read 3,216,283 times
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Why have regrets? You can't change the past or go back in time, so what's the point of regretting anything? The better thing to do is to learn from the things you've done or not done, deal with the current consequences as best you can, and not repeat what you did before if that's possible.

Now when it comes to having caused pain to someone or something in the past, especially when you can't undo that or apologize for it, you just have to live with it. Everyone has a cross they drag along with them. If you want to call that regret, then do so and accept that this is the cross you personally have to bear. Understand that the people you have done wrong will/would be much more forgiving of you than you are of yourself. Forgiving yourself isn't the same as excusing yourself, so don't add guilt because you can't do anything to right any past wrongs. Accept that there may be a payment you have to give in the future, maybe in the afterlife, for sins done in the past and then move on with your life. Fortunately, we don't get to judge ourselves for what we do in this life.

If you made the best decisions you could make with what you knew at the time, trying to go back and second guess yourself is useless. Part of moving into wisdom includes understanding that you made mistakes, accept that you made mistakes, rued them, learned from them, and will try to do better in the future. You're only human. You really can't do much more than that. None of us can.
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