I have recently enjoyed some great changes in my life. Sometimes I think, “Wow I wish I had made these changes years ago, I would have been so much happier”.
What about you? Have you experienced genuine change in your life recently? Maybe you made a mistake in the past that you’ve rectified or had a bad habit that you have broken. Did this recent change have a enormous impact on your life going forward? Now that this new behavior is an integral part of your life and your life has become much better, do find yourself regretting not having made that change earlier? Do you feel as though you “wasted” so much of your life in old behaviors?
When we learn something new about ourselves and implement the corresponding change, we often see how it could have made our life better at an earlier time. We regret being stubborn, immature, or impulsive. We regret our past. Now that we see our mistakes in a new light the past hurts. Time is so precious and it can’t be recovered, that lost time is sometimes hard to accept. This is one of the pains of change.
Some people turn away from growth because they refuse to endure the pain of honest hindsight, they refuse to admit having been wrong. Too many people continue with dysfunctional behavior in an effort to appease their powerful ego rather than humbly accept mistakes as part of the human condition, namely imperfection.
We need to face these regrets, but not indulge in them. We can glance at the past, but it serves no purpose to stare. Starring at past simply confuses our ability move forward in peace. The only healthy place to live is in the present. We gain wisdom, strength and courage when acknowledge our mistakes, but we can’t change the past.
Spiritual health means an increasing ability to lighten the load of regret. When we dwell in guilt over the past, we are repeating our mistakes and failing to use what we have learned.
Practice letting go of the past. Practice preparing for the future by offering your best effort now. Practice makes progress. Progress is good.