Lets face it, we all have regrets in our lives. Things that we have done in the past that we really wish we hadn’t or things that we should have done but didn’t. A failed relationship, a missed promotion at work, that overseas trip that we didn’t take. All these things can hold us back from being truly happy and living productive and fulfilling lives. Most of us can move on from these things but what happens if you can’t?
I think most people can agree that living in the past or worrying about missed opportunities is not healthy for us mentally or physically. A counsellor from Alzheimer’s Australia once told me that people with a lot of regrets in their lives often end up with Alzheimer’s. If you have read my post about my Mum’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s then you will understand that this concerns me a lot.
So how do we move on and let go of these regrets?
If you have a major sticking point in your life that you just can’t seem to move on from, then seeking the services of a professional counsellor could be beneficial for you. Taking the step to seek professional help can be daunting as can admitting to yourself that you do need help. If you don’t want to go that far, there are some great pages on the internet where you can seek help as well.
2. GETTING RID OF MEMENTOS
In my case I very much regret my first marriage. It was a bad decision and made at a time in my life when I thought if I wasn’t married by the time I turned 30 I would be left alone for ever. After my divorce I got rid of everything associated with that marriage. All my wedding photo’s, cards, presents etc and my wedding dress. I know of a lady who still has her wedding dress in her cupboard even though the marriage ended years ago. To my way of thinking it serves no purpose to keep something like that. It just reminds us of what might have been.
3. GO AND DO IT
For any number of reasons, there are people who end up with careers or jobs that they hate. Life is short and it shouldn’t be wasted on doing something that you don’t love. With the advent of the internet there are so many places that you can study on line now. Universities and TAFE’s across the country have students of all ages, so why not go and do a course that will help you learn new skills or change your career path. One of my close friends had always wanted to be a hairdresser. So at the age of 27, she went around to some salons with her resume and eventually gained an apprenticeship at one of them. She now owns her own salon.
The bottom line is you can’t change the past but you can certainly alter your future course. Sitting around moping about what might have been will do you no favours. You have to be strong and learn to move on. Having the support of family and friends can help, but only if they are positive influences in your life.
4. MOVE ON
If you remain in contact with people who were part of the past you regret this will make moving on that much harder. Whether they be workmates or former relatives, to move forward you may need to let go of those people as well. This can be a tough decision to make. Letting go of people who were a large part of your life can be hard, but if they are stopping you from moving in a positive direction it needs to be done.
Often times no explanation will be needed as they will not want to be a part of your new stronger direction. Some people are happy to live in the past and will talk endlessly about what they used to do, but this is of no advantage to anyone. You will also find that once you make the break and begin to move forward with your life you will no longer have anything in common with those you left behind and if you ever meet up, you will chat about old times, but any former bond you shared will be gone.