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Interpersonal relationships, Life's Challenges, Personal living

5 Ways to Battle Regrets

Arrepentimiento / Regret

(Photo credit: Mariano Moreyra)

Regrets. We all have them, sometimes on a daily basis. I should have . . . I could have . . . why didn’t I . . . If only . . .

Sound familiar? Yeah, I’m with you. The tendency is to focus on the what should have been and berate ourselves for not doing what we should have or could have.  Anger precedes sorrow and finally mourning takes over. And if we don’t move through those stages and the regret lingers and grows and festers like an old sore that just won’t heal, well, some really bad stuff can happen.

I recently faced that regret monster because of a decision I didn’t make that led to one very heartbroken daughter. I cried with and for her. I scolded myself. Berated myself. Questioned myself. Why didn’t I act when I should have? Why didn’t I make the decision I should have made?

So what do we do when regret inbeds itself in our soul and begins gnawing a hole there?

Here are five suggestions to leave regret behind and move forward without looking back.

  • Accept that you can’t change the past. As the saying goes, it is what it is. No matter how much it may hurt or how angry you are about it, the past is there and it’s not available to change.
  • Talk to God about how you feel. Be honest, he knows your heart anyway. Get all your angst out before him and dump your burdens at his feet.
  • Seek forgiveness, if needed, and allow yourself to be forgiven. Extend the same grace to yourself that God so freely gives.
  • Do what you can to right any relationships that have been damaged. Much of this is out of your control but do what is within your power to bring healing.
  • Learn from the regret and take action to make sure something similar doesn’t happen again.

Let’s face it, regret is real and there’s usually no easy away around it. But we can work through it. It’s a valley that has to be traversed in order to put it behind us for good.

Question: How do you deal with regret?

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About michaelkingbooks

I write stories of faith and family, love and loss, heartache and triumph. Here I blog about faith, relationships, and genuine living.

Discussion

11 thoughts on “5 Ways to Battle Regrets

  1. Reblogged this on MIKE DELLOSSO.

    Posted by mikedellosso | July 30, 2012, 6:52 am
  2. When I was going through 3 months of inpatient treatment for an eating disorder at age 17, I learned the serenity prayer..God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference…it helps me with regrets. On another note, something I learned at treatment that helps me with unconfessed sin and areas of deep pain in my life is “we are only as sick as our secrets”…the enemy of our souls wants us to be in darkness…to keep those things hidden so that our sins and hurts won’t be exposed to the healing light of Christ and burned away. Smple, but a wonderful thought to remember. I hope this helps someone today.

    Posted by Brook | July 30, 2012, 8:27 am
  3. Also, Mike, in your books…at least the ones I’ve read so far, you have a knack for dealing with the light and darkness issue in a wonderfully tangible way..I pray that more people will read and be blessed.

    Posted by Brook | July 30, 2012, 8:29 am
  4. thanks for posting this Mike, I needed it

    Posted by Mark Buzard | July 30, 2012, 9:01 am
  5. Thanks Mike and Brook. This was a good lesson. Mike, are you sure you weren’t called to be a preacher? Seriously, if you were a Sunday School Teacher, My husband and I would be in your class.

    Posted by Terri Conrad | July 30, 2012, 12:08 pm
  6. Another great post that was exactly what I needed to hear today. I struggle with regret, but one thing I’ve learned over the years is that living in that regret and allowing it to control you usually ends up just piling more regret on top of it. You know, “If I hadn’t thought like this, I wouldn’t have ended up doing that” type situations. It also keeps a person bound up and unable to move forward. At least, that’s been my experience.

    Posted by wmelinda | July 30, 2012, 12:30 pm
  7. Excellent words for all of us Mike! I’ve faced that monster more than once in my life as I’m sure anyone thinking rightly about themselves has.

    Posted by Athol Dickson | August 12, 2012, 6:33 pm

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  1. Pingback: Do You Have a Bag of Regrets? « pastorswifelife - September 18, 2012

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