November 4
We should have no regrets.  We
should never look back.  The past
is finished.  There is nothing to
be gained by going over it.

Rebecca Beard


Today's Meditation:

If we were to gauge the importance of different things in our lives based on how much we think about them, how much we fret about them, how much time and effort we spend wishing they were different, then most of us probably would find our past way up there on the list.  We do spend tons of time in the past, from talking about yesterday's football game to wishing we hadn't said what we said three days ago, to thinking about some sort of glory days when we had tons of friends and lots to do and life was good.  But like Rebecca says here, there really is nothing to be gained by looking back at our pasts, except perhaps learning the lessons that we need to learn from our mistakes.

Right here and right now, I have a life to live.  I have lots of choices about things to do and places to be and people to help.  The here and now is the most important part of my life, for only  right now can I affect my life in positive ways, and even affect my future by choosing to do something positive in the now.  But if I squander the moments I have in my now by focusing on regret about something I did or didn't do in the past, I'm definitely losing many opportunities, moment by moment, of improving myself and improving my life.

It's important that we recognize and acknowledge mistakes that we've made.  But once we've done that, it's time to move on and continue with our lives--continuing to dwell on those mistakes in the form of regret doesn't help us a bit. 

Let the past be.  No, you didn't tell that other person what you felt before he or she left or passed on, but you can tell people today what you feel about them.  Yes, you did make a huge mistake, but now it's time to make amends for it and focus on not making more such mistakes in your present.  Regret does nothing for us, and living in the past sabotages our present; right now is the only time we have to do good, so let's do all the good we can.

Questions to consider:

How do so many people come to have deep regrets that they're unable or unwilling to let go of?

What good does it do us to continue to allow our minds to focus on the past?

How might we teach ourselves to recognize when we're dwelling on regrets, and how to pull ourselves out of them?

For further thought:

Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to
look back.  Regret is an appalling waste of energy;
you can't build on it; it's only good for wallowing in.

Katherine Mansfield 


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