The dawning of a New Year is a perfect time to review your accomplishments from the previous year and assess what you want to do differently going forward. During my period of self-reflection, regrets began to surface. Before I knew it, the regrets of my lifetime came flooding into my awareness and, along with them, came feelings of sadness and disappointment about myself and my life. I spent a few days feeling inadequate then I came up with a startling realization about regrets: They are nothing more than negative judgments against the self and must be replaced with self-love and acceptance.
Regrets represent lost opportunities, unfulfilled expectations and losses in the areas of health, relationships, career, finances and more. Regrets are accompanied by repentant feelings and judgments about what you could have done: “I should have done this or not done that. Or, if I tried harder, I would have gotten better results.” Instead of learning what worked and what did not work, you blame yourself and constrict your creative energy.
Here are a few suggestions to help you change your perceptions, open your heart and move on with your power.
Change your perceptions – Regrets need to be cleared mentally, emotionally and spiritually but the clearing process begins in the mind. In order to see things clearly and make wise choices about the future, you need to release the blindspots held in place by self-criticism. The practice of experiencing events without judging them takes determination and discipline. A mental “reframe” allows you to change a disempowering perception into a life affirming one. This one worked for me: “All of the events of my life —the good, bad and ugly–are helping me grow in love, power, wisdom and peace. They are part of my soul’s journey in time.”
Open your heart – Regrets are released by the mind but divine unconditional acceptance heals your soul and life. This spiritual love erases a judgment as though it never happened and is available to anyone who reaches for it. It allows grace to enter in order to heal the past and transform the future. Once you realize that no one is judging what you do and don’t do except you, you can choose to forgive yourself. When I was willing to let go of each judgment and ask to be healed, grace lifted the heavy burden of shame and guilt. I felt more connected to myself, others, life and a Higher Power. The message that “all is in divine right order” freed me and made me smile.
Move on with your power –Free of regrets, you are able to bring closure to what went wrong, change what is within your power to change and move forward with courage and confidence. If a long term goal needs to be modified, you can change it moving forward. Perhaps it is time to let go of a goal or desire and feel good about who you are without it. As I allowed divine love to lift me out of the judgments against myself, I felt free to enjoy the present, see the past with gratitude and look to the future with optimism. I made a commitment to do my best through my choices and actions and turn the outcomes over to a Higher Power.
Regrets sabotage your self-worth, weigh you down and hold you back. With an observing mind, an open heart and purposeful action, you can turn regrets into fertilizer for your personal growth and improve the quality of your life. Self-acceptance connects you to the creative energies of an abundant universe. As you replace regrets with acceptance, grace lights your path and restores you to the truth that you are and always have been a perfect co-creator; so relax and enjoy the ride.
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