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Own your regrets and move on...

Jamieson Van Loan

We all have regrets in life. Even those of us who think they don’t, they do. I used to be that person who always said “I regret nothing- everything in my life has brought me to this exact moment in time, precisely where I should be.” And that is true. To an extent.

All of the beautiful moments, the hardships, the tears, the laughter, the right or wrong decisions have brought you to this specific space. And I’m hoping this email finds you in a gloriously grateful space this morning.

But there are also moments in life we wish we could re-do or articulate in our best manner. You know these moments. When you’re brash and impulsive and say or do things without truly thinking it through. Last week, I was infuriated with my bank because my account information was stolen and abused for the second time in three months. I yelled. I lost my shit. I was a lesser and, quite frankly, embarrassing version of myself.

This is why apologies exist. Saying “I’m sorry” is owning your regret. It is saying, I behaved in a manner beneath me and I wish I hadn’t caused you to feel that way, please accept these words as acknowledgement of my deep regret.

The most important part of an apology is to know it’s true starting point. Are you apologizing for self relief or relieving the pain of the victim? To apologize in order to alleviate your guilt or just throw a band aid on a situation is not a true apology. When you use the powerful words, “I am sorry” your gesture must come from the purest and most vulnerable part of you. True apologies are never easy. They require humility.

And yes, I did apologize to my bank peeps.

Now do we have to constantly live with or analyze our regrets? Heck no! That does nothing for true living and staying present. But it also does not make you less of your amazing self to admit to regrets and wrongdoings. Admitting to and owning them followed by a retraction or apology and then releasing and letting go completely, is the healthiest way forward.

People who say they live without regrets are possibly better equipped to compartmentalize their wrong choices but more accurately, they probably create a dissonance between actual reality and personal reality.

 Actual reality is the current state without outside biases. Perceived or personal reality is the current state through your own projections.

We see the world as we want to see it. So if telling ourselves that we have no regrets is what our defensive mechanism or ego needs for survival or happiness, so be it. 

My point to all this is to take ownership of your poor choices or behaviors in life, apologize for them and move on. Quickly. Do not let issues linger. Do not shove them under your secret regret rug. This life is made all the better by finding the courage to be humble and own your mistakes. This brings you the freedom from the past and the ability to be more present. And being more present should always be your ultimate goal.