no regrets

Whether you have it tattooed on your left butt cheek for all of eternity or just think it's a good motto to live by, we're all familiar with the "no regrets" adage or a similar rendition. For me, it's the latter. I've found myself trying to abide by this so fastidiously that I try to use it as a cop-out of sorts when I need something to take the fall for a missed opportunity or an unwise decision. Adversely, I get so distraught when I have feelings of regret that it runs me off my rocker and I spiral into a dark, damp place full of spiderwebs. Gross.

After taking the time to really think about what this phrase means to me, I've come to look at it in an entirely different light. I'm not perfect. I make mistakes. Regret is natural--it's part of being human. Regret forces me to take a moment to pause, reflect and reevaluate. It's something I can learn from, something that helps me to grow. I know that most people don't take these mottos so literally and absolutely, but when I add something to my mantra I like to stick to it. I often find myself getting caught up in suppressing feelings--sadness, rejection, anger, regret, fear, etc.--because we've deemed 'negative' feelings as undesirable, but sweeping them under the rug or brushing them off is clearly not the solution. I tend to aim for 'numb' rather than allowing myself to simply feel and be vulnerable.

It's not the feelings that are the problem--it's how those feelings make me act, what I do with these feelings, what comes next--that's the issue. Rather than scapegoating regret and painting it as the monster under the bed, I'm choosing to open myself up to it, learn from it and let it make me stronger.

Cheers to no more 'no regrets.'