I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the concept of regret. It’s something I usually avoid feeling because just one drop of regret sends me into a tailspin of shame and self-loathing.
But I’m learning that regret doesn’t have to involve any shame. Consciously feeling regret means looking at a particular act or situation and honestly examining our actions. We ask ourselves if we have harmed ourselves or another and we do what is required to heal the situation.
Of course looking at ourselves is never easy. It takes a lot of courage to admit that we fail, that we’ve gone off track or lost our way. But failure can be such a gift! It humbles us, opens our eyes, and teaches us new things about ourselves and humanity as a whole.
And really, only by admitting our mistakes and feeling regret can we hope to do less harm in this world—to ourselves, to others and to the planet. Feeling regret does not open us up to negativity and self-hatred. Regret is actually a beautiful expression of self-love that sees and loves unconditionally the whole person.