My book If Only: Letting Go Of Regret released a year ago. I’ve been humbled and gratified by the wonderful response from readers and reviewers. A number have told me the book helped them recognize, confront and release their own long-standing regrets. This week, in celebration of God’s faithfulness, I’m re-running some of my favorite posts from the last year on the topic of regret.
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I really appreciated Dorothy Greco’s honest reflection about the way unprocessed regret can affect us:
2013 was a year filled with regret. My husband and I had to make some incredibly painful choices about moving on from a community that we loved. Night after night, we tortured ourselves by revisiting decisions we had made, conversations that had gone awry, and cues that we apparently missed. After months of this addictive, futile behavior, we sobered up and resolutely decided to let go. To free fall. There was no next job lined up and no suggested six months of savings. The college tuition, mortgage, food, oil, and medical bills did not magically stop—a reality which sometimes looped us back into our little regret binges.
We regret eating that piece of pie. We regret hitting send before we toned down the sarcasm. We regret buying that extra pair of shoes, not asking for a raise, not spending more time with an aging parent.
The key words connected to regret are, I wish. Regret leaves us wishing we had made different choices and longing for a redo. It hoodwinks us into believing that if we work something long enough, we will be able to create an alternate universe where everything comes out perfect (a la Bill Murray in Groundhog Day). Meanwhile, as the sun continues to rise and set on the rest of humanity, we remain immobilized—or perhaps more accurately, moving only in reverse. [Read more]