Regret – a feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over something that has happened or been done. Synonyms: remorse, sorrow, contrition, guilt
Looking up quotes on the internet, I found plenty that dealt with letting go of past regrets.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way ~ Henry David Thoreau
Instead of ignoring our regrets, I think we should embrace them. What if regrets help us to be better people in the present or the future. The very definition of regret includes the word repentance. Even the synonyms have a hint of working to fix a problem. Remorse. Guilt. Contrition. Regrets get us out of our own selfishness and get us into the habit of looking at how our actions have hurt other people.
I don’t think I could love you so much if you had nothing to complain of and nothing to regret. I don’t like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is lifeless and of little value. Life hasn’t revealed its beauty to them. ~ Boris Pasternak
I hate the phrase, “no regrets”. When I hear it, it tells me that the person saying it would have done nothing different knowing what they know now. “No regrets. I wouldn’t change a thing. I’d do it all over and remain the unchanged, immature person that I was then so we would end up in the exact same predicament.” No regrets = no remorse = no sorrow. No growth and no inclination of how one person’s behavior impacts another.
Not everything’s perfect, especially in the beginning. Ant its all right to have a little bit of regret every once in a while. ~ Sarah Dessen
Coming out of a failed relationship, I have areas that I would have changed if I could do it again. I have regrets.
- I regret not being more patient
- I regret not supporting my husband more
- I regret building walls around my heart
- I regret lashing out when I was hurt
- I regret bringing up the past
- I regret not fighting fairly
- I regret the pain I caused my loved one
- I regret using sarcasm when I was angry
- I regret my tone of voice when we were fighting
- I regret not being more clear about my wants and desires
- I regret expecting you to read my mind
- I regret the way I handled my disappointments with our relationship
- I regret not saying “thank you for working so hard” more often
- I regret not respecting my husband more
Looking at this list, you would think I didn’t learn a thing from my first divorce, but I did. There are mistakes I made with Husband #1 that I never made with Husband #2. I regret that I just didn’t learn enough during that first marriage. Then again, Husband #2 isn’t the same as Husband #1.
We all do things we desperately wish we could undo. Those regrets just become part of who we are, along with everything else. ~ Libba Bray
To have no regrets is to gloss over the parts of ourselves that we know we should change. Regrets force us to look long and hard into the mirror and want to improve the person we see.
I wanted to tell her everything, maybe if I’d been able to, we could have lived differently, maybe I’d be there with you now instead of here. Maybe… if I’d said, ‘I’m so afraid of losing something I love that I refuse to love anything.’ Maybe that would have made the impossible possible. Maybe…” ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
Because we are inherently imperfect, we will always have regrets, no matter how much we improve during our lifetimes. What we do with those regrets will define us, haunt us, bother us on our deathbeds… or make us into the best versions of ourselves.
I’ve got a bad case of the 3:00 am guilts – you know, when you lie in bed awake and replay all those things you didn’t do right? Because, as we all know, nothing solves insomnia like a nice warm glass of regret, depression and self-loathing. ~ D.D. Barant
A life without regret is a life not lived…