man standing at crossroads

Living your life without regrets

"There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn't the end of the world, it's the beginning of a new life." ~ Author unknown

As the holidays move into full swing, it always takes an extra surge of energy to get through them gracefully. There is so much to do, so many places to go and so much to see.

Yet for some, the holidays bring with them memories of regret for changes that have taken place and events that have happened. They often feel listless and lacking in energy to get through the season.

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Letting go of regrets

For several years after my divorce, I had deep regret for causing my children the awkward juggling act they have to go through during the holidays... deciding which parent to include on what days and when. It put a damper on the season as I let regret pull me down.

Finally I made a decision to forgive myself and let go of the past. It took courage to move on - away from thinking what shoulda, coulda, woulda, and what mighta been if I had tried harder to save my marriage. I chose to shut the door on regret and move boldly into my new life.

Is there an ending in your life that you've never fully accepted - a friendship gone awry, a breakup, a marriage that dissolved, a job layoff, or a financial loss? Do you still have moments of overwhelming sadness about it? Or feeling guilty or sorry that it happened?

Having these persistent thoughts of regret is a sure sign that you are holding on to the past. If you are looking backward you are not moving forward. When this happens, your energy will be depleted and you will suffer from fatigue and exhaustion until you shut the door on the past painful situation.

Strategies for living life without regrets

When you are faced with an ending, take this turn of events as a message that you are being called to a different path, no matter how painful it seems. You may not know why right now, but this new direction will reveal its purpose in time. When you are tempted to look back on a past event, realize that what you concentrate on is energized. Wouldn't you rather put your focus and energy into your new plans?

Perhaps you were the one that brought pain to someone else and you have to bring closure by taking concrete actions to set things right. You may have to apologize to people you have hurt, give back what you took or refund what is owed. Take the weight off your shoulders by changing the ending to the story.

You will know that you are living without regrets when you are energized and fully engaged in life. The only thing standing between you and a life without regrets is you.

Source: VitaJournal, December 2011. Article by Judy Ellison, Ph.D., a psychologist, author and motivational speaker. She has inspired people around the world to reach within and find their passionate purpose to live a more meaningful life.

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