The only real obstacle in your path to a fulfilling life is you, and that can be a considerable obstacle because you carry the baggage of insecurities and past experience. ~ Les Brown
A few years ago, I realized that I was going through life with loads of regrets about things I wished I had or hadn’t done. It was weighing me down and preventing me from enjoying my life. I realized that it was time to leave the baggage behind! My past didn’t need to be a burden my present and my future.
I think that regrets are not altogether bad. They’re a signal given off by our internal moral compass – to tell us: ‘Hey buddy, you’ve messed up!” If you have a conscience, you will have regrets – for all we all make mistakes, we all mess up, we all break promises……….And regrets can act as deterrents to making the same mistakes. They can also be strong motivators for us to accomplish things we’ve meant to do in the past but didn’t.
So if I think regrets are so great, why did I want to let them go, you ask? Because most often, as in my case, what we need to let go of is the way we perceive our past.
We need to let go of our perceptions of our past
I needed to heal from the hurt I had caused myself and the hurt (real or imagined hurt) that was caused to me by others. Here’s what helped me in this process:
I took complete responsibility for my feelings, choices and actions and the consequence of these. No blame or judgement, but simply owning up. I realized that unless I took responsibility for the role I played in that choice or action, I couldn’t move on. That’s one of the most empowering things I have done for myself. No more was I the victim.
Another important realization was that that behind every mistake or hurt was a lesson. Every mistake or painful experience was actually a gift – a learning moment. At the time I didn’t see it that way, and even when I recalled the experiences I was too filled with emotion to realize the lessons. When I re-looked at the things I regretted in the context of a lesson, I began to find meaning in each experience.
Finally I learned to live in the present. By living in the present, I am empowered. I choose how I want my life to be. I no longer feel powerless or a victim of my past. By choosing to be happy and fulfilled in the present, I am letting go of the past.
I recall one of Anthony D’mello’steachings:
Why should I drop my past? Not all of it is bad. The past is to be dropped not because it is bad but because it is dead.
So I’ve dropped my past and feel much lighter for it.
May you be inspired – everyday!