Guilt and Regret — The burdens we carry
As we grow older the mental ledger of guilt and regret keeps on increasing, it never reduces. I assure you that the following article will give you a practical solution to manage them.
Let’s start by defining the two roots of grief
Guilt is a feeling linked to something we did but we shouldn’t have.
Whereas Regret is a feeling linked to something we did not do but we should have.
I hope you noticed the ‘DID’ in the two sentences. That stands as a symbol to remind us that guilt and regret are because of our past. They have nothing to do with our present and future.
We all have heard the poem ‘The Road not Taken’ — by Robert Frost. But guilt and regret are about the ‘The Road Taken’. We are unhappy about a choice we made in the past.
Our Unhappiness mostly stems from helplessness. We feel helpless when reality strikes us. The reality that we can’t go back in past and change our choice, redo things differently or not do anything at all.
Dear Reader, let me be your wish genie. You can ask me to change exactly one decision of your life and I will do it.
Now imagine the decision you wished for has changed forever. I have a small feedback form
· Do you regret your choice of changing this decision and not changing others? — Yes?
· Are you completely sure that your life will be better off by this changed decision? — No ?
· Do you feel guilty that only you could benefit from the magical genie? — Yes?
I hope after this short imagination you would have understood that regret and guilt will always be part of your life. Our lives are filled with imperfections and hence you will find something to be guilty about or to regret doing.
So, my advice to you is to be easy on yourself, you are just a student in this school of life. You will make mistakes. Learn to forgive yourself. And if you want to be the best student of this school of life, you must learn from your mistakes. You will have regrets and guilts in future just try to have them for different reasons.