We’ve all done it. We’ve broken someone’s heart. We’ve spoken out of turn. We’ve been selfish. We’ve been insecure. We’ve been jealous. We’ve been impatient. The list of things we wish we could have done differently would likely fill pages, but here’s what happens when you eliminate 3 little words that infer regret, and replace them with something better.
These are the words of regret. They keep us attached to the past, and prohibit forward movement. It isn’t that some circumstances don’t need to be grieved, but no matter what happens to us in this life, regret serves little purpose. Compassion for ourselves and others – gratitude for lessons learned – faith that we can and will choose differently in the future – these are the thoughts of champions.
Pau McCartney of the Beatles once wrote an entire song about letting go of stuck emotions.
“Let it Be.”
It was penned when he finally let go of his pain after losing his mother, but it can be applied to any lose we’ve suffered.
Empowered people feel their pain, and the move on. They focus on the prize. They don’t wallow in grief. They allow pain to move through them unimpeded, and then seize the moment to do exactly what they can RIGHT NOW to improve the situation.
Sometimes, that’s nothing more than allowing things to be as they are, but other times, if you get really honest with yourself, there is a list of about 10 things you CAN do, not that you should do. Instead of beating yourself up about what you could have done differently in the past – look at that list, and pick one thing to differently starting today.
Should, Would and Could have no place for the realistic optimist. You know that you are going to make mistakes, and if you have amazing goals, you’re going to make a lot of them. You allow those mistakes to happen, and then instead of “shoulding all over yourself,” you pick yourself up, acknowledge that you goofed, and look at the next right move to make in the moment.
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