"Stuck in the Past"
When we look back at our past actions and judge ourselves for the things we believe we've done wrong, we can experience the suffering states of mind such as the state of Regret and Guilt.
Regret and Guilt are similar as they are essentially the states of judging oneself for having done something "imperfect" in the past. What sets them apart is primarily in the narrative in which the Self-Criticism takes place: guilt is experienced for having done things that one knew was wrong at the time of committing them; regret, for realizing the wrongness of one's choice only after making them.
For instance, the state of regret can be experienced when one buys an expensive TV only to realize a few days later that they could've brought it for half price at another shop.
In this article, we will explore the state of Regret and the ways to transform it so that one can move forward from their past mistakes into the Present Moment.
Regret In Depth
From the outside, the cause of our regretful minds may appear to do with the wrong choices we've made in the past. But the deeper cause will always be about the need we have to judge and punish ourselves for the mistakes we've made.
As regret is essentially the state of criticising oneself for the choices one has made in the past, it's an impractical and unnecessary state to dwell in because the past can never be changed from thinking about it. What has happened has happened.
Realize that in the journey through life, we are all bound to make mistakes and take some wrong turns because of our inability to foresee the future and plan our steps safely with absolute certainty; all we can do is to make choices in the wisdom and knowledge we have in that particular moment in time.
Thus, to criticize ourselves for not having made better choices in the past is pointless as it serves no purpose other than Self-Torture.
"Why can't I simply accept myself for what I have done?"
"Why am I punishing myself when I can love myself?"
The more one explores the answers to these questions, the more one will know why one needs to punish themselves instead of simply allowing themselves to be "off the hook" for having committed something wrong.
Thus from the perspective of the heart, regret is caused by The Self's inability to unconditionally love themselves for who they are and who they were.
It's the lack of Self-love that drives one to dwell in the states of Self-Criticism.
Thus, developing Self-Acceptance is the key to transform one's regretful mind. And this can be done in many ways: learning to forgive, to judge one less, to allow oneself to underperform, to accept one's imperfections, and so forth.
Importance Of Addressing Regret
Let us explore some reasons to address regret so that one can be inspired to do so.
Without addressing the issues one has with regret, one will never be truly content in living in the Present Moment because a regretful mind will also find reasons to relive the mistakes one has committed in the past—which is impractical, suffering, and mentally draining!
The regretful mind can always come up with reasons to justify the need for Self-Criticism. One can often develop a belief that dwelling in regret is the best way to improve oneself so that one can be constantly reminded to not make the same mistakes again. However, with time, one will realize that it's actually counterintuitive to do so because a suffering mind is bound to make more mistakes than a self-forgiving mind.
Do you often criticize your past actions out of the desire to improve yourself?
Path Of Creator
Regret In Relation To The Path Of Creator
One can begin their journey by understanding that regret is an attachment one has towards punishing oneself whenever one does something wrong.
The practice of meditation can help one to develop such awareness because the more one learns to look inwards into themselves, the more one will see the world from the perspective of their inner world: that each time one is in the state of regret, one is in the state of Self-Rejection.
Developing this awareness can help one to focus less on finding outer solutions to escape their experience of regret—for instance, finding ways to not commit the same mistakes again, finding ways to convince oneself that one hasn't done wrong or ways to to distract oneself from the experience of inner pain—and focus more on finding inner solutions, i.e. ways to love oneself, ways to judge oneself less.
It's the latter journey that will truly guide one away from their attachment to dwell in their past mistakes.
So, the key to making progress on the journey of Self-Transformation is to develop Self-Acceptance. Without learning to accept oneself when one makes mistakes, one will continue to experience regret when mistakes happen again. What guarantees does one have that they will not make another mistake again? Thus, without developing Self-Acceptance, the states of suffering are simply waiting to happen.
How to develop Self-Acceptance?
One can look for ways to develop it by learning to love oneself more.
One can also look for ways to develop it by learning what is preventing one from loving oneself even more.
And this can be done by exploring the ideas that one has become attached to within the mind that is making one believe that one is not worthy of unconditional love and forgiveness.
For example, these can be about exploring the ideas of the "Perfect Self" we have created within.
Or the ideas of "Right and Wrong" that we hold dearly to our hearts.
Or the ideas of what we believe we should be.
Or the ideas of what we believe we deserve in life.
Some examples of the Negative Ideas that one can discover:
"It is not ok to be wrong."
"It is not ok to make a loss."
"It is not ok to be imperfect."
"It is not ok to be embarassed."
And so forth
Negative Ideas promote Self-Rejection. Thus, to release the Negative Ideas is to transform the Negative Ideas is to Ideas that promote Self-Acceptance:
"It is ok to be wrong."
"It is ok to make a loss."
"It is ok to be imperfect."
"It is ok to be embarrassed."
By exploring the Negative Ideas that promote Self-Rejection within, we can learn what beliefs need to be transformed and released so that we can learn to love ourselves more. And the process of transforming each Negative Idea can be a journey of its own.
The more one can accept about themselves, the fewer things one will find reasons to criticize about, thus, naturally resolving the issues of a regretful mind.
To develop even greater Self-Acceptance, one can realize that to develop Self-Acceptance is not just about learning to Accept the Self when a particular circumstance occurs, but rather, to Accept The Self in all moments whether it be The Self in the past, present, or future—that is our destination.
Know and Transform The Self!
Reading articles helps with understanding, but to transform the mind, one realizes the truth from experience.
For such an enlightening journey, the Self-Transformation Course has everything you will ever need!