Regretting regret

“No Regrets’ has become such a catchphrase in the world; we commonly see this slogan plastered everywhere from Instagram feeds to tattoos. Here’s the thing though: regrets do in fact exist. Are we supposed to proudly proclaim that we have ‘no regrets’ for any of our past thoughts or actions on the pretense that they taught us a valuable lesson? Do you ever find yourself actually regretting having regret, partially because society makes you feel like you’re not supposed to? There is no shame in having regrets; they are yet another element of our learning journey. In this week’s podcast episode, we’ll look at various ways in which we can effectively approach the different types of feelings of regret, where they stem from, and how to subsequently come back to center and trust that they’re all part of the process.

I want to share with you guys one of my own experiences with regret, and then with regretting regret. Last year, my husband and I sold our family home back in Ohio to fully commit to our new life down here in Mexico. Initially there was a lot of fear in the decision making process. Some of this was stemming from a fear of judgement by others; what are my parents going to think? Then there were all the nostalgia-based attachments I had to that house; but this is where we first brought our babies home from the hospital

Fortunately the whole sales process moved along very smoothly and organically, which allowed me to sit and actively reflect on the spectrum of different emotions I was experiencing as I was moving through them. This encouraged me to stay focused on the idea that it was all meant to be, thus facilitating my ability to trust the process. In the moment, there was less space for regret and more instead for gratitude. Fast forward to a year later when we’re in the midst of a global pandemic. Rather suddenly, for whatever reason, I began to dwell on all the comforts and material things I had back ‘home’ in Ohio. I started mentally moving back into the past and going down the rabbit hole of hypothesizing all sorts of ideas about what could’ve been. Pretty soon I found myself completely engulfed in the energy of regret; I’d opened my mind to fear and as a result, it took me totally out of the present moment. I became blinded to all of the wonderful things that are part of my life in Mexico; I’m surrounded by a beautiful community with my family, all of my needs are met, I can see the ocean from my shower, I fall asleep each night to the soothing sound of waves crashing and wake up to nature’s song of birds chirping…

So then, consciously identifying these things in a moment of realization led me into another situation – regretting my regret. The next thing I knew, I found myself in the ego trap of the hamster wheel. Regretting regret is a way of lasping in our trust. All of us on the spiritual path are continually training ourselves to recognize that these types of situations need not be, to recognize that we can take a deep breath and make a choice in these moments. We are continually refining our tools and resources and doing all that deep work on ourselves for this purpose – so that we know how to trust that only love is real and get off of the wheel. All things are lessons on this journey of Life.

The conversation this week is also going to touch on the theme of detachment and how it correlates with our feelings of self-worth. We often value ourselves based on what others think of us, and we tend to have an attachment to the people in our lives seeing things or seeing us in a certain way (this certain way of course, is our way). The moment of clarity arises only when we’re suffering and uncomfortable.Truth will always cause suffering for our ego, because our ego is the accumulation of all our attachments. If we make the choice that we are willing to see things differently, we are able to remove ourselves from despair and open ourselves to receiving the lesson instead. We then get the privilege of practicing detachment, and with it the ability to allow others to think and believe as they wish and also to think and believe about us as they wish. 

Are you ready to go deeper into this journey of regrets, detachment, and healing? Let’s keep talking – tune in and join me in this week’s conversation of Yoga Off The Mat, Regretting Regret.

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