There is no doubt about it, grief is heavy. The Grief Recovery Handbook® defines grief as the conflicting mass of emotions following a significant emotional loss. I don’t know about you, but I can certainly recall many times my grief has felt like a ton-weighing mass taking up space in my gut and head. It still baffles me how emotions can feel so heavy!
As I have used The Grief Recovery Method® to unravel the mass of grief inside me, I have discovered that one emotion in particular weighs much heavier on my mind and gut than others. That emotion is regret. Nothing can take me down or break my heart like regret. Why? Because regret is all about me. No one outside myself can do or say something that I feel regret over. Regret is 100% about my actions or inactions.
What behaviors and such have I found bring me regret? I regret the compliments I never gave, the boundaries I didn’t lay, the chances I didn’t take, and the pain my shortcomings caused. I regret not showing more appreciation for a person’s kindness, not making more time for my loved ones, not owning up to my wrongs, and for wasting time and energy on things that don’t matter. Most of all though, I regret not loving and caring for myself better. I regret all those nights I went to bed without brushing my teeth, the sunscreen I didn’t wear, the rest I didn’t prioritize, and the pints of ice cream I binged on. The thing that hurts the most about not better loving and taking care of myself is that I feel I failed to honor the people who love and care for me.
One of my favorite motivational quotes is, “Discipline weighs ounces and regret weighs tons” – Jim Rohn. I love this so much because I have experienced the validity of its practical application. Sucking up my laziness or pride and taking disciplined action does require some discomfort and effort, but it is nothing compared to the discomfort of avoiding the action and later feeling regret. Even thought the emotions of regret can be soul-crushing, I do believe they contain an important silver-lining. Once I was able to recognize the behaviors and attitudes, or lack thereof, that brought me regret, I could make the decision NOT to do those things again. Nothing has been a more effective motivator for changing my harmful behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes than the pain of regret. If that isn’t a silver-lining, I don’t know what is!
So how do any of us really learn and grow? The pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the pain of change. Sadly though, somewhere in our lives, the majority of us have learned that pain is bad and must be numbed or relieved at all costs. One needs to look no further than the endless advertisements on television for pain-relieving goods and services. I think it’s pretty safe to say that we humans are not big fans of pain (masochists being the exception). Seems like we would much prefer comfort, denial, or self-righteousness. You may think that’s pretty harsh, but I know it is true. I actually find it funny that so many people spend endless energy campaigning for change, yet when that change comes, they run as far from the pain and discomfort as possible! I’m chuckling to myself just thinking about it! Humans are nothing if not humorous.
If you can find the courage to look at yourself, face your regrets, and embrace the resulting growing pains, I know that you will find yourself stronger, more confident, and wiser than before. Fears will disappear and a new fire for life will burn inside you–at least that’s what I have experienced. When you are ready, Uprooting Grief and The Grief Recovery Method® will provide you a safe and supportive environment where you can use the correct information and tools needed to make your personal transformation a reality. I have not seen the process fail yet! So, I do hope you will take a deep breath, stop resisting the beneficial growing pains found in facing your regrets, and get excited for how awesome you are going to be when you come out the other side. ❤