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Wednesday's Weighty Wisdoms #4, Regret.

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by robsalvv, May 9, 2007.

  1. Regret, is a powerful feeling.

    I'm an optimist and try to find the lessons in things I regret... but this is far from a universal reaction to feelings of regret.

    Is regret healthy? Does it serve a purpose? Can it be turned from self destructive tendencies to constructive outcomes?

    Is uncontrolled regret a subterranean acid spill undermining future growth?

    Can one truly "move on" if a regret anchors part of them in the past??

    Is regret really nothin more than self flagelation to make ammends or atone for some personal mistake?

    Since NR's love talking about love and r'ships, I'll post a r'ship question to get the ball rolling. I know someone who is finding it hard to move on after the collapse of a 10yr marriage, because it's collapse pulverised many held ideals. Right now, they are regretting the decisions made, the time lost and are in a bit of a self destructive loop. They are wallowing in regret and self regret.

    How does one turn a feeling so closely aligned to negatives into something positive?

    Please share and discuss, or tease out some hidden pearl in the quotes above or your own learnings regarding regret.

    (nice light one for this fortnight!)


  2. It is better to have loved and lost, than to be stuck with a psycho for the rest of your life :wink:
  3. Oooooo...I LIKE this one :grin:

    I have a bit to say and it'll take me more than the half hour I have before finishing work to finish it...so I'll get back to you tonight ;)
  4. "If you love something set it free. If it returns it is yours.
    If not,
    Hunt it down and kill it..........."

    (I think thats how it goes anyway.... :p )

  5. Amen brother!

    Seriously though, I have another friend who absolutely disagrees with the original quote. To her, it's better to have never loved at all than to go through the pain of a broken heart.

    What is it about regret that grabs us by the short and curlies??????

    (Edit: Peeeaaaaah, I look forward to your contris... :) )
  6. A very deep subject @ this time of day & I was only talking about 'regret' with someone not to long ago.

    Many moons ago, I lost something, someone because I didnt speak up & fight for it, & if /when something like that ever came along again would speak up & say so. It may backfire it may not.

    Regret is a powerful & horrible thing. Good & bad. As you have pointed out there are many reasons. One has to figure why & how it effects one self & learn from it.
  7. re·gret
    –verb (used with object)
    1. to feel sorrow or remorse for (an act, fault, disappointment, etc.): He no sooner spoke than he regretted it.
    2. to think of with a sense of loss: to regret one's vanished youth.
    3. a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction, etc.
    4. a feeling of sorrow or remorse for a fault, act, loss, disappointment, etc.
    5. regrets, a polite, usually formal refusal of an invitation: I sent her my regrets.
    6. a note expressing regret at one's inability to accept an invitation: I have had four acceptances and one regret.

    Distinguishing regret from simple guilt... or even a form of resentment [ie. does someone regret having children? or do they actually just resent their children for the impact on their life?]; I guess we're talking about looking back on your life and thinking "I wish I hadn't done that" or "I wish I had done that."

    There was a study done recently [no I don't have the link! Trust uncle Ktulu!] that showed middle-aged people who had tattoos and piercings etc, were happier with their current lives and felt they had 'less regrets'.

    Which brings me to a quote I heard
    Which I think is probably true. Particularly as we ride bikes, we riders will generally associate fun and satisfaction with risk.
    People fear risk to varying degrees, and decisions are made on actions to be taken based on such judgements of an activity.

    Someone who is naturally cautious will probably skip a lot of interesting/fun/dangerous activities - but stay safe.
    Someone who is less cautious may do anything/everything, have a blast but cop injuries or consequences every so often [the negative aspect of 'risk'] - but this part of their nature definitely means they'll experience more things/activities than the cautious person will.

    I think cautious people will experience real regret at missing out on something.
    Risk-takers may experience resentment at a negative outcome, and call it regret - but I don't think they're the same thing.

    I really regret falling off my bike...
    Sure, but up until you fell off you were having an awesome time. Do you really regret that?
    No... you just have the dirts because gravel rash sucks :grin:

    I think you'd regret wasting your shot at life, more than resenting some crappy outcomes of decisions.

    Was there a question at the start of this thread?
    Have I answered it?
    I just started typing, sorry :p

  8. Wow as usual, a deeeeeeepppppppp post!

  9. regret will grab you if you let it. the more u focus on it the more it grabs you.

    you are opening the gates when you dont have to.

    anyone who says 'i regret nothing' is a fool. we learn from our regrets.

    it is a negative emotion as is anger and guilt. they grab you too.

    your friend needs to turn his regret into loss.

    then he can start grieving and recover.

    stump it up! :cool:
  10. Regrets are just thoughts, we keep thinking about them until we accept them and move on. The level of regret, and what people do regret depend on the individual.

    You can get over some fairly soon (such as I should've asked for more beef and black been during lunch) , or others take a longer (I regret never really talking to my grandfather wheni had the chance) and others depend on what kind of mood i'm in at the time (I should've told that cow what i thought about her at the time).

    I think we all have regrets, some are just too fresh to try and move on from. From experience self-destructive loops don't last forever , but i think it helps hide the pain until you're ready to deal with it. Others will disagree, but in the end it's up to the person to know what's right for them. I've been through quite a few of those, and putting the problem on hold with whatever is a lot more preferable to wallowing in self-pity. Then the day comes when you know yourself it's time to fix this, and do so.

    Best thing to do for your friend is let them know you realise they've gone through a very traumatic experience, and by all means do whatever you need to do to deal with your pain. Just remember there are consequences to your actions, and whatever you do don't let it affect your career, money problems is the last thing you want on top of the rest.

    There will be regrets, but eventually they wont bother or hurt as much. It just takes time, and after a breakup best thing to do is get them pissed and laid! The ego boost does wonders for the soul!
  11. Wow another good one!

    As one great philosopher sang "Regrets I've had a few, but then again too few to mention."

    Sorry. :oops:

    Regrets are often a way for your mind to remind you of your mistakes. If you use those regrets to help shape your future, then all good. Although some regrets are harder to forgive yourself for. I used really regret not seeing my grandma in hospital enough before she died, [it was hard cause she kept asking for a smoke, bloody 92 year olds!] Anyway I now know what I did and have stopped regretting it as much and now ensure that I see people when I can. So sing on Franky!
  12. I think to a certain degree you can move on, it has it's limits. Regret holds you accountable & there for links you to the past thus having a certain hold upon you if you allow it (as nobody & no thing can "make" you do anything which you do not allow or accept or inadvertently invite). I have many regrets in my past, many "things" I can't or won't let go of... The more lessons I take from these regrets the more forgiveness I offer myself & therefore acceptance & allowance to move on. I'm learning most of my decisions I regret fall into two categories A: Regret from trying to accommodate others ahead of myself B: Regret from my own actions that have hurt another. For me the two are intimately linked.

    Excessive regret could be perceived that way from the outside, however it's an indication from within, on fear. Fear for "doing it again" & if we punish ourselves enough we'll never "forget". It's a some what subconscious reaction to reassure ourselves we will not make the same mistakes. Unless we're sadists.

    Initially this is a natural reaction. Outside of a situation it's easy to see destructive patterns.
    No time is "lost" in a relationship only lessons to be taken. Lessons on what you do want next time around & what you don't want next time around. Even if there is no next time. Maybe the lessons you need to learn are not to do with another but about yourself.

    The best way I know to turn a negative into a positive is to first listen to the language I'm using with myself (a little NLP). If I'm saying how much of a waste of time the relationship was, then that's exactly what it was. If i say that I can learn & grow from this, then I can. You create your environment from the words your subconscious hears. Repeat that you never have successful relationships enough times & you'll start to believe it & then you start to attract failure & therefore preempt failure, thus create it. Positive creation & attraction are very closely interlinked. "I am therefore I have".
    I hope your friend is ok & in time I know they will be if they allow it. :)
  13. Baca - :LOL: :rofl: :LOL: :-# :-# :-# (i have been un-usually silenced ;) )

    Rob - Experience says yes, the eternal joys of love outweigh the crushing moments that occur on breakup.

    I do have to agree on this one, as i have spent, nay wasted, looking upon said closed door, trying to find the way back in... now i'm sure someone put a keyhole in there somewhere :LOL:

    I understand and agree :) Too much do i regret then, as i have walked past many open doors in my life... wondering, "what if"...
  14. matti-san wrote
    i would have given her a fag. what's it gunna do at 92?
  15. another excellent thought-provoking topic, thanks rob.

    i feel i've done more than my fair share of stoopid stuff in my life. do i regret them? well, i've come to accept, as the ol' cliche goes, i was doing the best i could with the knowledge and skills i had at the time, and no doubt will continue to going forward. self-acceptance seems to be the antidote.

    do i think there's lessons in every event? i certainly think that finding a positive learning or outtake is a useful way of choosing to perceive the situation so it doesn't feel wasted and is often the key to emotional release.

    a friend of mine is studying existential therapy. i don't think i understand the difference between what she's describing to me, and 'logotherapy' that Victor Frankl coined/created. Either way it appears there are entire therapies devoted to helping people find some 'meaning' in the event that's causing them upset, in essence helping them to 'reframe' the event in a more positive light.

    on a slight tangent, i read recently that when you 'remember' an event you don't in effect replay a film of the event in your mind but 'recreate' it each time, often with slightly different details. that means you can consciously choose to change the memory over time if you so choose! now that's a mind-fk :grin:
  16. Some people focus more on their painful experiences than their happiness. It's sad to admit, but I guess I would say I'm one.

    The problem is that isnt an easy thing to fix.

    Everyone should write down 10 memories that you can vividly remember from 20 years ago and tell us whether there are more positive ones than negative ones. It'd be an interesting character insight.
  17. i did 7 and 2 were negative
  18. 1: Birth of my son :grin:
    2: Birth of my daughter :grin:
    3: Riding my bike up Arthur's Seat :grin:
    4: My first nod :grin:
    5: Fishing with my grandpa before he died :grin:
    6: Breaking up with my first wife :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:
    7: Meeting my current wife :grin:
    8: Winning grand final in o'30s basketball :grin:
    9: Discovering my son has juvenile diabetes :cry:
    10: Watching him come to terms with it :grin:

    Well you get the picture, I try and look at the good stuff. It's not that bad stuff doesn't happen it does, I just try and learn from it. Hey how did this turn into the NADS thread :LOL:
  19. No, no regrets
    No, we will have no regrets
    As you leave, I can say
    Love was king, but for only a day

    No, no regrets
    No, let there be no regrets
    Why explain
    Why delay
    Don't go away
    Simply call it a day

    Pleading moments we knew
    I will set them apart
    Ev'ry word, ev'ry sign
    Will be burned in my heart
    But no tears will be shed
    There'll be no one to blame
    Let it always be said
    We attempted what came

    No, no regrets
    No, we will have no regrets
    As you leave, I can say
    Love was king, but for only a day

    Life still goes on
    Yes, even though love has gone
    One last kiss
    Shrug and sign

    Edith Piaf....and in the original French

    "Non! Rien de rien ...
    Non ! Je ne regrette rien
    Ni le bien qu'on m'a fait
    Ni le mal tout ça m'est bien égal !

    Non ! Rien de rien ...
    Non ! Je ne regrette rien...
    C'est payé, balayé, oublié
    Je me fous du passé!

    Avec mes souvenirs
    J'ai allumé le feu
    Mes chagrins, mes plaisirs
    Je n'ai plus besoin d'eux !

    Balayés les amours
    Et tous leurs trémolos
    Balayés pour toujours
    Je repars à zéro ...

    Non ! Rien de rien ...
    Non ! Je ne regrette nen ...
    Ni le bien, qu'on m'a fait
    Ni le mal, tout ça m'est bien égal !

    Non ! Rien de rien ...
    Non ! Je ne regrette rien ...
    Car ma vie, car mes joies
    Aujourd'hui, ça commence avec toi !"
  20. I read the same thing recently aswell, I have that book here somewhere. It listed the steps involved in doing this yourself, or witha psychologist. I have some bad memories and regrets, but nothing traumatic enough to warrant reliving the memory and trying to change it. If there was something i know i couldn't deal with, i wouldn't hesitate to give it a shot.

    I'm the same, but the memories now depend on my mood. I started thinking of 10 memories, and the first was a bad one cause i'm not in the best mood, nor a bad one eihter. But as soon as I thought of the negative memory i had to laugh, and instanlty i was in a better mood and started looking for positive memories as opposed to negative ones. But trying to find a happy memory is that too difficult because there are so few.

    Being stubborn i'm really trying to find home happy childhood memories, but I struggle to even think of any.

    +1 to represeed childhood!!

    Oh wait, now i'm getting some :). I just realised I might have to actively start thinking of happier memories, cause the bad ones come easily, but the good ones don't. It goes without saying that i've focused a lot on the bad ones, but rarely ever on the good. I suppose we think more if we're down, hence always thinking about the bad stuff. When you're in a good mood, you're probably doing stuff and not reflecting on the good times.

    Maybe making a conscious effort to focus and reflect on more positive memories, as opposed to bad ones, so they can be recalled just as easily could help in the long term?