Sometimes I feel like my life should be featured in an advice column. I could write a novel about past regrets and those triplets; I would have and could have. Overcoming our regrets is not an easy process, but it is possible to allow ourselves a little grace and forgiveness. So let’s imagine life as an advice column. Welcome to today’s column and post on MBB.
Dear Rue, (get it?)
Often, I find myself looking back on my life and all the regrets I have. There’s a bucket list of things I wish I had done instead of what I did. How can I let go of these troublesome thoughts of my past and accept that I cannot change my life?
Briar (name origin means thorny or stuck – let’s work with stuck)
Thanks for writing. Most of us consider our personal histories much as you describe, and the fact is, the past is not anything we can change. BUT, we can improve our relationship with ourselves and our history or memories, keep reading.
By reflecting on our past, we fall into a cyclical trap known as the “hindsight bias.” Say what?! Hindsight allows us to judge our experiences from the past using our current knowledge and abilities. This perspective will cause mental anguish and distress. In applying existing knowledge to past events, we might decide that we “should have known better” to prevent or change the outcome of those events.
Bad move. These conclusions do not consider that the event may have happened anyway or with worse outcomes. Know that you used your best knowledge, experience, and ability at the time. It is not fair to compare your past self to your now self. Understanding this bias can help you to make peace with your past. It frees your energy so that you can make intentional and better-informed decisions NOW.
So now what? Well, Morning Beans is working on learning to meditate (stop it – I know – but it’s rough). MBB is going to share a meditative process of learning to treat yourself with compassion and empathy. So read on, then find a quiet, comfy space, a journal (purple pen optional) and give yourself time to reflect. Try and stay focused and be honest with yourself.
Here we go … no Ohms necessary.
Step 1: Settle into your zone. Stay quiet, listen to and be aware of your breathing. That’s it. Steady, calm, focused.
Step 2: Think about that memory that is driving you crazy. Know that by the end of your session, you will be on the way to let it go.
Step 3: Now that the troublesome culprit is at the forefront of your mind, stay calm. Notice how the memory affects you. Jot down how you feel emotionally, physically; what images pop into your mind? Be wary because often unsettling memories that haunt us from within cause us to tense up, maybe disrupt that nice even breathing you’ve got going on. Pause for a moment to collect yourself. Let the memory be for now. It has nowhere else to go yet.
Step 4: Ask yourself – and dig deep here, peeps – what was going on in your life at that time? Were there any significant events that might have influenced your actions? Remember – be compassionate and show yourself some love. No judgment, no blame. Write that in the journal.
Step 5: Reflection time. Find that happy space and think about how this memory impacts the way you see yourself. Does it affect your relationships with others? Does it impact your view of the world? Write this down too. Sometimes, I can only scratch out a word or a doodle. That is 100% fine. Just remember to be authentic.
Step 6: Now that you have reflected upon your memory, you have written a tangible list to help you put your finger on the pulse of your issue. Challenge yourself and your thoughts. Begin to release them – shift towards offering yourself kindly, loving statements while you are meditating.
Step 7: Lastly, notice how offering yourself love and grace shift your emotions and physical sensations. Release the old, habitual ways you have of recalling the past. Trust your new perspective.
Thank you for stopping by. I wish you the best on this journey.
Stay motivated and caffeinated!☕🥰