Don’t Look Back In Anger

I don’t know whether its because I’ve hit the big 30 but regret seems more prominent than ever. Personally I don’t have any actual regrets, but I have found myself recently reminiscing over poor choices in my past wondering what the outcome would have been if I had taken a different path. The answer to those questions probably end with me in a different place than sat on the train writing this blog right now, but it could also mean a whole different life with a different set of challenges that I would have to face. 

The reasons for my past poor choices were mainly due to my decisions being so highly influenced by other people in terms of their opinions, my innate need not rock the boat, please others and stay comfortable. Looking at it from another angle, if I didn’t have the experiences I had I wouldn’t have made the life changes I have and wouldn’t be living to strive against that. 

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We need to stop viewing failures as ultimate failures. If you failed it means you tried and you can choose to view this in a positive or negative light. I’ve always been of the opinion that it’s pointless having regrets. There are situations which I have learnt a lot from and hope I bring those lessons forward to my future.

Torturing yourself over a past decision which you have no ability to change or insight into would have been the actual outcome of that preferred change can be a painful and a pointless endeavour, but it doesn’t stop us from doing it. We should view these past misfortunes as learning curves and stepping stones to your future. 

How do we live a life without regret? Quite a complex question hey! For anybody interested in reading a book by Bonnie Ware called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing. Bonnie was a palliative care nurse, who wrote a book about the top five regrets that people have when dying. This could be viewed as a morbid book but I found it inspiring and it helped me put my current life into perspective. She writes in detail about the below five regrets: 

1: I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. 

2: I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. 

3: I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. 

4: I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. 

5: I wish that I had let myself be happier. 

I think these are something we can all relate to on some level. Through my personal experience I have learnt to heed advice but to follow my gut instinct. I’m more careful than before over who I keep close, thus the advice given comes out of love, but If there is something I want to do or a direction in life I want to follow I will listen to others and take what they have to say on board but ultimately follow my own path as I know that if I don’t I will always wonder ‘what if?’ 

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The other night I sat on my Dad’s patio in complete silence with my friend. It was a novelty coming from living in inner London to firstly be in silence and secondly to see the stars. We sat and talked about how many of the stars we are currently seeing are images from hundred and thousands of years ago because of how long that image takes to get to us, even at the speed of light. Some of the stars we were currently looking at shining so brightly could no longer exist, they are all images from the past. We were literally looking into the past.

This blog was written in the past, the line that you just read is in the past and those negative experiences you once had are also in the past. We are always moving forward. You can choose to spend your future choking yourself with your past or choose to learn from past lessons and use them positively moving forward.

If you can think now, that if today was your last, what would you regret? If you figure it out, then figure out a way to change it. Choose to live life facing forward, not back!

14 thoughts on “Don’t Look Back In Anger

  1. Mary says:

    Thought provoking Laura
    I could have been one of those people with regrets listed at points 1 ,3 & 5 but you only get one life and it’s for living . I dont think You can ever completely get rid of feeling of ‘what if ‘
    You may think what if I fail …… but consider this … what if you fly !!! Be true to yourself and what makes you happy…… Keep what’s dear around you and try to be around positive people. When I think I cant … I talk to a specific friend who I know will show me how I can . Unfortunately you have to learn to sort your own way of dealing with things but not always as easy to sort other peoples anger … they need to find there own path
    Enjoy every hug , take more time to look at what’s good and beautiful. Go to your happy place when negative thoughts appear …. mine is mostly in my garden but I find solace on a beach or on top of my favourite windy hill . If you’ve found a coping mechanism then stick with it – I run or escape for a simple walk .
    It seems your blog has become good therapy and it’s nicely written . Inspiring others so well done xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anne says:

    Thought provoking indeed. As I lose family and friends it really makes me, as I get older, realise that you can’t live in regret or in the past. I see those that do who appear sad and bitter and resentful. Cherish the now and the living, hold others close in your heart but live for today , embrace those you love and be happy. sliding doors springs to mind, if those things hadn’t happened you wouldn’t be as strong, positive or where you are today.. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. amberhighlights says:

    This gives you a lot to think about. My favorite thing here is “You can choose to spend your future choking yourself with your past or choose to learn from past lessons and use them positively moving forward”. Love this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. kenyanbookjunkie says:

    This post is awesome and very insightful. I used to be one of those people whose actions and words were influenced by people or by circumstances and sometimes I still am. I’ve since come to realize that i have the power to choose how i react to things. I’d hate to have regrets due to poor choices that I’ve made.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Utibeno says:

    I don’t think anyone can escape the point of regret. I feel it’s something everyone feels.
    3 and 5 are definitely ones I’m fighting to not have the big R with when I’m older, but still, all I can really do is hope, right? This post is really personal, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My Slice of Happy says:

    Great post. I feel like we are always inevitably going to have some type of regret, or ‘what if’s’. When you think about it, we always have to choose a path at times, so there is lots of opportunity to look back and think, “what if I’d made a different choice?” But we can’t let that affect our future or hold us back. Always keep moving forward. As Dory said, “just keep swimming”. 🙂

    Like

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