Thursday, July 19, 2012

Battling Regrets

I spend a lot of time in the past for someone specifically not Timelord.* I find myself drawn back to my mistakes, or rather, things that felt okay at the time, but that I now recognize as regrets. In trying to live purposefully, I'm struggling to reign in my thought patterns. Why do I continue to dwell on things I cannot change? Is this a way to punish myself for misdeeds? Or is this habit? And more importantly, how do I stop this merry-go-round of sadness and longing?

I think there is only one way to change the record, and that is to replace it. For if I simply shush my negative thoughts, leaving only silence, I'm doomed to be bombarded by the next self-deprecating reel.

I find mantras such as "leave it in the past" "get over it" "move on" to be unhelpful. I need something to DO, something tangible, something that takes place in my realm of vision, so I can focus and practice.

I found a nice quote and hung it on my fridge. I'll share it with you, then tell you how it's changing me.

I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better. - Maya Angelou

What powerful words these are! These words sum up my feelings perfectly. I messed up. But I was living my best intentions at the time. My ideals have evolved, and I can't go back, but I can live authentically to myself now. So when those icky thoughts of damages done long ago come to haunt my brain, I feel I can now say "Yes, that is true. That is valid. That did happen. But it doesn't happen anymore, and now this NEW healthier thing happens instead!"

A political saying, one I don't agree with by the way, comes to mind- Repeal and Replace. I'm assigning this to my negative, regretful thinking today. I'm revoking the idea that I'm defined by my past, and replacing negative self-talk with the truth- I am getting a little better, every single day. -A

*Doctor Who reference


  1. It is easy for many of us to get caught up in the would'a, should'a, could'a cycle! I love the Maya quote. Most of us do not and did not intend to do "wrong," but did what we knew at the time. It is called life-learning, and makes us who we are today - smarter, kinder and more loving! Great post!

    1. Thank you for the kind comment! Life-Learners all the way here! Doing the best we can today with what we know today! -A