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On Being Brave | Embracing Regret

Embracing Regret

Can we talk about embracing regret?  I told some friends at dinner a few weeks ago that my biggest regret was not opting to stay in Germany for an extra day in exchange for a night in a 5 star hotel and a first class ticket on the way home.  I know, I know, I still get sick to my stomach just thinking about it.  Like right now… I’m feeling a little sick.

But if we’re honest, that isn’t my top regret.  I have plenty of others.

  • That one messed up relationship [most of you know what I’m talking about] when I was too young and too dumb and I didn’t know what I was doing
  • All the decisions I made when thinking I wasn’t good enough
  • Getting married before there was Pinterest [my 10 year anniversary will remedy that]
  • being short with my kids
  • Being sassy with my husband.  Not the sexy kind, the kind that comes from me thinking I’m right all the time and should get what I want
  • Not running 5 days a week for the last few years
  • Being on my phone too much of the day
  • etc, etc

The How-To of Embracing Regret?

Well, I suppose you start by wrapping your arms around them and holding them tight. Embrace them. Feel them. Remember them. Hold onto them like an uncomfortable hug that’s lasted a bit too long.

Now pull away. Thank them for what they taught you.  And say goodbye.

I make that sound so simple. It’s not. Your regrets will want your attention. They love to remind you of their existence in the oddest of times.  But when your regret comes back to mind, gratefully thank it for how it helped shape you into who you are today but let them know you won’t be needing them around anymore.

So, regret-of-not-taking-the-airline-up-on-their-offer… you taught me I can make decisions for myself and that I don’t need other people to make them for me. And that when I get that feeling in my gut [I know what I’m talking about] I should listen to it. You taught me that I don’t have to wait for someone to do something fun with me. I can have fun on my own if need be. You taught me that living in the moment is part of what makes me me and when I don’t live in the moment I feel pretty crappy. Thank you for teaching me how it feels to miss out on an opportunity like that.  Thank you for teaching me it’s better to be brave. Thank you, but I won’t be needing your reminders anymore. I will not be doing that again.

But you better believe I have my eye on your attractive brother… [aka another offer like the one I missed] and this time I will be ALL IN!

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