I recently read a quote my friend used in her own writing that completely touched me and opened my eyes. Regret is worthless if you do nothing to correct the mistake. After seeing it and giving it some thought, it is absolutely true. It made me look back on mistakes I have made and how I regret some decisions from my past. However, as my friend said in her own piece, all of that regret is useless if I don’t do anything to correct the mistake/bad decision.
A good example is how I handle things in relationships. There have been times where someone has said or done something to me and I told someone else, perhaps to get advice, sometimes (I am so ashamed to admit this) for sympathy or sometimes because I simply need to vent. Unfortunately, there have been times when what I said got back to the other person, causing fights, drama and a lot of hurt and anger.
I do regret acting like this, but what good is that if I didn’t learn from this and kept making this same mistake?
Looking back, I know I should have kept things to myself, written about it in a journal or if I REALLY needed to talk, vent to someone with no connection to said person or made it clear that this conversation was not to be repeated. I learned from this mistake and am now more mindful about saying something when it involves another person. I also learned to apologize to said person and make it clear that while I meant no ill will, it was wrong of me to act in such a way. I may not always get forgiveness, I may not always deserve it, but I can prove I learned from my mistake by changing my behavior. The regret might still be there, but at least I know how to act in the future.
There are plenty of other examples in life where people make mistakes or do things they regret. However, if there is no action done to improve said mistakes or improve on the situation, the regret is useless. if there is something in life you regret, take a look at the decision and think about what you can learn from it. Turn it into a lesson. The regret of the initial action might still be there, but if there is a lesson learned or you make better decisions in the future, the regret has some use because you are then able to be proactive and make better decisions in the future.