At this time of the year, when the illusion of time brings us nearer to yet another end of a calendar year, many people tend to make New Year resolutions, and they vow to start fresh and to put more efforts into making their dreams come true, improving aspects of their lives and relationships, personal resolutions to improve their diet, health, careers, etc.
I would like to take a moment to reflect out loud on a good tool that can help in our growth.
Instead of leaving behind all of our failures and vowing to leave them in the past, I would like to suggest that it is VERY beneficial to reflect on what we regret.
One of the reasons that people do not really change, is because they leave the past behind too fast, and move into the future with the exact mindset that created all of the misery in their lives.
By moving ahead without reflection on their failings, they are not really moving forwards at all….. And they are bound to repeat the same mistakes again, in other forms and with new people and situations.
This is because without contemplating their pain, mistakes and regrets, people stay stuck in the same old rats of repeating patterns of behavior and holding on to wrong thinking.
We tend to want to get rid of the old dysfunctional relationships, we get divorced or leave a bad neighborhood or a boring job, only to repeat the same unsuccessful patterns somewhere else down the road.
Repeating bad patterns happens because we do not take the time to sit and to reflect with honesty and courage, on what we did wrong, how could we have done it better and where and how to proceed from here.
Many people are very immature emotionally, and are afraid to look at their mistakes, and to reflect on their regrets.
They think that reflecting on your regrets, means sitting on a loop of self beating, telling yourself how stupid you were and how you are a failure.
This is of course not reflecting at all.
Reflecting involved siting and reflecting on your actions dispassionately.
Trying to view your thinking and your actions, without justification but trying to identify without attachment, what led you to that thinking, and what you believed and did wrong.
If you are honest, you may find a hidden pattern that you have been repeating for a long time… Perhaps even since childhood.
Or you may find that your thinking was incomplete, even though there were good intentions and a lot of truth, behind what you’ve intended to do…
If you are resolute NOT to beat yourself up in the process of reflecting, but to just sit there with honesty and to FEEL what may come up, to ask yourself level headed questions and to listen to your inner being, you will have a golden opportunity to learn a lot.
By reflecting on your conflicts, mistakes, bad decisions, words you’ve said that may have hurt another, and things you feel you should have never done, you get to grow and to close circles of behavior and to truly move ahead.
I love to reflect on my mistakes, and I am not afraid to feel regrets, even though I have to admit that it does not feel so good….
Still, despite the pain, I find that it is the ONLY way to move forwards in life.
In the previous year I have made many mistakes.
For some reason, every decade or so, I tend to have a bad year, in which I make more mistakes and experience more regrets than in every normal year in my life.
In the previous year I have created many opportunities for regrets in me.
During the current year, I found myself digging deeper and deeper into what still held painful memories to me, and each time that I dared to look into my pain, I came up with a new gift of insight and realization that explained another piece of the puzzle for me.
The regrets are just a surface feeling, and they represent an abstract feeling that if we had the opportunity to do it over again, we would do things differently, or avoid getting into those situations at all cost.
But deeper behind these regrets, there are gifts waiting to us to recognize them and to explore them, so we can have the opportunity to break destructive bad patterns.
My own regrets, mostly involved getting into situations that I should not have been there.
I did it by trying to share my wealth and my life’s blessings, by opening up and by trusting people to be different and better, than what they cared to be.
I have formed friendships with people who I never should have brought into my home and into my life.
I have tried to share my views of the world, with people who seemed so lost and unhappy, but they found my joy offensive to their sensibilities, and instead they tried to step on my happiness, just to prove that I was wrong.
The pain and regrets that I felt as a result, taught me MANY lessons in life, and showed me what works when trying to help people and what doesn’t work.
One of the lessons I’ve learnt by reflecting on my pain and regrets, is that people ONLY learn and change when they are ready.
You cannot help them before they are fully willing to change, and even when they SAY that you are helping, it may not be so.
People can find their own teachers in their own corner of the world, and you do not have to fly them to New Zealand or to the mountains of Colorado, to offer a helping hand.
There are very few ways to help people change their thinking into a productive joyful way until they are fully ready for change.
They have to live out the consequences of their own thinking and hit many tall and thick walls with their tender heads, before they themselves, realize the error of their thinking, and are willing to drop their limited ideas in favor of NEW ways of seeing reality and understanding life.
I suggest that you become stronger and dare to sit with your regrets.
Reflect on them with honesty and keep on asking to be shown different ways of seeing things differently.
Your inner guide will speak to you and you will have hunches of intuition, and illuminating realizations come to you.