Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Mood: Regret

Regret is one of those emotions that no one really wants to experience, but is pretty much unavoidable. It is a feeling of sadness, shame, guilt, etc. after events that the person wishes they would not have done. "Sorry" is the most often used expression of regret. It can relate to action or inaction.

Regret is linked to several phenomena. Buyer's remorse is a financial regret of impulse purchasing. Survivor guilt is a mental illness that is found in the survivors of catastrophes in which they feel shame or guilt for having survived when others did not. Existential regret has to do with a wish to change the past in situations of failure to make competent choices or acting against one's values.

A simple explanation of regret is recognizing a past mistake. One of my favorite quotes from writer Mercedes Lackey is: "If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world." Playwright Jonathan Larson wrote "forget regret, or life is yours to miss" in his musical Rent. To me, that means that by focusing too much on the "what ifs" of the past, you can miss out on what life has to offer right now and will result in nothing but heartache. Both quotes are very powerful representations of regret.

I try to live my life with a policy of no regrets. That is really difficult to do, more so as I get older. I try to make good choices in all ventures, live by my morals and values, and avoid "what if" moments. I'm not perfect at it, but it has worked out pretty well for me so far. What about you?

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

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