Living with Regrets

In our lives, we have to make daily choices. For some choices we make, we have asked for advice and thought it through. However, there are some choices we make without considering the consequences and unfortunately end up suffering those very same consequences. I am certain that you have made mistakes in your life that you regret, I know I have, but what do you do with those regrets? Do you let your disappointments determine your current and future situations? If you do, you have to learn how to look at your regrets as choices that develop positive outcomes. After all, would you be the same person you are today if you had not made those mistakes?

Now, I am very sure if you could have a chance to erase your top five mistakes you have made in your past, you would not hesitate. I know it is at least one incident I would love to get rid of in my life, however, that is not how life works. Instead, you have to learn how to live with your mistakes either by accepting them, letting them go versus holding on to them as dead weight, and/or realizing that they are what shaped you into the unique person you are today…I know it may be difficult to interpret. How could those terrible and unfortunate situations that you try your best to forget, but somehow they continue to haunt your mind, make you into the person you see before you everyday?

After being tired of beating myself up about my horrible decisions, l asked myself how would l move past living with my regrets. It was clear to me that l had to accept what l did, because after all, l chose to do it. I also reflected on those times and it appeared that l always had an option. I could have chosen to do something else, but l chose to take the route that was not the best for me at that time. Then l thought about how my experiences would have changed me if l did not make those regrettable decisions. Would l be the same person l am today? Would l be able to endure some of life’s difficulties that l have to face? After much thought, l came to the conclusion that l would not have been prepared for the trials l have faced, as well as those to come.

Instead of viewing your regrets as “shoulda, coulda, woulda’s”, admit to them and say “I did”. Hopefully you learned from your mistakes and accept that you are wired to make mistakes, but also have the ability to learn from them and move on. I believe our paths have already been chosen for us, but as long as we have an option, we will at times go left when we should go right, but that is okay. Ultimately, life’s circumstances, even your regrets, develop you into the king or queen that life has planned for you to be.

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Be Determined

Determination can be defined as a decisiveness of purpose.  As a determined individual, you have the ability to set goals for yourself and develop how you are going to accomplish them.  However, life does not always go as planned, leaving you with different paths you never thought you would take and even unexpected destinations.  Throughout it all, you must be determined, but how can you be determined when your life changes unexpectedly?

For some, it is not that difficult to adjust to life’s unforeseen events, but for those who often have a checklist for their life, roadblocks are usually difficult to overcome.  However, you have to accept that there will be things in your life that you cannot control and they may alter how you reach your goals or change your goals altogether.  I am very sure that this can be very scary and hard to accept, but I believe you have to focus on the positives that unexpected change can bring about.  For example, change can push you to think and react in a manner that you would least expect from yourself.  While being faced with obstacles in your life, you have to decide if you are going to take them head on, ignore them, or quit.  If you decide to pursue them, this is where your determination comes into affect.  At this very moment this when you have the ability to think creatively and have moments when you will have to do what seems to be most uncomfortable for you to reach your goals.

While you are in the midst of maneuvering through your hardships, your character grows, you become stronger, more knowledgeable, and inspired.  Despite the difficulties, you are changing and you have the chance to become a better you, but you have to decide if you will push through the obstacles to discover or work towards your purpose.  If you are thinking that life is unfair and you question why you have to go through the tough times, just think about if you had not gone through them at all.  Would you be the same person you are today?  Would you be living in the same circumstances?  Of course roadblocks, obstacles, hardships, tough times, however you want to phrase them, can hurt and possibly destroy you, but having the ability to keep going, even if you feel bruised and broken, is the best part of it all.

Last year, I watched a sermon by T.D. Jakes and his explanation about life and purpose has always stuck with me.  He explained that working towards your purpose or goals is equivalent to working out.  You know exactly what you want your end result to be (your life’s goals/purpose) and you may have developed a regiment or you may not be quite sure how you are going to get there.  You begin to train your muscles by working out routinely (walking in your path and working towards your goals), then unexpectedly you begin to struggle.  You cannot do the same workout regiment any longer because your body is no longer responding and it is as if you are stagnant or even worse, regressing (roadblock)!  At this point you have to make a decision.  Do you quit or continue to workout?

If you choose to quit, then you have lost your determination, but if you decide that you want to keep going to work towards that end result, you discover new workout regiments.  You may even change some other habits in your daily life that would benefit you in your workout (new paths and plans for your life).  Although it may be difficult and challenging, you begin to gradually see a difference in your body (life) and one day, when you least expect it, all of your hard work is displayed because you accomplished the goal you set for yourself.  Even though you possibly relapsed and faced other challenges, you achieved your end result.  Overall, instead of allowing yourself to be defeated by life’s unexpected changes, be determined to continue on that new path because a better and stronger you is awaiting.