Regret’s unfulfilled demand

The other problem with regret (see yesterday’s post) is the way in which it keeps you living in the past.

Regret is itself a kind of longing – a longing for it to be possible, somehow, to revisit what’s happened and to make different choices.

And so living in regret for too long places an absurd demand on you – that you could, with sufficient effort and self-criticism, turn out to have been a different person than the one you actually were back then when it happened. A person who can see what you can see now.

Impossible. Because life can only actually be lived in the present. And the day-to-day living of life, in practice, can only be forward.

So allow regret to be your teacher, yes.

But not the horizon within which you live your life.

Photo Credit: radiant guy via Compfight cc

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