A lifetime of regrets

Sometimes we do things in our life that we later go on to regret, or something we didn’t do that perhaps we should have done.

Over the years, there we’re lots of things I tried to change and address, but none of what I tried to change had any impact on the people who should have encouraged me to aspire to and do things with my life. I am lucky that I have had the strength of character to get past the disappointment.

After years of constantly trying to change my circumstances, I eventually gave in, but knowing I had no choice didn’t make my decision any easier. At the time we come to make our decision, we never think that years later we will come to live with regret over a decision we made years previously. It’s only when the years roll on and we look back that we live with regret.

In my own case I learned that not to let go, would continue to make my life impossible, but I also knew that letting go meant I would have to give up on the idea that I could do something with my life. Hanging on for longer doesn’t change our life if our circumstances don’t change.

I would always have been caught between a rock and hard place, my life was never going to change. My life would never have been any different. Sometimes it’s not for us to live with the regret.


22 Apr, 2014

8 thoughts on “A lifetime of regrets

  1. I do look back on my life from time to time and wonder how different it would have been if I had taken more control earlier on as an adult, instead of being passive.

    That passive role was totally different to my growing up years when I only answered to myself and I feel I was ‘duped’ into it when I should have listened to myself, but didn’t.

    There was one particular person who had a huge controlling influence and even though people tell me things couldn’t have been different, I know they could have been; although I also know that would have required drastic measures. Who know how things would have tuned out?

    So I often feel I have been robbed of time in that respect as I can’t turn back the clock and do things differently. That time has gone and cannot be brought back to me and my family.

    In answer to your question, ‘yes’ like you I still have regrets, but I have to look to the now as that is where my life is and not in the past.

    1. I think we must all look back from time to time and probably do have similar thoughts, different circumstances. I have never known my life to be any different as far as control is concerned, so do know how you feel when someone has control over circumstances that we should be in control of.

      As you rightly say though, no one can turn back the clock. All we can do is look at the now, because we live in the now. To live in the past and wish, won’t help what we’ve lost.

      Sometimes we just have to find a level of acceptance and let go.

  2. I have regrets. The biggest one was not listening to my father when we built our home.

    My father suggested that we get someone local that we knew to build it. Instead I went with a company that I found and this house isn’t built well. There isn’t anything I can do about it now though, so I need to learn to let it go and live on.

    Regrets can make us feel bad and sometimes even cause us depression. We can’t change the past, but we can make better decisions in the future learning from our past.

  3. Where do I start on this issue?

    It seems to come up every time I talk to my daughter and the subject of dads’ who weren’t around comes up. I may have joked around a bit about it when she pointed it out, but that situation was and is still one of my greatest regrets.

    I allowed my hard feelings towards her mother cloud my judgement and made the mistake of letting her have control over our daughter! She’s learning more about the past as time goes on, which seems to be helping her come to grips with the way things went when she was a child.

    I think that’s been the biggest thing bothering me lately and has been my regrets of things I did and didn’t do in my life. I feel like I allowed other people to make the important decisions in my life when I had the ability to make my own!

    It hits home for me when there are stories on the news of young teenagers committing suicide because of the regrets they have. I tried many times to do it, but deep down knew it wasn’t right but I can understand why they would choose to do it. Regret seems to be one of the hardest things in life to deal with.

    Only now later in my life do I feel like I can have some say in the decisions in my life. I have to learn to let go of the things I cannot change, or else continue to let it drive me crazy. Right now I have to focus on the things I can change while I still have some time to do it.

    The hardest part is trying to have the wisdom to know the difference like it says in the Serenity Prayer, which this comes from. I guess I just don’t want to be one of those people in the nursing home cursing life until the day I die!

    1. This response must have been so hard for you to write Randy, but I’m so pleased you’re here to tell your own story about regret. Like you, I have also had to let go of the things I haven’t been able to change. Only every now and again do I have a gentle reminder, but I know my experiences have made me a better person.

      Relationships can be difficult, but even more so when children are involved. It’s easy to look back and criticise our decisions, but we must also look back at our understanding of how we were emotionally and whether we would have been ready to make the right commitment.

      From what you say you probably felt like you allowed other people to make important decisions for you, but I don’t think we look beyond the bigger picture of everything we have to deal with at that time. There will have been a reason why you allowed that to happen. Try not to be too hard on yourself.

      It sounds as though you’ve cleared things up with your daughter. I believe all children are resilient, they understand more than we give them credit for. I think your daughter will understand.

  4. I think we all have valid regrets about many things in our lives when looking in hindsight, but I believe some events are predestined; things just happen for reasons beyond our control.

    I try not to focus on things I regret because if I had the chance to rewind my life and make adjustments, I’d probably regret those too.

    1. Thanks Tim. I am sure you’re right, if we went back and made a different decision and eventually looked back we’d also find something to regret. That’s life.

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