Experience (age) brings with it wisdom, hindsight, and often guilt and regret about our life. Here are my thoughts on mistakes that I have made over the first part of my life;
· Have I made mistakes in my life - plenty.
· Do I regret making those mistakes - yes.
· Have I hurt people along the way - yes.
· Does this eat me up inside - yes.
· Would I change these if I could - in a heartbeat.
· Have I learnt from these mistakes - I would like to think so.
· Would I make the same mistakes again - I hope not.
· Why aren't I so certain - because I am human.
· Is being human just an excuse or a cop-out - no.
· Then why hide behind it - because it is what it is.
· What is that supposed to mean – our emotional brain is difficult to control.
· Ha? – as humans we react on instinct rather than logic when we are emotional.
Having been on the 'worry wheel' for a period of time, I know that my brain keeps reminding me of the stupid things that I have said and done in my life. I have hurt people, lost friends, and alienated others because of the dumb things that I have said and done.
I also know that I could have been better, much better. I could have been whoever I wanted to be if I had set my mind to it early enough.
Understanding that we all make mistakes and knowing as I do now that all of these things that I have said and done is because of my brain doesn't help me much. I still reflect on the stupid things that I have said and done that has hurt others.
But we need a reason to lessen the guilt and regret that lingers long after our mistakes are made. And being human, while not a valid reason, is all that we have. Our emotional brain has evolved over time and it takes a lot of work to overcome it.
I still say and do things that I later say to myself, "Why did you say or do that?" What I try to do now is accept it, try and make amends if I can, and move on quickly. Mindfulness, a human way of dealing with human mistakes.
Learn from your mistakes, be totally in the moment, and keep moving forward doing your best not to say or do stupid things.
Guilt and regret, while normal responses for humans, is simply wasted energy. Let them go and focus on being the best that you can be in every part of your life. That will keep you busy enough.