“Do You Have Regrets?” Comments, Page 1

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8 Comments (One Discussion Thread) on “Do You Have Regrets?”

  1. What a great topic to raise for discussion Evan. You’ve made some very helpful insights here. In particular, the relationship between regret and desire is a useful connection to make I think. I like the idea that regret can alert us to desires we may have been unaware of and thereby enlarge our self understanding and speak into our future decisions and priorities. It gives regret the potential to be genuinely constructive in our lives – not something I would normally give it credit for.
    The antithesis to the wisdom you have shared here is the stupid phrase “it’s all good”. This quip annoyed me the first time I ever heard it and it still drives me nuts – especially since you almost always hear it when the absolute opposite is patently true! You know how it goes: “Yeah, my house burnt down, and I’ve lost me job and the missus has run off with me best mate cause I forgot her birthday, but ya know, it’s no worries. It’s ALL GOOD.” What?? Like %^#@ it is!!
    So you see I don’t know if an ‘absolute no regrets policy’ is close to callousness – it may well be – but I think it must also be close to embodying the “unexamined life” that, as Plato said, “is not worth living”!
    Thanks for giving me some nutritious food for thought. L.

  2. Hi Evan,

    I think if it weren’t for regrets I would not only have no forward movement, but I’d repeat everything the same way forever. And I have repeated, at the various ‘advices’ I’ve gotten from others,i.e.,ya gotta move on, crying over spilled milk, time to leave your pity party, etc.. I think if I needed to still learn something from my past and it looked to others as if I were wallowing in pity, I think that can only be their judgment. Knowing what it takes for another to experience or learn from something is a most singular event. That’s not to say one can’t get stuck places too long, but then the stuckness can also be a needed lesson.

    I think valuable is the best word to use about regrets, as you’ve pointed out. Use them to find what seems right for the next time. Employing the just-get-over-it stance, to me, is simply denial at work. And is very uncaring and disrespectful to what one may have had to live through.

    By the way, it took me a long time before I came to these opinions/understandings and there is definite regret I didn’t know them before now.

    I knew from the title this article was sure to have my name written all over it. Fruitful use of all tools, even if, and especially when, they don’t look anything like a tool.


  3. Thanks Barbara, I hadn’t made the connection of just-get-over-it and denial, but I think you’re right. And I hadn’t thought of no regrets leading us to do the same things over either, once again you’re on the money I think. Many thanks for your comment.

  4. Hi, Evan –

    This is a very helpful post. It’s a topic that touches on something that I’m not quite able to get hold of. I’ve spent a lot of time recalling and regretting so many things I did when depressed and acting very strangely – and at times destructively. A lot of that is the sort of obsessive thinking about everything I’ve done wrong that is a recurrent symptom of depression for me. I’ve gotten to the point where I can quickly shut off that self-torture by reminding myself not only that it’s long past and can’t be changed but also that it resulted from illness. I regret that I couldn’t have acted differently in that state because I know what I would have done if I’d not been depressed.

    Sometimes, what I call regret about the past is really grief about what I lost through a life long dominated by severe depression. Perhaps that’s what resonates about your post. The word regret has many evocative associations – I need to mull them over some more.

    Thanks for a great post.


  5. My approach to the question of whether or not I have regreats has always been this: I am happy with who I am today, which means that I should be thankful for everything that I have been through. Obviously, life’s big decisions sculpt our character and morale, but it’s also the small decisions in life that we make many times throughout the day. So, am I happy with the person I am? Absolutely. However, there have been some points in my life where the answer was not that easy. I guess you could say that I was regrettying some decisions. At that point, I made changes to my life to make things better. Now, when I think about converstaions or actions that I should not have been a part of, I know that I have learned from them and we are back to square one… They have helped to create the person typing this very response, and that is a person I am proud to be.

  6. Hi Brooke, thanks for your comment. I think the point you make about the small decisions shaping us as well as the big ones is quite important. Thanks for your contribution.

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