Eight Common Excuses for Harboring Regrets
What's yours? A closer look at why you hold on to regrets is the start of letting them go.
1. “It’s too late to let go of my regret.”
The passage of time neither improves nor impairs our ability to let go of regrets. Letting go is a function
of willingness—the willingness to look at yourself and take certain actions.
2. “I can’t forgive what was done to me,” or “I could never forgive myself for what I did.”
When you refuse to forgive yourself or others, it is because you will not, not because you cannot.
Forgiveness is always possible.
3. “I can’t possibly go back and relive all that again.”
This excuse has two fatal flaws. The first is that you are already reliving the regret through your refusal
to let it go, thus prolonging its pain. The second is the implication that you do not have the strength and
courage to work through the process of letting go. You do.
4. “I could never be forgiven for what I did.”
Forgiveness is not something others do for you. It is something you do for yourself, and it does not
depend upon those you have harmed to be valid. A wronged party who does not forgive you after you
have made the appropriate amends has a problem, which is not your responsibility to solve.
5. “I will never forget what was done to me.”
You don’t have to. Even after you have let go of a regret, you will still remember it, perhaps for a lifetime.
But it will no longer have the power to hurt you.
6. “I could never forget what I did.”
Letting go of a regret does not mean forgetting it. It means revisiting the regret in a structured way so
that you can work through its pain and eliminate its destructive power in your life.
7. “If I go back to examine the past, I’ll get stuck there.”
The opposite is true. It is the unexamined past that traps you.
8. “Now is not the right time.”
The ideal time to start the process of letting go of regrets is now. Later often turns into never.
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