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When you experience regret, you neglect the celebration of all of the exciting parts of your life to focus on this one festering mistake that haunts you.
The way to overcome regret is not to ignore it, but to push through it. Engage with your former self, and ultimately, forgive yourself.
Regret can be seen as a mistake that we haven't learned the proper lesson from yet. If we learn from it, that mistake becomes helpful and makes us better.
The way to move on is to take responsibility for your mistakes. Understand what happened and integrate that experience into your understanding of who you are today.
Our narratives are chronically short-term, emotional, and self-centered.
However, regretful mistakes can have some subtle, non-emotional, long-term benefits. They can root out all superficial values and help you replace them with healthier, non-material values. In hindsight, your most painful mistakes can be the best thing that ever happened to you.
When we experience regret, we are choosing to replay our broken narrative over and over again. Our problem is that we take these failures on as our lost identity - the person we should have been. Then we torture ourselves with that idealized image.
With each passing year, we grow further away from what our ideal was, and we regret it. But the narrative is not necessarily true. The best is to let that narrative die. The older and wiser version of yourself knows what you actually want. Use it and move on.
Only the regrettable can teach you something. It can show you where your narratives went wrong and where you are not taking up responsibility for your life and your pain.
The good side of regret guides us to a better understanding of ourselves and a place of acceptance and growth.
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