Looking Forward, Looking Back: “Hindsight is 20-20”. “If I only knew then what I know now”. “Life must be lived forward but understood backwards”. Popular phrases abound about how life looks different looking back. If you could go back and change something in your life – a decision, a choice, would you? Or do you embrace your past in all its messy glory, with its ups and downs, missteps and misfires?
No Regrets: It is commonly believed that the greater the risk, the greater the reward. Some of life’s greatest joys are born of taking a chance and trying something new, different, or something you never thought you could do. What chances have you taken in your life? Did people tell you not to make the choices you made? Did you get the support you needed to be bold? Who in your world represent the spirit of ‘no regrets’ and just goes after what they dream of?
Saying Goodbye: It’s hard to say goodbye. Whether it is to a beloved family member, pet, or friend, endings are never easy. But by choice, or by fate, we’re all separated from each other at some point. Have you ever chosen to separate from someone you loved, by moving away or by ending your relationship? Have you lost a loved one who meant the world to you? How did you/do you process the feelings of loss and sadness? If you could speak to that person again, what would you say?
Memory and Letting Go: Some of us hold on to the past, and to our experiences, good or bad. Some of us are better at letting the past go. Where do you fall on the spectrum? What memories, thoughts and feelings do you keep, and which do you release? Are there things that you still think about that you’d like to let go?
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Waste not fresh tears over old griefs. -Euripides
When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us. - Alexander Graham Bell
Fear not for the future, weep not for the past. - Percy Bysshe Shelley
Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. - Sydney J. Harris
Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. - Jonathan Larson
I want to live my life so that my nights are not full of regrets. - D.H. Lawrence
I would rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not. - Lucille Ball
Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is. - Mary Radmacher
For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: 'It might have been!' - John Whittier
If I should die tomorrow, I will have no regrets. I did what I wanted to do. You can't expect more from life. - Bruce Lee
My one regret in life is that I am not someone else. - Woody Allen
A man is not old until his regrets take the place of his dreams. - Yiddish Proverb
Regret is an odd emotion because it comes only upon reflection. Regret lacks immediacy, and so its power seldom influences events when it could do some good. - William O'Rourke
Never regret anything you have done with a sincere affection; nothing is lost that is born of the heart. - Basil Rathbone
To regret one's own experiences is to arrest one's own development. To deny one's own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one's life. It is no less than a denial of the soul. - Oscar Wilde
I have many regrets, and I'm sure everyone does. The stupid things you do, you regret… if you have any sense, and if you don't regret them, maybe you're stupid. - Katharine Hepburn
One's real life is often the life that one does not lead. - Oscar Wilde
The chemist who can extract from his heart's elements compassion, respect, longing, patience, regret, surprise, and forgiveness and compound them into one can create that atom which is called love. - Kahlil Gibran
The only thing I regret about my past is the length of it. If I had to live my life again I'd make all the same mistakes - only sooner. - Tallulah Bankhead
A great source of calamity lies in regret and anticipation; therefore a person is wise who thinks of the present alone, regardless of the past or future. - Oliver Goldsmith
Letting Go of Regrets
Dealing with Regret? How to Let Go
Letting Go and Moving On