Haven’t we all done or said things in our lifetimes that we wish we could take back, rethink, or undo? The “regret” column can fill up with checkmarks pretty quickly if we allow ourselves to stay there too long. It could be five minutes ago or five years – how many “regrettable” conversations or events have we reconstructed after the fact with the “Shoulda’s,” the “How-could-I’s” and “If only’s”, just to come out on the other side feeling further diminished by the exercise?
Shifting our perspective on those events gets easier with practice and awareness and intention. Changing our angle of vision from “lament” to “learn” is a worthy objective because one is in the past and one is in the now; and all we ever have is now.
Using our “now” to learn from our “then” begins with appreciation for the event – even if it was a painful event – and the wisdom that resulted. All our encounters, relationships, celebrations and conflicts are gifts for us to learn something about ourselves, about our needs and our evolution. They’re chances to learn about those we love; we learn about our impact on them and how to be present for them.
Dwelling on the past drains our energy, slows us down, and weighs us down because while we’re there and then we’re missing the opportunities in our here and now. This is not to say we should minimize our misdeeds or faults; they’re teaching us where we need to work and grow. The learning, we must remember, takes place in the now.
Now is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s the moment that never ends. Now is always a good time.