Friday, June 18, 2010

ten ways to release regrets.

1. Uncover hidden regrets.
- Admitting to past or present events that pull on your attention and energy is an important step toward freeing yourself and moving on.
- Ask yourself: “What incidents from the past still come to mind from time to time and make me feel angry, resentful, or unhappy? Do I feel like a victim? Do I secretly blame myself for contributing to someone’s harmful behavior or allowing them to act out and hurt me or others?”

2. Accept endings as natural.
- Endings, in fact, can help us grow.
- Resist the temptation to greet it with bitterness. Instead, know that for some reason you need to turn off the road you are traveling on and take another route.
- Don’t continually look back or hang your head as if you are being punished. Expect that your new adventure will, in its own time, reveal its reward.

3. Choose the present, not the past.
- There is nothing we can do to change what has already taken place. Our job is to fully engage with the present moment, which is where we must be to take the next powerful step on our journey.
- Remind yourself that letting go is a step-by-step process.
- Be patient with yourself.
- Don’t ignore your feelings, but don’t allow yourself to get hijacked by them either.
- Acknowledge the pain and then determine to move on.

4. Create your new story.
- By retelling and reliving that old, sorry tale, you are acting as if that moment describes the whole story of your life. It doesn’t.
- Choose to stop dwelling on the past and talking about the people who hurt you.
- Instead, focus on the positive aspects of your life right now and the wonderful things you are looking forward to welcoming into your life.

5. Depersonalize the situation.
- Studies show that empathy and depersonalizing hurtful events can help us forgive more quickly.
- Ask yourself: “Even though I don’t approve of what that person did to me, can I see what may have caused him or her to do it?” You may not be able to relate 100 percent to people’s behavior but recognizing the pain and fear that drove their actions will help you distance yourself from their immature behavior and rise above it.

6. Look for a lesson.
- No matter how unpleasant an incident, you can gain something from it.
- Keep in mind that when we don’t learn our lessons the first time around, we magnetize similar situations until we do. The sooner we learn the lesson, the more quickly we can move on to more fertile ground.
- Ask yourself these key questions and write down the answers: What insight, information, or invaluable lesson am I meant to gain from this experience? What did I learn about myself or about the others involved? How can I apply what I learned to the rest of my life?

7. Actively seek resolution.
- Come to closure by being proactive rather than letting regrets plague or paralyze you.
- Look for a way to make things right.

8. Create a ritual of release.- Get creative and plan a ritual or activity that allows you to express your feelings and is personally meaningful to you. Let this ritual mark the passing of an old era in your life and the initiation of a new one.

9. Say a powerful affirmation every day.
- Giving personal affirmations that reinforce your intention is a powerful technique for letting go and moving on. Your affirmation should be short, simple, and easy for you to remember and say aloud.
- Every morning when you awake and before you go to sleep, speak a simple affirmation like one of the following, tailored to your own situation and needs: “I am honoring myself today by opening my heart to a beautiful new beginning,” “Today I make decisions that bring me greater peace and joy,” or “I am grateful for the magnificent blessings that are coming my way right now.”

10. Re-envision your future.- As philosopher Henri Bergson said, “To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” Remember, what you focus on you will energize; and what you energize will become a reality.
- List, in very specific terms, what you want your life to be like. Start by asking yourself questions like these: “What are the most important qualities (kindness, generosity, support, honesty, etc.) I value in my interactions with others? How do I want to be treated? How do I want to treat myself? What do I want to accomplish and how do I want to give my gifts?”

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