What does this word Regret do to us?
WHY do some of us live a life of Regret?
What is it about us that stays in Regret?
A feeling of sadness about something sad or wrong or about a mistake that you make, and a wish that it could have been different and better.
To feel sorry about a situation, especially something sad or wrong or a mistake that you have made. (1)
Concise Oxford English Dictionary
Feel or express sorrow, repentance, or disappointment over.
Used in polite formulas to express apology or sadness. (2)
A feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over an occurrence or something that one has done or failed to do. (3)
1 Sorrow aroused by circumstances beyond one’s control or power to repair.
2a. An expression of distressing emotion (such as sorrow).
1a. To mourn the loss or death of.
b. To miss very much.
2 To be very sorry for. (4)
1530s – from the verb or from Middle French regret…
Pain or distress in the mind at something done or left undone.
Late 14th century from Old French regreter.
To look back with distress or sorrowful longing;
To grieve for on remembering.
Long after, bewail, lament someone’s death; ask the help of (Modern French regretter). (5)
WHY is the original word meaning not exactly the same today?
WHY do we not all unite on a one unified meaning of the word?
What is it about us that has different definitions about a word?
As this is a simple website, let us keep it simple.
According to the above descriptions, we could summarise that REGRET is:
When we feel sorry about someone who has died and we feel sad.
We have made a mistake and now realise that and feel sad or disappointed.
So what is it about Regret that keeps us re-living in our mind what we could have done or not done, said or not said at the time?
What are the endless list of Regrets that we have?
Regret our frivolous spending and now paying off the debt?
Regret not paying the overdue bill and getting the phone cut off?
Regret never bothering to learn how to cook, clean and do the laundry?
Regret living like a couch potato and now we are going to be evicted?
Regret living at home in our 40’s and never growing up and getting out there?
Regret putting up with abuse in our relationship, because we were scared?
Regret embarrassing someone we deeply respect in our drunken moment?
Regret the lack of respect and decency we present to others with our swearing?
Regret inviting our nosey neighbour around, who is the town’s biggest gossip?
Regret gossiping and judging others as we are now getting what that feels like?
Regret not opening our heart to others as we are afraid we will get hurt again?
Regret living our double life and not living a see through life?
Regret having an affair knowing the stakes were high from day one?
Regret acting like sensible adults with our kids, when we know we messed up?
Regret blowing money on our kids because we wanted to impress them?
Regret never taking any true action when it came to discipline for the children?
Regret going against teachers when they were doing their best for our child?
Regret ever buying mobile phones for our children at such a young age?
Regret pandering to our teenagers because we wanted them to like us?
Regret taking our adult grown up kids, who still live with us, on holiday?
Regret the broken relationships that have deeply hurt us?
Regret going into a relationship to get our needs met only to find it turns ugly?
Regret blowing all our savings on the person we no longer live with?
Regret trying to impress others as deep inside we know it’s a waste of effort?
Regret trying to please the world and its brothers as no one appreciates it?
Regret poking our nose into someone else’s business and making things worse?
Regret the unnecessary stress because we want others to see things our way?
Regret not speaking up when we had the opportunity so many times?
Regret the things we wanted to say to someone and now they have died?
Regret not being open and upfront with our parents when we could have done?
Regret the fact that we are never real and honest with others?
Regret saying what we were feeling to our dear friend?
Regret treating our dog like it was not our human friend?
Regret staying in the job when they were going to make us redundant?
Regret getting caught up in the nonsense which stops us doing our job?
Regret losing our job which was because of our behaviour?
Regret lying to the bank manager about our business?
Regret selling our house to fund our champagne lifestyle?
Regret trashing our body with copious amounts of alcohol?
Regret going out to party, when we really wanted an early night to sleep?
Regret the all-night bender as we never heard the alarm go off in the morning?
Regret the constant late nights as no amount of make-up covers the results?
Regret ever starting the cannabis road that led to other drugs?
Regret the whole month of December with our wayward behaviour?
Regret the whole Christmas thing as we keep falling for the same things?
Regret New Year as soon as it arrives, because the old year was awful?
Regret being Bored with Life because we know we can make other choices?
Regret eating foods that consistently give us heartburn?
Regret the late night curry as we can’t stop farting the next morning on the train?
Regret that bloated feeling we wake up to after the midnight munchies?
Regret living on junk food as we live life in the fast lane?
Regret drinking coffee as coming off it gives us headaches?
Regret eating chocolate because it has become our daily addiction?
Regret being addicted to soda drinks, which means we need more and more?
Regret taking the first energy drink with caffeine, as we need it every day now?
Regret living on sugar and snacks and now we have Obesity and Diabetes?
Regret overeating every day and having to buy large size clothes?
Regret every single Diet we have tried as none of them have ever worked?
Regret wanting more and more and never getting that perfect life?
Regret plastic surgery as we know it looks fake and phoney but it’s too late?
Regret abusing our health systems because we have lived irresponsibly?
Regret listening to other people and jumping on their bandwagon?
Regret the fact that we use lying as our normal because others do it too?
Regret lying to the shops so we can get more money out of them?
Regret creaming the welfare system knowing we have side cash jobs?
Regret being fooled by the media and other distractions?
Regret getting into video gaming which has us check out for hours?
Regret staying up all night playing video games on a school night?
Regret all the social media distractions we are hooked into everyday?
Regret spending time checking constantly who likes us on social media?
Regret posting on social media when we are drunk and not ourselves?
Regret using the Internet in a very irresponsible manner?
Regret ever going and visiting the dark world wide web?
Regret doing porn every day to get our fix, thinking no one knows?
Regret not having a table, so we eat in front of the TV every day?
Regret spending screen time and making that more important than face to face old fashioned talking at the dinner table with our family?
Regret sitting on the fence, when we could easily have said our bit?
Regret doing nothing when we could have done something?
Regret being cold in our own home as we don’t want to have a high gas bill?
Regret having cold hands and cold feet, as we never take care?
Regret never using our common sense hat when it is there all the time?
Regret talking on the doorstep freezing just to be polite to the neighbour?
Regret stepping out of the house, without our coat, as it was a short trip?
Regret dashing out of the house with no umbrella and getting soaked?
Regret ignoring the signs to rest more and now we have the common cold?
Regret our footwear choices because our feet are telling us loud and clear?
Regret blaming everything and everyone, when we know it is us?
Regret never cleaning out the cat mess and our house stinks big time?
Regret treating our car with disregard, neglect and no real care?
Regret leaving our travel card on the train as we never bothered to put it away safely?
Regret the serious stuff like forgetting the passports at home?
Regret the small things like forgetting to put the trash out on bin day?
Regret throwing litter out of the car window on the highway and getting caught?
Regret all our vices and our secrets as it disturbs us inside?
Regret losing the plot when we could easily have made sensible choices?
Regret our lifestyle choices which mean life is lived in the Fast Lane?
Regret every Birthday as we wanted to outshine others and it did not work?
Regret spending all that money on our kid’s birthday party just to outdo others?
Regret treating our mother in law to an expensive gift only to have her tell us off?
Regret paying excess luggage fee as we have still got the just incase syndrome?
Regret living in that just incase syndrome which drives us nuts every day?
Regret the hoarding and holding on we do when know we could let go of it?
Regret those silly moments like having those tattoos in places we cannot hide?
Regret that we cannot seem to hold our happy days as our issues keep coming up?
Regret the anxiety we wake up with, because we are not equipped to deal with the day ahead?
Regret the games we play every day just to avoid what we are aware of?
Regret feeling like we have gone backwards with our evolution because of our ill choices?
Regret the excuses we keep coming up with because we are comfortable in our lifestyle choices?
Regret the solutions we keep coming up with as they feel like band-aids?
Regret ignoring what the medics tell us to do, following serious surgery?
Regret not listening to the wisdom of our older generations, when we are young?
Regret never saving money the good old fashioned way, which does make sense?
What if we could choose to live another way?
What if there was a way to move from Regret?
What if we could get past the sadness of Regret?
What if we never have to feel disappointment again?
What if we never have to express Regret to anyone?
What if we could let go of our ugly thoughts of Regret?
What if we could wipe the slate clean of Regret?
What if we never have to carry the burden of Regret?
What if we could erase those memories of Regret?
What if we could remove all our past Regret days?
What if we could learn from our failures and move on, so we do not need to live in Regret?
What if we could see all our mistakes as a learning in order to evolve and so there is simply no need for Regret?
What if all those years of Regret do nothing other than delay our evolution?
What if Regret has no place to rest in our human body, so having Regret means we are in constant unrest?
Regret certainly keeps us stuck and going around in the same old patterns, which keeps us feeling all our errors and re-living them as if they were currently happening.
Imagine what these feelings are doing to our body?
Our mind has a way of keeping us repeating these old records in our head and stopping us from moving on.
What if Responsibility for how we live now and the daily choices we make, ERASE the thoughts of Regret?
What if by taking Responsibility for the daily choices we make in our life now, it supports us to re-imprint our past behaviour, so we no longer need to live in Regret?
What if Regret was and is a mistake and so it is simply a learning on our path, re-turning back to who we truly are?
What if Expression is Everything so by being open and expressing in full, in each given moment, there is no Regret or sadness, as we gave it our best at the time, with no holding back?
What if Regret is something we never need to feel again if we have the word Responsibility in every choice we make?
Could it be that simple?
(1) (n.d). Cambridge Dictionary. Retrieved January 4, 2017 from
(2) Concise Oxford English Dictionary – Twelfth Edition. Oxford University Press. 2011
(3) (n.d). Google. Retrieved January 4, 2017 from
(4) (2017, December 28). Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved January 4, 2017 from
(5) (n.d). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved January 4, 2017 from
Brilliant blog – on a much needed topic.
I wonder how many of us live in the world with regret – probably a lot, and as it is not a so called medical condition – we don’t have any statistics to know exactly how many of us feel regret.
What I am curious about as regards regret is – does regret motivate us to act in a certain way or lead us to act in a certain way because of the regret – rather than us moving and acting based on true purpose?
Do we for instance, bury the feeling of regret (as it is uncomfortable) by doing other distractionary things?
I have had many regrets in the past and then acted in ways that didn’t actually take responsibility, but were a reaction of the regret I felt – simply said because I felt a regret I wanted to ‘make up for it’ by over compensating in some way. Examples would be:
Regretting the way a relationship ended, vowing never to do it that way again, and then going on the ‘rebound’ to try and go for a ‘better’ relationship rather than look at the deeper rooted issues that were at play when the relationship ended.
Regretted not getting a project done on time, and staying up all night in a frantic flurry to finish it – and in that damaging my body, and offering a below par project that was rushed.
Regretting having eaten a food that wasn’t nourishing for my body – and then being self critical on myself, and then being over disciplined in my food/eating as a punishment to myself.
None of which worked.
What is brilliant in this blog is that there is another way – and, when I feel regret nowadays I am learning to take the next step having learnt, and with a willingness to take more responsibility, which really does work.
If I can do the best I can, utilizing all of me, and accept that “mistakes” are not wrong just opportunities to grow, it pretty much leaves regret out of the picture.
I go back to the young child that is constantly making “mistakes”, no regret there, just notice what happened and move on. We only learn to live in the past as we grow older.
Be the forever student, as a wise man said, always ready for more.
This is an important topic for humanity.
It feels like regret is such a common and draining thing.
Running reel in your head of how things went or how they could have been.
Thoughts cycling around, not actually going anywhere. Not letting you move on. In fact, dragging you down, making you feel less.
Just yesterday I was thinking about something I didn’t say in a meeting.
A missed opportunity, yes, but as I see from this blog, also a learning.
And with the learning comes evolution.
I say a big yes to that.
Regret is focusing on the past, rather than being with what is happening now.
I can find myself thinking about past events, and realize I am totally checked out, have no idea what has been going on around me, in the present moment. A great way to not have to take responsibility.
Yes I need to observe what happened in the past but only to see what effect my choices have made, and how I might do something different in the future.
It is all about responsibility and commitment to life. Do I just want to play in my mind, with what might have happened? Or focus on what is happening now and what is next.
There are so many amazing opportunities that are being offered to us to use our special talents, time to let go of the past and get on with it!
There is no regret when you are everything that you are in any situation.
We just observe what is being presented and shine our light.
It allows the magic to happen.
If we feel regret when we remember a past event, could the regret be a message that maybe we should have done something different in that situation?
So if we do not indulge in the regret, it could be a opportunity to evolve.
Everything happens for a reason. It is up to us as to how we use the event.
When I don’t go the extra mile in taking care of myself – if I skip the details – it always registers strongly with my body.
I know how vital that care is for me – it’s the very foundation upon which I live. If I downgrade it, it wont take long before I get a sense of regret.
I realise that in that sense-of-regret moment I have a choice – wallow in the regret and make internal promises to do better tomorrow, or do something about it there and then.
The point being I can stay in it or I can move – take it as a trigger that there is something to learn and activate that learning straight away.
My life used to be full of regrets. I would beat myself up internally for things not turning out the way that I wanted them to be. Now I live with much less regrets and realise that alot of my life was built on pictures and ideals of how I wanted myself, others and life to be.
There was often an overwhelming feeling of sadness that things were not the way that I wanted. Now I realise that I can only be responsible for me and how I behave and that life is not about controlling others or situations or expecting certain results, but allowing things to be.
As I have become much more accepting of things as they are, I feel less sadness and things flow. I know that whenever I have that feeling of sadness now it is because I have fallen for a picture. Letting go of pictures has helped me very much and has allowed me to form meaningful relationships with others.
I had an old memory drop in my head yesterday.
My usual reaction would have been to feel a pang of regret and the memory would hang around for a while like a bad smell, while I re-lived the details and ran through scenarios.
What a waste of energy and brainpower.
This time I just said a very light no. It’s done. There were lessons. I’ve moved on.
And it was gone.
So I’m concluding there really is a choice here.
We choose our thoughts and how much power we give them and to which ones.
I experienced a new angle on regret this week.
I was having a challenging work conversation when I got a strong “I don’t want to be having this conversation” thought. It was one of those thoughts that tries to repeat itself in your head.
And what was so clear straight away was how it was coming from almost a child-like ‘oh do I have to?’ place. A place of wishing the hard things would just go away or someone else would do them. Wishing everything was easy.
As soon as I’d clocked that, the thought was gone.
This struck me as an interesting take on regret. The regret of having responsibilities.
Longing for a responsibility-free life feels like such a waste of time and energy – like wishing it wasn’t raining.
And yet I wonder how many of us waste our time and energy that way, instead of just getting on with it?
Every experience has the potential for regret if you focus on what did not happen rather then what did happen.
What if we Feel what happened.
There are deeper levels of communication that happen long after the initial meeting.
We are always connected to everything.
I have lived with regret most of my life am almost 58 now, and still living with if’s and but’s, part of me is good and getting on with every day life, other part is ‘why me’ when I know millions are going through the same thing – the thing is I can’t change anything as it’s the past but the future I can !!!
I fully understand my wrongs and rights, my rights far out weigh the wrongs but still I ponder on the if’s and buts, why’s, me’s and others, on going saga of life, have tried many things all without avail, have read many blogs on here and will continue to read them and will be back when things turn around through here…
This is a great blog Simple Living Global and one that highlights the simplicity of seeing our mistakes as learnings rather than as punishments.
When we see it as the latter, all we are doing is just reinforcing the fact that we cant make mistakes because there will always be a price to pay and that whatever mistake we have made will stay with us forever.
However small or large, there will always be consequences when we make a mistake but it is how we take the next few steps after making the mistake that will determine how we live with it.
We have a choice in everything we do and if, as you say, we take full responsibility for our choices, there can be no room for regret.
Talking to a tattoo removal nurse this week, she was sharing what it is like for her clients.
She said how the pain is so great that they have to be seriously committed to the treatment to go through with it.
It is so painful that it can take years to remove a large tattoo, as it has to be dealt with in sections. They can’t take the pain of having the whole thing treated in one sitting. They have to go back time and time again to get the pigment to break down with the laser.
She said there is always a story behind the tattoo. Some sort of regret. A ‘what on Earth was I doing?’. A lot of judgement and self hatred, and some of them see the pain of the treatment as deserved or cathartic for that.
She said many people simply live with their choices, even though they hate their tattoos and her husband was one example. We discussed how he is still carrying all that was going on for him (and the tattoo artist) at the time he had his tattoos and how he would rather live with that than take the pain of removing them, even though he regrets them and that time terribly.
We talked about how she can bring understanding to her clients and help them move through the regret. Help them see the pain differently – as a new start from a place of commitment and responsibility.
I don’t recall if I heard this on a live or audio presentation but it just makes sense as the whole thing just feels true inside me and I get it.
It was a Universal Medicine presentation by the founder Serge Benhayon and he sure knows what he is talking about.
This is my understanding of what was said –
When we celebrate, if we go into reminisence it leads to regret because this is not the truth and it dips us and for me that means we go down.
This feels true because I had a habit of wanting to celebrate, relax, drink excess booze and remember the event or whatever it was that I was feeling great about back then when it happened. Then what?
A sort of downward turn which had a void, an emptiness because I wanted the same and more of it but that’s not how it works.
Today I celebrate in a different way and there is a huge dose of appreciation, a confirmation saying “yes, well done” but it is instantly, almost immediately followed by “what’s next” which for me is move on as there is so much more to get on with.
The very movement of getting on with it means I don’t ever reminisce as that moment has passed.
On that note – NEXT
Another golden nugget that was presented and my understanding was – no matter how wrong I did in any given moment, it is simply an opportunity to evolve.
Imagine the relief not only to me and all those I support but I keep wondering how life on earth would be if every child was raised knowing this.
Finally – Heaven is not judging us and sees a wrong as a moment to wake us up…evolve.
Well on that note, mrs here has had a few wake up calls and some have been big kahunas, all in the name of evolution.
This is all making sense and sharing it by way of comment and not holding onto a piece of a paper with this wisdom on it but actually typing it out for the world – just incase someone one day wants to read everything there is about the topic of REGRET, they will get this.
Regret has no place in my life now as I know how to move through it and not get hooked by those ugly thoughts that tell me otherwise.
I was asked this question today and also last year when I was presenting to a group of prisoners in the U.S.
Do I regret X Y Z in my life?
My response was and will continue to be the same –
No regrets now but at the time I was unable to move out of the deep pit I had chosen to put myself in.
It has been well over a decade where there has been zero regret about what I had done or not done in my life.
There comes a point when we all need to simply ask more questions and gain some understanding about the WHY and then see what is on offer to move on from the situation that is still haunting us in the name of regret.
Every choice I make today confirms to me that life will never be like that again.
The very movement of how I live every single day tells me there is no chance of that stuff repeating itself because my behaviour has completely changed.
Dwelling on mistakes, the past, the ugly stuff gets us nowhere other than creating more tension, stress and un-necessary ills that play out as a result of what we did back then.
What a waste of time and energy if you ask me.
What I have come to realise and this is how I responded today when I was asked about my past regret was – how I live today has erased the imprint, the damage and the harm that I caused by my actions. It no longer has a hold on me, so to speak and I am free to simply get on with life in the Absolute Knowing that nothing will ever make me do what I did back then. To me that is taking full Responsibility.
Nothing more and nothing less is needed and in this I felt powerful when answering the question that was asked.