This is a tough one for me. But in my heart, I know it is so relatable for everyone. Regret is a powerful emotion. It’s consuming, it’s obsessive, it’s cruel, it’s justified. Regret is hard, but if you flip it on it’s back, you will truly see that regret is a lesson.
I’ve tried to figure out why some regrets are so intensely strong when they shouldn’t be and why some aren’t when they should be. I’ve tried to master and figure out “how to eliminate” regret for so long…how to talk myself into believing I shouldn’t be thinking about it or feeling that way, but you know what? Regret is there because it’s your teacher. It tells you what you need to know to not to do again in the future, and that’s why it lingers so powerfully. A reminder that insists you listen and you learn from your mistakes.
My main regrets are these two things: the way I’ve treated my children on hard days and the way I have treated other people through words or judgement.
These things weigh so much on my heart. The older I get, the more I mature and see what a complete butthead (to word it nicely) I have been during certain seasons of my life. I can’t “blame” my upbringing and influence but I can say that I see in now, in bright shining lights, that I learned a lot of that from who was in my life growing up. I found myself saying things that just weren’t me, they didn’t match my soul…making me someone I never wanted to be.
When it comes to my children, and I just lose it like I did a lot last week…I lay in bed at night just wondering, why? Amanda…you love them more than life itself, how can you really yell THAT intensely at little kids? They’re all five and under but the older two fight like you wouldn’t even believe…and last week as you may have seen on my Instagram post, I was extremely remorseful for how I handled their outbursts. I went completely childlike on them in return and just couldn’t handle the stress, so I yelled.
These regrets I live with…being cruel or unkind to others and not having a lick of patience with my kids…they are lessons. And I will admit these past couple of years of my life, I have grow into a new person I don’t recognize in a lot of ways…but in a very positive direction. Regrets are perceived differently now for me, they are lessons. On the hard weeks…I lay down, mope a little and then go Amanda…this is it. Tomorrow is NEW, and how blessed are we with that kind of undeserving grace? I get to start over tomorrow, if I choose happiness and positivity. My regret will always sting but it will be easier to manage if I put all of my effort into continuing to practice kindness, thoughtfulness, patience and understanding. Giving grace, so I can be more willing to accept grace for myself.
Working through regret isn’t easy. If you are a deep feeler like me and have this happening in your life often, I would be very clear and honest with yourself about what plagues you and how you can work through it. Books like Uninvited have helped me understand myself and my past behavior and my present impatience so much and I LOVE knowing that even in our worst moments, we are not alone..we are not the only people to live with regrets and be stressed about not being a good parent.
Love a little better today. Your friends, family, even strangers. And don’t forget to love yourself and forgive yourself because if you don’t, you will never be as valuable to the ones you love as you should be carrying around all that extra burden on your shoulders and on your heart. This was the hardest thing for me to accept…that I needed to actually look in the mirror and love that flawed, mess of a human being because if she isn’t going to push forward and love herself…her children and husband won’t get the life they deserve, and nothing matters more to me than that.
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