Don’t Regret Your Life Value It

Don’t Regret Your Life Value It

As we grow older there’s a bittersweet sting of a life not lived while at the same time cherishing the people we love and experiences we had in the life we now live.  

Shelly Drymon

“Even as we regret who we haven’t become, we can value who we are.” I found this gem in a brilliant article written by Joshua Rothman – What if you could do it all over again? 

Featured image is a coffee shop just outside Marshall, Arkansas.

I don’t value who I am.  

I’ve spent an entire lifetime – literally – looking for validation from others that I matter. It started back in my youth, before we had social media to tell us we mattered, it was going along with the crowd. Drinking, drugs, sex with people I didn’t even like. Coupled with a chaotic home life I struggled to feel as if I mattered.  

I didn’t feel like I belonged as a poor, tall, skinny, flat-chested, shy, mousey teenager, so I tried to fit in. Even then I just circled the fringe of the “cool” groups. 

As an adult I sabotage my physical and mental well-being. I lose myself in mindless Netflix streaming, constant reading of self-help books, and still saying yes to things I don’t really want to do.  

Brene’ Brown has the perfect quote for fitting in versus belonging: 

“Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.”  ― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

We all want to matter.  

However, we must matter to ourselves first.  

Simmering to death in our regrets keeps us stuck in the mindset that who we are, what we have done, and what we can accomplish in the future does not matter. Because of that one thing I did, that wrong turn, that one stupid decision kept me from living a life I know I should have.

So, let’s just run that movie in our head over and over again. Like the Titanic the ending will not change. You cannot go back to the past and avoid the iceberg.  

Why must we punish ourselves this way?  

I am going to challenge myself, and you, to focus on what we can do, rather than what might have been. Coulda, woulda, shoulda is the mantra for those who do not want to take responsibility for their lives.  

We have agency over our regrets.  

As an adult my decisions led me to where I am today. I can lament, and boy have I, the fact that I did not keep up with my music, or I can do something about that today. Move on, shut up about it, or do as I have done – a makeover of sorts.  

Time to stop giving your regrets so much power over who you are, and who you will be.  

Thanks for stopping by!

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