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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

No Regrets - Life is Full of Lessons

"Do not be embarrassed by your mistakes. Nothing can teach us better than our understanding of them.  This is one of the best ways of self-education." ~ Thomas Carlyle

Up until a little over a year ago, I was one who was constantly stuck in the past fretting over the myriad of mistakes and misfortunes. Generally wishing for the good times in life again.  I read somewhere that everything in life was meant to teach us something.  At first, I thought "how nice, but if only I could go back and change things."  As I continued to process this new information and begin to apply it to my own life, I didn't truly understand it.

Very slowly, I began to look back at past hurts and mistakes to see if there really was a purpose to it all.  In every single case, I was able to gleen something.  You can gain so much from all situations in life (good and bad)... be it knowledge, something material, but also simply to help you define what it is you want or don't want.  Until you see darkness, you can't know what light is.  In doing this, I was able to take the pain and regret away.  No longer was I focused on or allowing the past to dictate my future.

Nowadays, I've taken this concept a step further.  When situations in life happen that I can't figure out or don't understand the reason for, I reflect on them until I understand what the purpose and lesson involved was.  I still feel the pain and regret very strongly, but it no longer has a stranglehold on me forever.  As soon as I understand it, I'm able to let it go.

One of the biggest lessons, I've learned from this concept is the fact that without all these experiences I wouldn't be who I am today.  Every mistake, experience, relationship or missed opportunity has shaped the person that I am.  So, I no longer let regret run my life. I use it as a tool to learn and grow from.

I encourage you all to start looking at life situations to figure out the purpose and lesson in them.  Hopefully, it changes your life perspective in a dramatic way... as it did mine.  But if nothing else at least, you'll be carrying around a lot less baggage.

With that, I will leave you with another quote...
"We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success.  We often discover what WILL do, by finding out what WILL NOT do; and probably he who never made a mistake, never made a discovery." ~Samuel Smiles

Wishing you all the best life possible,