On old Cherokee proverb states “Do not let yesterday use up too much of today.” This simple bit of wisdom can go a long way when understood properly. Particularly when traveling the sphere of regret.
Regret comes to us in many forms; from simple wishes on decisions we should have made, to hindsight on important decisions that make some shake their head and pound their fist at the mere thought. Regret plays a crucial role in thoughts of lost loves, hasty emotional choices, missed opportunities and the dreaded “what if’s” of life. This sphere is traveled often by all human beings. It deserves recognition in the present moment, but not complete attention.
I look at regret in terms of both attachment and detachment. Sure, many times I wonder “what if” I chose differently. I also realize that all my decisions have led me to my current sphere. Should I have chose differently, I could be somewhere else, entertaining different thoughts, or not. The fact is that I’m here, now, and what is done is done. I choose to learn from it; finding the lessons within the experience rather than dwell on a situation that can never be changed. Looking at the choice that I wish to have made, I find the wisdom to confront similar situations in the future and that is all.
I circumvent the sphere of regret. I only acknowledge that it is there, and give it respect for the wisdom it has imparted along my journey. This simple frame of thought echoes the Cherokee proverb. In the statement: “Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today” the phrase “too much” must be given special attention.
Give attention to these emotions, learn from these experiences and let them go. Recognize and accept that you will feel these emotions; this pondering of “what if.” But don’t let these thoughts take up “too much” of your time today; only enough time to offer acceptance.
Know that the sphere of regret exists, but do not tramp in it. Instead, let it be a footprint of thought; a simple impression; a marker acknowledging wisdom gained along the path.