When I hear someone say that they have lived a life where they regret nothing, not a single thing, I struggle to believe them. I want to, I really do - but I find it really hard.
How can you get through your whole life without having just one single regret?
I'm not suggesting that everyone has creepy skeletons in their closets that they are hiding from the world, but surely there is something, at least one single moment that you look back upon and it creates a feeling of sadness or missed opportunity or unease?
If you can't think of anything right now that you regret yourself, fear not, I have a whole bucket full and I'd be happy to lend you some.
The thing I have come to learn about regrets is that to avoid them having any power over you, you can't just stuff them away in a box in a dusty corner of your memory, because they will resurface. You need to deal with them, acknowledge them and lay them to rest once and for all.
One of the saddest things I can imagine would be to be on your deathbed and have those regrets sneak out and steal your final moments, taking the place of what should be happy memories and reflections.
I don't want that to happen and although I am not planning on going anywhere in a hurry, I have begun working my way through my regrets, one by one.
I'm a bit of a ritual kind of gal. Whether it be a cup of coffee in the same chair every morning whilst I write my to do list, a daily affirmation or washing away any negativity from the day in the shower. These little rituals bring me comfort and so I have created my own little ritual around regrets and events that just kind of piss me off and need to be dealt with.
I write them down on a piece of paper and I allow myself to think about them for just a little while. What is it that shrouds that memory in regret? How does it make me feel? Can I fix it? Can I change the outcome? Why am I pissed off? Can I say what needs to be said or should I just let it go?
Then I make a decision whether to bring that regret or situation into the present and do something with it or simply let it go. When I have made up my mind I burn the piece of paper and I release the regret and the anger and any power it has over me from that moment forward.
It's a bit airy fairy. I know that and it's totally not for everyone. But it seems to be working for me for I am becoming less regretful, angry or resentful about 'stuff'.
My regrets aren't huge or life altering but they don't need to be because the thing about regrets is that they don't need to be big to leave a stain on your past.
One of my biggest regrets is not dancing with my Dad at our wedding. I know right, who doesn't dance with their Dad on their wedding day? I danced next to him but not with him and so it's a regret I have neatly packaged up and stored away with all the others.
The regret that Carl and I didn't go travelling when we were younger.
The regret about not staying in contact with a childhood friend.
The regret I didn't persevere with breastfeeding.
The regret that I did not take my Nanna up on her gardening lessons whilst she was still alive.
The numerous regrets for times that I didn't stand up for myself for whatever reason.
The regret that I allowed work to take up too much time when my boys were babies.
See there is nothing earth shattering and some of them I can actually do something about, or I can change moving forward, and others that I can do nothing more than just let them go.
And so that is what I intend to do, I'm just letting them go as life is too short to hang on to them any more.
Those who profess a life of no regrets - how do they make it all the way to the end without collecting at least one? Is it even possible or have they just learned how to let them go?
Do you think it is possible to live with no regrets?
Do you have any regrets you've been hanging on to?