Releasing Regret

October is my favorite month because it’s the most obvious month of the year where life is what you make of it! It’s fall! It might be rainy or gloomy, here in Idaho you might go from a fairly warm day to a freezing cold evening and need to have, like, 6 layers on when you leave the house, only to return home in a tank top! The days start to grow shorter, the nights longer, and I swear the moon shines brighter.

Autumn is a season of change and transition, and it’s in times of change that we have the most power to make decisions and choose the life we want to live. For example, we can feel cranky about having to come up with a cute outfit that involves so many freakin’ layers just to get through the day without freezing or melting… or we can laugh it off, revel in the fun of layers (come on, it’s like a wardrobe change any time during the day, what’s not fun about that?)!

You can dwell in dismay because summer is over and it’s about to be cold and dead… OR you can let the energy of autumn and transformation ignite your soul and inspire the best month ever! You can get creative, move with the transition of the season, enjoy the fruits (vegetables?) of the last harvest, and take every chance you get to stare up at the moon and admire her beauty!

Releasing a regret is a lot like choosing to embrace times of change…

The releasing and the change both naturally want to happen… but sometimes we dig our heels in and raise such a fuss that we miss the entire transformation and just find ourselves in the frozen wasteland on the other side completely against our will.

When we resist the natural releasing of regret by continuing to beat ourselves up over a mistake or feel bitter about a disappointment or betrayal, we choose a path of cold. The kind of dead cold that seeps into your bones no matter how many layers you’re wearing.

A piece of your heart just goes dormant because it hasn’t been allowed to release the pain, and it can no longer bear being awake to the pain of holding the grudge, and so it pulls back. It numbs itself…

When was the last time you were feeling loved, inspired, and expansive and thought the words, “wow, I really just want to live my life numbly and never notice these feelings” or “wow, I’d love to just be bitter and resentful toward myself and never stop regretting the mistakes I’ve made, #livingthedream.”

Literally never, right?

So what the heck are you doing, girl?

You want joy, right? You want a happy life that you love? You want to release your regrets, fears, insecurities, bitterness, and pain so that you can be free to live a life of abundance and joy and inner peace, right?

Well, just like you can choose to hate autumn or let it flow and embrace it, you can choose to release your regrets or hoard them.

If you’re ready to release your regret and you’re ready, really truly ready, to forgive yourself and others and let everyone off the hook so that you can finally embrace the healing and joy meant for you in this life

Keep reading.

Photo by Heather Schwartz via Unsplash

Photo by Heather Schwartz via Unsplash

Releasing regret is as simple as deciding… but sometimes we have habits in the way that won’t let us naturally release what no longer serves us.

We hold beliefs about who we are, what kind of person we are allowed to be (or predestined to be because of who our parents were or how we grew up), and how easy or difficult life has to be…

and we tend to have a habit of proving those beliefs right, even when it doesn’t do us any good.

So here’s some guidance to help you make some progress toward releasing your regret, even if it feels justified

or when forgiving yourself or others might make you look foolish

or when you have no idea where to start…

First, if you’re taking yourself very seriously, I want you to be okay with that, and also allow a tiny little voice in your head to look on that serious person and smile lovingly, knowingly. I’m not going to tell you to lighten up, because I know first hand what useless advice that is.

So embrace where you are.

Serious, careless, angry, lost. Whatever it is, embrace it. Allow it. Invite it in.

You’re not going to stay in this moment forever just because you acknowledged it for what it is, I promise.

Second, I want you to ask your heart why it’s holding on to this regret you have. Journal it out or just sit and think about it, doodle about it, whatever works best for you.

Here are some questions to help you dig:

Dear Heart (or head, or anger, whatever resonates with you!):

Why won’t you let go of this regret?

What is this regret protecting me from?

What if I let it go, what are you afraid will happen?

Don’t you think I can handle that?

What if we never let it go and we miss out on love because we were busy clinging to regret and keeping our walls up?

What if I don’t want to hold on to it anymore?

What do you need to know in order to let me release this regret?

How can I reassure you that I’m going to be safe and happy?

How has holding on to this regret created resistance in my life so far?

Have I distanced myself from loved ones for the sake of keeping up my wall?
Is it worth it to me?

How have I done harm to myself or held myself back from fully living life by clinging to this regret?

Third… ask yourself if you’re okay with those answers… Are those the answers you want for your future?

Write down what you want for your future. Bonus points for statements that are the opposite of the answers you got in the last exercise.

Pick your favorite(s) and write them down in a shimmery color and keep it somewhere you’ll see it. (I use my phone background and a piece of paper taped on my mirror.)

There you are. Now remember, you have the power every single day to choose again. To choose to release your regret, to revel in the changing of the seasons, to embrace the moment as it is. You have a choice, always.

With love,

Jessica Peña