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Wendy Fry Author of Mothers and Daughters & Find YOU, Find LOVE

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Regrets

August 9, 2017

Regret is a natural part of life.  With hindsight, we may have gone in a different direction armed with the knowledge, learning, wisdom and experience we have now. 

 

We make choices and decisions at points in our lives when those appear to be the only or most obvious options.  There may have been nothing else we could have done differently at the time and we need to accept that we were doing the best we could with the knowledge, wisdom and experience we had in the moment.  Self- forgiveness plays a part in moving on from regret and simply using the experience as a learning opportunity.

 

 

 

I like to think of regrets, as the ‘If Only’ syndrome.  If only I had done or said this or that.  We can tear ourselves up with guilt, regret, shame and anger, if we spend too long playing the ’if only’ game.

 

Choosing from the list below and adding your own, what do you regret in terms of your relationships?

 

·         If only I had...

·         If only I hadn’t

·         If only I did...

·         If only I didn’t...

·         If only I’d asked...

·         If only I’d said...

·         If only I’d listened...

·         If only I was ...

·         If only I wasn’t

·         If only I’d done...

·         If only I’d been...

·         If only I’d told her/him...

·         If only I knew...

·         If only she/he...

·         If only we’d...

·         If only I could...

·         If only I’d learnt...

·         If only things were different I...

 

 

It’s natural to have regrets when we focus on what we could have done differently in the past.  The problem is we judge ourselves harshly as to why we made certain choices.  Guilt and regret go hand-in-hand, based on our disappointment about how things weren’t or aren’t different. 

 

Guilt like any emotion can range in intensity.  If we are not able to move beyond the past, accept ourselves and our faults we remain powerless, guilt becomes bigger than the event which caused the original feeling.  You can read more about the emotion of guilt in my previous blog post. 

 

Zarina’s Words of Wisdom - Case Study

 

‘‘I often wonder how things would have been different between us if my mother had been open to change.  I’d been hanging onto the hope, however slim that we could improve our relationship as equals.  It’s my deepest regret she didn’t want our relationship to change or even begin to understand and acknowledge I had other commitments.  As I became more independent, knowledgeable, confident and successful, my mum turned on me, saying people didn’t want what I had to offer and my business wouldn’t be a success.  I know now she didn’t have a personal example of a happy, contented and successful life and possibly resented me having something she didn’t.  What I wanted from her more than anything was for her to say, “I’m proud of you”.  Just as well I wasn’t holding my breath.’’

 

The following questions are written from the 'mother' aspect through can be adapted to any relationship 

 

·         If your mother is still alive what would you like to tell her, now you’ve had an opportunity to reflect on your feelings of guilt and regret?

·         What would you like to hear from her in response to your message?

·         If your mother is deceased what do you wish you had said or done differently?

·         Consider writing a letter to your mother if she is deceased or no longer in your life, in order to release the past and free yourself from any unresolved emotions 

 

In the same way I would recommend clearing and resolving the range of emotions using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)  Working on forgiving yourself and the people you have had relationship experiences with will play a key part in your recovery. 

 

In the audio downloads section of my website you can listen in to a beautiful guided relaxation on forgiveness. 

 

Forgiveness sets you free from the past so you can live your life in the now.  Being aware of the past is helpful, living there isn't.

 

Forgiveness means you are not only able to forgive the event and experiences which have shaped both of your lives, you are also able to forgive yourself and the people in your relationships for your individual actions and behaviours within those events. 

 

In chapter six of Mothers and Daughters: The guide to understanding and transforming the relationship with your mother there are a series of forgiveness statements which can be worked through using EFT.   This chapter also offers you the full EFT process so you can apply this technique on all areas of your life.

 

If you'd like some help and support in working through your regrets and disappointments please do make contact to discuss support options. There is also a free 'Negative Memory Release' audio download for you to enjoy with my good wishes. 

 

Never look back unless you are planning to go that way - Henry David Thoreau

 

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