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  • Writer's pictureEllen Dodd

Let That Sh*t Go!

“I should’ve...”

“I wish I’d...”

“If only I had...”

How many times in your life have you said something like this? How many things do you regret? It is a trait of mankind to look back at past situations and yearn to have done something differently, to have obtained different results. These regrets can plague our minds and be heavy emotional baggage to carry.

I know that personally, I held a lot of regrets the past few years. I wish I hadn’t dropped out of uni, I wish I hadn’t left that job, messed this up, or that up, and so on. I don’t know about you, but I can be extremely critical of myself and it sucks. This especially involves analysing past situations and wishing I had been different. This, I realised, was extremely unhealthy.

Whilst it is beneficial to reflect on our past, in order to see where we can improve in the future, being stuck on particular situations is an unhealthy fixation. If we are always thinking about how we could have done things differently in the past, then how will we embrace the future, the present?

I could feel my regrets burning up inside of me. Every time something went wrong in my life, I would presume it would never have happened had I just "x y z" in the past. But, this is stupid. Even if we had done what we now deem as perfect in hindsight in the past, it may have led to even worse results. Or better. We will never know. We can’t tell the future. Realising this is a bit strange, accepting that some things will be left unknown, but ultimately it helps us let go.

If we want things to be better in the future, we need to make them better the best we can in the present. One way of doing this is to let go of the past regrets we have. They are heavy, and can weigh us down. Even if something only comes to mind every so often and you feel that pang of regret, chances are it’s been festering in your subconscious mind and that’s why you still think of it.

In order to clear these regrets from your mind, here is a practice I have done:

  • Grab a piece of paper and a pen, and write down all, ALL the regrets you have that come to mind.

  • Reflect on these, feel the regret if it starts to build up inside of you

  • Feel all the regret, the anger at yourself, everything that comes up.

  • Tell yourself it’s time to let these regrets go, that it’s time to move on and build a future, not to be stuck in the past.

  • Take a final look at the regrets, knowing that in this moment it is time to let them go.

  • BURN THAT PAPER!!! In a heat proof dish – Or rip up if you don’t have equipment.

  • Feel the regret leave you, FEEL the power of what you’re doing, don’t let the regrets hold you back anymore. Regrets diminish our self-confidence, making us feel lesser and lesser the more mistakes we make or perceive ourselves to be making. Take that power back. YOU are in control of your life, and YOU don’t want to be held back by your past any longer!

  • LET, THAT, SH*T, GO!!!

  • Once the papers burned, take a deep breath, feel the space you have just created in your mind. If you like, take a cleansing shower afterward.

This is a ritual I have completed a couple of times now and have felt a lot lighter afterwards, which is why I share it. The things playing on my mind begin to subside afterward and moving forward. I would do it whenever you find yourself playing past scenarios in your head. You may want to repeat it in the future when more regrets come up in your mind.

You can repeat this ritual with anything you want to let go of, not just regrets. But I think my folly of regretting tonnes of things can be shared by many, so I thought it would be useful to share.

Remember: if you had done anything differently to the way you did, you wouldn’t be where you are today. And today, you have the opportunity to take control of your life and build a better future. Every single day we all have this opportunity, it’s just a case of taking it.

How does one take control of their life? Realising where they’re being held back is one step, the previous post discussed limiting beliefs, these can hold us back. Holding onto regrets can do the same, so letting them go and freeing our minds from them helps us move forward with life.

Spending 10 hours regretting the past, is less helpful than 10 minutes of doing something to build the future. Today, the useful thing you do could be the above ritual to let go of regrets and free yourself from their prison.

“Just because things could have been different, doesn’t mean they’d be better”

Peace n love always,

El x

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