Opinion

Give yourself second chances

What’s done is done. We can’t turn back the clock of time. Good or bad, right or wrong, it is done. It’s over! Once the ingredients are mixed, we cannot separate them apart. Once a word goes from our mouth, we cannot take it back. Once we do an action, we cannot choose another one in its place. Once wood is reduced to sawdust, you can’t make it back into a board. Once Humpty Dumpty fell, all the kings’ horses and all the kings’ men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again. Once today arrives, it becomes too late to live in yesterday

Despite the fact that no one cannot refute the obvious statements above, it is not uncommon for many of us still finding ourselves reworking yesterday.  So many people cannot seem to leave the land of “if only” and “would’ve could’ve should’ve.”

For those people, yesterday prevents them from living fully in today as guilt, regret and hindsight makes them so much wiser. They cannot forgive themselves for not “knowing better” at the time.

If only we knew everything when we were four!

The good news is that there is an alternative to the emotional paralysis of, “I should have known better-it is.”  Instead of wishing you had known better and kicking yourself that you didn’t, how about giving yourself a second chance?

Regrets are important in our life to help us self-correct.  The key is to recover from and build on the sharp sting of regrets to look for the lessons learned and take comfort in the fact that these lessons make us wiser.

How would we ever develop real empathy if we never made a mistake or a wrong turn? It is regrets that keep us in check from being judgmental and arrogant. Thus, we become better people who, in turn, have more compassion and empathy for others. Empathy is considered to be one of the cornerstones of emotional intelligence.

With so many lessons from mistakes or regrets, you will be in better shape moving forward. It can actually make it easier for us to be happier by living in today instead of yesterday.

I have never met anyone who tried to be toxic or dysfunctional. People generally try their best, even if their best is not objectively healthy. Unhealthy people make unhealthy decisions and behave in an unhealthy way. People do not intentionally make self- defeating decisions. So consider it a noble effort to try your best, even if your best felt short and was misguided.

A lack of forgiveness for oneself or others is one of the most common reasons for depression, anxiety and interpersonal conflict. Thankfully, regrets give you the opportunity to self-correct and to develop the ability to forgive. It brings them right to the surface to work on. Strive to be thankful for this golden opportunity to release your-self from bitterness and negativity for good!

If you see shattered pieces of your life’s dreams as stepping stones or as parts of a beautiful life mosaic, you can appreciate those broken remnants. All your disappointments, no matter how small or how large, can be part of something so beautiful that it can be hard to imagine and can pave the way for building a better tomorrow!

You cannot change what happened to you, but you can change what you do with what happened to you.

So what are you waiting for? Give yourself a second chance. You deserve it!

By Nana Alfred

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