I often find myself hesitating in that agonizing moment right before I leap into a tough conversation or commit to a big decision. I treat it like the end of the world, as if nothing can ever be the same again.
We live in a ctrl+Z culture where the only acceptable mistakes are those that can be undone. We shrink from consequences and hate the very idea of regret.
If you are paralyzed by fear of outcomes and the potentially world changing effect of your actions, consider these two truths:
Without regret we cannot grow into our full maturity; and
Nothing is ever shattered beyond redemption
Regret has an unmatched ability to make life’s lessons really stick. Avoiding mistakes and their consequences will stunt your personal development and keep you from experiencing a full life.
Even if you’ve plowed under your relationships and paved over your dreams, green shoots can still spring up through the concrete. Life can colonize even the most barren wastelands. Birds and trees and flowers will move back in and erase the scars on the landscape of our lives. The legacy of our mistakes will be softened and redeemed if we don’t give in to self-pity and defeatism.
Are there aspects of your life that seem ruined beyond remedy? If you open yourself up, accept your mistakes and appreciate your regrets, how much is really lost that can’t be found? Where the sun shines there is life. Even where it doesn’t shine there is still life. There will always be life after disaster; it may just look a little different.