Regret the Past – or Evolve Into the Future (It’s a choice)

We all keep hearing (or saying) how we regret our words, choices, decisions, behaviors of our past. Do we really regret? If yes, why do we regret?

It certainly cannot be a binary argument; wherein being defensive of ‘regretting-never’ and on the other extreme ‘regretting-ever’ carrying the past.

Given a past experience, it’s definitely our mere snapshot (psyche) at that point in time; we may have said certain things or made certain choices or have taken certain decisions or demonstrated certain behaviors. And at that point in time, our psyche would have been a function of our own interpretations, beliefs, judgements, etc. to the situations we were in with external influences (if any).

So in reality, it’s our personality that created that personal reality and nothing else. Then the question of regret comes based on the outcomes or the repercussions those situations had on us or the environment & people around us that we tend to judge.

Some thoughts to ponder:

  • Irrespective of the outcomes, those experiences have some takeaways or what you call ‘learnings’.
  • Once we introspect in understanding the crux of that experience and find the relevance, we accept it as a constructive feedback
  • On acceptance, our experiences get integrated into us. Once it becomes part of us, we let our intelligence handle it much better in our future and evolve
  • On denial, those experiences remain residual energy points separated from the ‘Self’. This results in a conflicted psyche which not only creates dissonance but keeps re-generating the same experiences time & again

So in reality, we don’t regret the past but we regret our inaction in leaving it unhealed forever. Our introspection & continuous feedback to every situation or experience is what results in our evolution. Let’s thank all our experiences for helping us acquire Tacit knowledge.

We all know ‘To err is human, To forgive is divine’ but ‘To keep erring the same is stupid’.

Let’s not regret, let’s evolve!!!

Radical Forgiveness is much more than the mere letting go of the past. It is the key to creating the life that we want, and the world that we want. It is the key to our own happiness and the key to world peace. It is no longer an option. It is our destiny.

–Colin Tipping

 PS: Read (heard) it before? Knew it already? No worries. Let’s recall the proverb “There’s nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes)


Visweswaran Balasubramanian
Visweswaran Balasubramanian
I am Visweswaran, working as a Practice Manager with Oracle Corporation in Bangalore, India. I have done my Post Graduation (PGCHRM) with XLRI, Jamshedpur, and my Engineering with JNTU, Hyderabad (India). I have close to 18 years of IT experience that is diversified in the fields of Technology, Project Management, Talent & Competency Management, Human Resources Management & Program Management (current role). I have been exploring the fields of Philosophy, Psychology and their relatability from the perspective of Science for more than a decade. It’s my inquisitiveness, passion, and a quest for knowledge in learning & exploring, my inherent need to give a form or shape to my existence in synthesizing those learnings with my life experiences; that gives me the fulfillment in realizing my essence & purpose. I view the world around me as a reflection of my altered states of consciousness that enables me to see patterns in everything and to experience the feeling of oneness with the universe.

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  1. To avoid excessive regrets we should free ourselves from the myth of the “right choice”. This simply does not exist as only we have the power to make our choices right or wrong. We should avoid seeing our life as a succession of decisive and definitive moments.
    The best thing, to at least get rid of the fear of regrets when we have to make a choice, make a decision, is not to give up acting, but to increase one’s ability to tolerate failure. And above all, understanding that we can learn from it. Furthermore, we should not make only the simplest choices, but also attempt the boldest choices.
    Finally, it is also a matter of selfestime!

  2. Wisweswaran thank you. I think we are all the product of three “things”:
    a) our genetic heritage
    b) how they raised us (I mean, the way, from an emotional point of view)
    c) the surrounding environment.

    In the event of extremely negative situations … genetic predisposition … lack of love or emotional satisfaction … degraded environment … This has an extremely perverse effect in the souls of people. Not in all cases but often.

    If they are not provided with a prompt remedy during the evolutive age, by getting a right psychological balance, these aspects can create a true disaster because they dig deep and very negatively into people’s psyche.

    Not everybody has the strength to deal with that inner reality, put all that behind and obtain an ideal interior equilibrium.

    This is what we are. Regret … acceptance … denial … judgement … they’re all part of our personality. The way we see the world and ourselves. The way we learned to see the world and ourselves.

    But this is not a sort of impassable barrier in the future of every individual. You are absolutely right Wisweswaran … because then … there’s us, each with their own individuality, and we can evolve. It’s a choice!

    As for happiness … and regret …. more specifically, well, I might be wrong of course … but I think the matter is more complex …

    When we come into the world we are clean and spontaneous. Then, the value principles of good and evil (depending on the society you live in) impose themselves on life as a sort of straitjacket that paranoidly interprets the existence of unconscious desire (ego, who you really are) as a threat to the established order of the ego and shared reality. That’s “superego”.

    I mean, on the oher hand, the sacrifice of a share of instinctual satisfaction is the price that must be paid to access the human dimension of life. Most of the time, human beings yield  themselves … who they really are to “superego” … that’s fine … but up to a certain point. Because if we yield ourselves always and in any case … I mean if we repress who we really are … then we can forget happiness. 

    We need to find a sort of trade-off … between who we really are and the shared reality of civil society. I personally think that we should never give up too much who we really are in order to make way for a “Law” that overlooks the subject … the individual … erasing his/her singularity. Because I believe that people must be themselves. Happiness is just a mirage if you are not yourself, because we can get away from everybody but we cannot escape from ourselves.

    Thank you Wisweswaran! Great article!!! Great!!!