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Regret burdens conscience

Whether it is a bad grade on a test or a ruined friendship, teenagers and adults alike often experience the shame, embarrassment and guilt associated with regret every day. The consequences of actions seem inescapable, while the result resides in the back of the mind.

?Most of the time the things I regret I can?t fix,? Ryan Aydelotte, ?10, said. ?When it comes to relationships I think about what I do before I do it, so I don?t have many regrets about friendships that I can apologize for.?

According to Caterina Rando’s, article, “Living Without Regrets” one should commit to living proactively. To live proactively means to participate rather than just observe and to actively pursue dreams and desires. Treasuring time is an important way to avoid regrets.

?I regret not doing things because I felt at the time that I didn?t need to or that it was too much work,” Mary Sargent, ?09, said. ?I?m having to do a lot more now that I didn?t have to do then.” presented ?Ten Commandments for Living a Life Free of Regrets?. One suggestion was to forgive the all people involved (including self), before being able to move past guilt.

?I think if amends need to be made we should do whatever is in our power to fix it and also begin to know about Christ?s forgiveness,? Ellen King, Bible teacher, said. ?I know now that my failures can be used for huge steps of growth. Rather than focusing on failure, look at the experience as a chance to grow.?

According to, there are steps to overcoming regret. The first is to make a list of regrets. Second, examine whether emotions are causing the situation to blow out of proportion and determine whether the circumstances were within control.

Then, change thought personal patterns from toxic and self-deprecating, to forgiving. Grief is the fourth stage. Experiencing the pain, sadness and anger is normal and allows a person to move on and stop reliving the occurrence.

The next step is acceptance. Assume responsibility and acknowledge the consequences of actions, but do not place blame. Another necessity is to learn from the experience and forgive. Apologize to those involved and try to mend the situation.

However, living completely without regret holds danger as well. Some make mistakes and then justify the guilt by using the phrase ?no regrets?. They do not realize the impact those actions have on others.

?When I think of someone who lives completely without regrets,? Richard Garcia, ?08, said. ?I think that they don?t really care what?s happening and they might be hurting someone and not even know it.?

To acknowledge a mistake and learn from it is another one of the Ten Commandments. Contentment with accomplishments and learning from mistakes, are often key essentials to living without regret.

?Each choice you make let?s you learn something from it,? Sargent said, ?and even though you might wish you did something else, the choice was important because of the lesson learned.?

For more information check out Chelsea Joy?s Oct. 12, 2006, article, Facing regret head-on.

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