People are funny most times. They do things and then regret it later on. They wallow in self-pity thinking about what-ifs and blaming themselves for being stupid in the past. They are consumed by their guilt and frustration over their past actions and are these hinder them from being authentically happy and contented.
At one point in my life, I have fallen on the dirty traps of life and like many, I was depressed over the issues of my yesterday. It was dark times - like I'm jailed inside an invisible prison that won't let me see the beauty of the outside. I fed on negative thoughts, letting it all overpower my whole being.
Until I decided that it was enough.
Talking to a friend a few nights ago, I was quite astounded to hear myself talking about handling regrets. I couldn't believe I said those things at all actually - because surprisingly, it all made so much sense.
Regrets are like one of the most painful things our minds had ever created. They are memories that constantly remind us of things we so want to forget. They are life's greatest weapons in trolling us all - because they bring us back to the times we never want to look back on, back to our mistakes, back to the times when we were terribly imperfect.
I'm not saying we can be perfect. It's just that we have to understand. If we are to look at the positive side of things, what exactly are regrets?
Regrets are painful memories that mock us consistently; but I have learned to see them as the greatest factor that keeps people grounded. Reminding us of our ugly parts and mistakes, regrets are our biggest reminders that we are imperfect and are bound to make mistakes.
In short, regrets make us human. That's the truth.
I don't think there's even one person without regrets. Even despite people's YOLO attitude nowadays. I don't think there's anyone in the planet who doesn't ask his/her own what-ifs. No one will ever understand the essence of YOLO unless he experienced regrets. See the connection?
My friend asked me how to erase it, and for a moment, I couldn't quite answer. For a moment, I really thought of how to do it. But then, I realized that there's no way you can delete your regrets because that requires you to forget your past. And no one forgets his/her past (unless you get on an accident or a disease and you lose your memories).
If you're familiar with the Expecto Patronum spell in Harry Potter, it pretty much shares the same logic with my formula of defeating regrets. We need to think of greater and better memories that would overcome the dark aspects of our past. If there's none, then create. Because as I told her, happy memories are always the most powerful.
But in the end, it all boils down to the determination of the person to really get over his/her regrets. Dealing with it is easy if only we really want to. One needs not to be overly dramatic in engaging with these thoughts, because that's all it's going to be.
The past is important, but it's all it is: past. It hones us. It guides us. But what's more important is the present and the future that lies ahead. We need to learn how to focus on that if we want to move forward.