I always promote the idea that one should have no regrets in life. Every decision we make, every path we travel down, every experience that we have are all part of the intricate puzzle that make up who we are today and also serve to influence our present decision-making process, which then in turn will effect tomorrow and so on and so forth.
Sometimes it’s a learning process though and while I will stand behind the practice of not having regrets, it can be difficult to understand why some things happen the way they do. Today I am contemplating this as my mind is preoccupied with the question: How do I learn to trust myself again?
In the past I have made decisions which led me to be derailed by promises and I spent (not wasted, right?) so much time and energy investing into another person. So the question I ponder now, and the question that makes me begin to doubt my own abilities and choices, is: “How do you qualify these decisions to commit yourself to another person, when that person is then gone from your life and with their departure, all essence of what you were and the plans laid out before you are simply nonexistent and now it must all be reevaluated, adjusted and realigned?”
After everything you experience with another individual, the secrets, the knowing glances, the inside jokes and shared humor; it’s like a language that the two of you created just for your own use and comprehension. After all of that, they are gone, and now that person is a stranger for all you know, except that you still hold a piece of them in your memory, like a faint photograph that evokes feelings from a distant past. But what you’re holding onto is no longer relevant and it’s not tangible anymore. You see that person and you remember that at one time they were everything to you, once they embodied all that you thought was important to you, they held your security and safety and future in the palm of their hand. And with that same hand they hold the ability to sweep everything out from under you, all at once the past doesn’t matter because the future is now a whole new canvas, with no sketch or outline of what lies ahead.
The natural tendency is to question how that one person ever possessed all of that power in the first place. Oh, that’s right; you gave it to them willingly. You handed over your heart and said “Please don’t hurt this” but you know the request was ill suited for that moment because in that time frame you are both so blinded by your emotions and you are drunk on love and never in a million years does your mind allow you to imagine harming one another. In that heightened phase of chemical imbalance, your heart overrides your mind and with that all rational thought is long gone behind the veil of love and lust. You truly believe that your heart has found its other half, that it is meant to fit side by side with theirs, like two pieces of a magnet that are pulled together no matter how much you try to tear them into another direction.
The events that lead up to the destruction of love are always different; it is unique based on the chemistry and interactive nature of both people. Although as an individual, you can often see a pattern in your own actions and hopefully can pinpoint the characteristics within yourself that have more than once reared their ugly heads and have contributed to the destruction of a relationship. Isn’t that the goal after all, to be able to learn and grow from these heart wrenching experiences? Let’s all put on our positive caps for the time being and remember that the reason for having no regrets in life is that every experience is an opportunity for growth and for bettering oneself and this all leads you to the next phase in your life, and within the next experience you can then put your lessons into practice, always striving to be the best version of yourself that you can be!
But after a few years here and there of committed relationships, of love built on shared dreams and visions, followed by heartbreak and tears and doubt, it is difficult to remain firm and strong behind your own actions and decisions. How do you trust yourself when it is your own heart and mind that work together in cyclical rhythms to elevate you on the highs of love and the lows of heartache? How do you trust your “gut” or that instinctual feeling that we women are supposed to be so famous for? Does it take your gut a year to kick in? Is your instinct just warming up or is it easily thwarted by the warmth overlay of desire?
As I write this, I revert back to my original thought. I do believe that a life without regrets is more free and digestible and overall a more positive approach to take on as it helps to keep the poison of the past at bay. We cannot change what was. Perhaps the lesson to be learned is easier to swallow if laid out like this: deep within our souls, we know the answers and we know the path to take, so it’s not about learning to trust oneself, it’s about learning to really listen to oneself and to have the foresight to believe that we already know what is best for ourselves. If I listen to my instinct and if I simultaneously believe in my ability to know what is best for myself, then perhaps I would trust myself by default and there would be no room for doubt.