Which of the following do you most often choose for dealing with regret?
1. “I have no regrets.” This applies to people who refuse to own that they’ve made mistakes. They might deny or minimize their behaviors but all are merely aspects of denial or avoidance.
2. “I live with constant regret, guilt and shame.” This applies to people who cannot seem to forgive themselves for their errors.
3. “Regrets serve no purpose in my life.” This can sound suspiciously similar to the first option, but the difference is that the reason you now have no regrets is because you know what you thought you did never actually occurred.
It’s easy to say you prefer and choose the third option. However, it is much harder to actually understand it and unless you understand it, you cannot actually choose it.
When we reach a heightened level of Christ Consciousness, we find no purpose in having regret for a couple of reasons: For starters, in the ultimate sense, whatever is in the past no longer exists. Second, when you are “born again” into a new level of consciousness – Christ Consciousness – you find that it was not the new you who committed the errors but instead, it was the old you, a part of you that exists no longer. As the Bible puts is, “There is now no condemnation for those who are (newly born into Christ Consciousness).” (Romans 8:1).
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)
As with all things, there are a few ways to deal with regret.
1) You can ignore it and hope it goes away-pretending you don”t feel it.
2) You can allow it to destroy you, always shaming yourself and your actions, which can then paralyze your abilities to move forward.
3) You can take an honest look (self inventory) at whatever it was that you’ve done (past or present) and learn from it, learning what made you choose that decision, what part of you the decision served (your ego or your soul), and even how you can choose differently next time.
But the fact is that you need to do something with it. It does not serve you to pretend you are above it or that you simply don’t feel such emotions.
Of course this does not imply that you need to shame or guilt yourself into making more “spiritual choices.” Instead, the goal is to teach yourself about YOU and what makes you tick. Once you “know thyself,” you will make different choices, but not out of fear or attempting to “be good.” Instead, you will make different choices because you understand why you made your previous choices. Therefore, you can now make more educated, self-aware, and healthy choices.
It is not God’s will for you to attempt to heal your soul through self-abasement. Making yourself feel bad for things you’ve done “wrong” is “ego-centered.” Attempts to improve oneself through such means are simply not real nor are they long lasting. No amount of regret will ever correct your soul nor will it make amends for your past behavior.
“The anger (regret and self-condemnation) of man does not achieve the righteousness of God (a new self in a state of purity).” (James 1:20).
Look out for the final part in this series…coming soon.