How to Move From Regret to Acceptance

Auntie Anne Beiler
November 10, 2019

Auntie Anne Beiler

Founder of Auntie Anne's Pretzels
Personal Growth Personal Development

There was a time when I went to my counselor with a long list of regrets that kept me from seeing the goodness of each day and my life as it was.

Regret kept pulling me back into my past of pain and guilt. Like the definition says, I felt sorrow caused by circumstances beyond my control or power to repair it.

Regret is looking back and wishing your circumstances wouldn’t have drastically changed. It remembers all your shattered dreams that were out of your control.

Fretting about your regrets steals your energy for today and keeps you living in the past.

When we waste our time and energy wishing for a different set of circumstances, we lose sight of what tomorrow could bring. Tomorrow is always filled with opportunity, but regret never allows us to seize the opportunities!

Because of that, we lose the ability to change anything in the present.

Instead of fretting over your past, you can begin to accept your life as it is.

Acceptance may be the opposite of regret.

Which takes me back to my counselor. She listened week after week as I poured out my regrets. At one point she asked me a question that stunned me:

“Do you think you have the capacity to accept your life as it is?”

I’d never thought about accepting my life as it is!

I was too busy trying to understand why life had become so unbearable.

Her question prompted me to consider acceptance seriously, but I had no way of knowing how I could do that! It seemed impossible!

I had fought and struggled so hard wishing things about my past had never happened. I didn’t like who I had become but didn’t know how to change.

To accept my life as it is simply never entered my thoughts.

How could I begin to accept my life just as it is?

She then proceeded to tell me life is like a deck of cards, and I could choose to accept the hand dealt to me.

On the one hand, I had experienced great pain.

On the other hand, I had experienced great success.

How did I go from regret to acceptance? It started with the challenge of my counselor.

The challenge to accept my life as it is had never been an option for me because I wanted to keep regretting the things done to me. Or the things I had done to hurt others.

I believed the sorrow of my regrets was beyond my control! I felt like I was powerless to change anything, so I always reverted to regret.

The truth is you can never change your past, but you can ALWAYS change your future. You can start today.

Start thinking about your future and what you want it to be. Say goodbye to regret and start thinking about the things you can change.

Exchange regret with hope.

And then, have hope for a better future and a life with no regrets.

Think about the dreams you have tucked away in your heart. The dream may have died, but you can resurrect it by believing ALL things are possible! With God and hard work, you can live without regrets!

He is waiting for you to choose to live in the moment and leave regret behind you.

Accept the losses and pain of your life and believe there is life after loss. If you hadn’t lost anything, you would never have been able to see the beauty of a life restored.

If you know me, practicing a life of confession is so important to me. In light of that, I will confess one of my deepest regrets.

It’s still the most difficult in my memory. It’s the regret that nearly stole all my belief that I could one day be at peace. It’s the regret that stole my hope to believe life could be good again.

In my darkest years, I was emotionally absent from my two beautiful little girls. My pain, blame, and shame consumed my every waking hour.

I was a stay at home mom and did all the mom duties as they were growing up. I took care of all the physical needs little girls have and did it pretty well.

But I regret being emotionally absent and not nurturing my little girls.

For many years as I thought about this, my stomach would go in knots, and my mind would go into a constant, vicious cycle of regret.

I just kept wishing I would have and regretting I that did not meet the emotional needs of my sweet girls.

I believed I could never find peace and release from that particular regret.

My sweet girls were the very reason I didn’t end it all, and yet regret kept me from seizing the moment of even trying.

My counselor was my motivation to begin the long journey of acceptance.

Acceptance truly IS the opposite of regret.

You cannot change yesterday, but you REALLY CAN change ALL Your tomorrows!

Think about the changes you can make today and take the small steps necessary so that your regrets no longer steal the opportunities of today.

What is your greatest regret?

Be courageous enough to journal about it. Then think about how you can go from regret to acceptance and begin to dream about tomorrow.

With no regret, there are endless opportunities in all your tomorrows.

I have discovered that any regret can become a distant memory.

Regret is a thief that steals our joy today, and acceptance is the essence of a better tomorrow.

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