Life for the living… through regret?
February 8, 2013, 3:32 pm
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Regret is an emotion wrapped in guilt and shame. It’s edged in an apprehension to continue forward because it involves linking the past and aligning mistakes and errors with personal identity. The feeling of lingering regret hints at the soul that we left something undone, unsaid or we have failed to do or say something that needed to be done. 



Regret is the concept of carrying the burden of mistakes and errors instead of releasing them. It is holding on.


3. a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction, etc.
4. a feeling of sorrow or remorse for a fault, act, loss, disappointment, etc.
Regret is full of negative connotation, but the upside of regret is that it helps us prepare for the future if we’re wise, choosing to live in a way that will prevent the need for regret
“Colleen Saffrey at the University of Victoria and colleagues at the University of Illinois, writing in the journal Motivation and Emotion, provide evidence that people actually have a high regard for regret. In one study, subjects rated regret favorably in a survey, indicating that experiencing this emotion helped them make sense of life events and come up with a remedy for what went wrong. In a second study, the researchers asked subjects to reflect on 11 negative emotions —such as fear, anger, anxiety, and shame—in addition to regret. The subjects rated how much they agreed with statements about the value of the emotions, for example, whether an emotion “helps me know how to act in the future” or “improves my relationships with others.” Across the board, regret was the most highly valued of the negative emotions studied.” (Attributed to linked article above at
Regret is not useful when wallowed in or converted to a misery or “woe is me” attitude that may not enable right action or choices to move past the emotion. However, regret becomes helpful in a social context when people understand they can take mistakes made and learn from them, preventing future error by establishing plans to create healthier choices and life outcomes. Regret also socially allows people to learn from the mistakes of others, and perhaps this is why the famous first-lady and human rights advocate Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You cannot live long enough to make them all yourself.” 
So it is through study of personal regrets of self and others that a person is able to possibly increase success in their field, family or community. And to shy away from the taunting notion of “regret” is error in itself and can compound the negative feeling in the future with avoidant or dismissive behaviors. 
“Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to
carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Read more wise words from this courageous first lady at Brainy Quote. 

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