#9: You Will Need To Monitor Your Regrets
A death will usher in a flood of second thoughts, regrets, and negative inward ponderings. Such thoughts come easily to us in the aftermath of devastation.
Could I have done something differently…
Was it my fault that this happened…
Did I say something wrong…
If only thus and such had happened all of this pain could have been avoided…
To make matters worse, if you have a couple of friends like Job’s, you might get some false positive feedback from them that these inner irrational thoughts are spot on! Amazingly such people have the ability to sometimes accurately mimic our negative inner thoughts. Such ponderings are enough to drive a fairly sane person over the edge.
It is inevitable that voices like these will rear their ugly heads after you’ve gone through a horrific experience. We are wired for this sort of inner dialog. We all, to some degree, ponder matters that are unhealthy. It’s part of our fallen nature to dig into what might have been. A smidge (a tiny smidge at that) of these sorts of questions can be helpful, but only early on in the learning curve. Beyond that such things border on self-flagellation. We need to monitor how much we pay attention to such inner noise.
What ought a person do with such inner thoughts? How ought one to go forward?
Truth: There has been no conspiracy against you. Yes, people say and do dumb things toward you. But they are generally too busy thinking about themselves to be occupied with thoughts about how to mess with you.
Truth: You didn’t cause 100% of the trauma you’ve been through all by yourself. Still, you need to own 100% of it now. On the balance, you need to move on. Life is too short to ponder deeply all that has happened to you. Let go. Move on.
Truth: Bad things happen to good people all the time. Deal with it!
Truth: Forward progress won’t happen in your life until you let go of your anger, your resentment toward those who have done you wrong. You can move on in an intelligent manner by letting go of negative feelings you harbor toward those who have done you wrong. As long as you hold onto negative feelings those inner irrational questions will repeat in your head. It’s worth any price you pay to rid yourself of downward inner feedback.
Originally posted 2011-02-07 12:56:59.