A new revelation can come in a moment of clarity over circumstances that have been haranguing ones life for months, years, heck, even decades. One person, or even the memory of one mistake, can keep us beating ourselves up and tearing ourselves down. We end up living a life that is less-than what we deserve, and what we deserve is better.
I love when my clients turn the proverbial corner in their thinking and come to realize they deserve better. One client, who has been suffering for years at the hands of others, shared with me her new mantra, "I deserve better than you" based on a song she heard by Meghan Trainor (attached).
“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door,
that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
Alexander Graham Bell
Regret is such a bitter pill to swallow, but for some who have much to regret, they regurgitate the pill back up and attempt to swallow it over and over again. It doesn't get better with time, only more difficult to swallow. Depression can creep up as you constantly ruminate on the guilt and shame that you can blow the truth out of proportion until it's not a pill, but a basketball size regret that is choking the life out of you.
The sad thing is much of our pain and suffering is self-inflicted as we pick at the scabs left from the original wound and re-injure ourselves in the process. We pick and pick, until we bleed, and blame the person who did the original wound for the ongoing pain we feel. We exaggerate the effects of the wound because we can't let it go, we can't move on, and we can't fix what happened in the original wounding so we pick, pick, pick instead.
There was an old TV Show where comedian Bob Newhart was acting as if he were a Psychiatrist working with someone who was having reoccurring negative thoughts and behaviors. She was complaining to him about her circumstances and the feelings that were overwhelming her. Bob explained that there was an easy fix for her problem and he shouted, "STOP IT!" Startled, the woman looked at him in disbelief. He shouted again, "Stop it!" In psychology this truly is a technique I have taught others. It's called, "Thought stopping." Catchy right? Well, you pretty much shout at yourself when you start going down the rabbit hole of negative thinking. You give yourself a mental "shake up" and "shake out" the negative so you can refocus on something positive. Simultaneously, you make a decision to get up and move, get a glass of water, take a walk, go outside and smell the roses.
We all can get stuck in our regrets over the loss of a relationship we desperately wanted or words that we said that we wish we could take back, nights when too much wine made us look like a fool, or acts of desperation that landed us in jail. To some extent we all have regrets for one thing or another. So, when you fall back into the old pattern of negative thinking, say, "STOP IT" and move. Why? Because you deserve better.