July 11, 2016

I think in all of our lives we have done something we wished we hadn't. For me, I have more than a few. In the past three years or so, I have realized that nothing comes without a price. If you make a decision, and it doesn't work out so well, there are consequences for that. Just like if you were in the sun and didn't put on any sunscreen, you would get burned. Life is kind of that way. Without taking the necessary precautions, or doing something without fully thinking it through, you will get burned.

If you have been around this blog before, you know that in July of 2013, I was divorced. Being a 27 year old starting all over isn't so terrible, but when you're doing it in a completely different state than your family, and you're left trying to figure out how to pay your bills alone, keep a smile on your face at work, and handle the deafening silence at night, it can be challenging.

Now, looking back I honestly do wish I had never gotten married. Shortly after my divorce I didn't feel that way, and honestly, years from now, I may feel differently. But, for the last year or so, I just keep replaying the red flags over and over. If I am being transparent, they were there all along, I just chose to ignore them. Did I know everything? No. But, looking back, I knew enough to say, something wasn't right.

Living a happy life can't include living with regret. I find that regret is nothing more than living in the past, and it can absolutely paralyze you from moving forward. I have been in counseling the last few months (something I am not ashamed of), and I have come to realize that it's time for me to break up with regret. It's time to tell it goodbye, to let it go, and not pick it back up again the future.

Here are some ways you can break up with regret, too:

1. Write your regret a break up letter. I know that may sound childish, but you cannot believe the weight it will take off of your shoulders. Being 100% honest on the paper and letting your words flow from your heart is an amazing way to let it all go. I highly recommend it. 

2. Don't replay the "What if's". Honestly, we can't know what would have happened had we made a different decision, but that's the beauty of life. Sometimes the most comforting moments are those without knowing. I don't think I would have wanted to know how my life could have changed course had I not gotten married. It could have turned out better, but it could have turned out worse too. We just can't know. 

3. Allow yourself this one. Everyone makes mistakes, let's face it. We all have things in our lives that we wish hadn't come to be. I think one important thing to remember is that, you're allowed to make mistakes. You're allowed to be imperfect. These scars, stories, even "baggage" will honestly make you stronger. Who knows? Your story may be what changes someone else's life. 

4. Be open about regret. The thing that has helped me along in this process is being open with those I trust about how I feel. If I am able to just unload for a second, sometimes it eases the pain that is caused by regret. It's amazing how reassuring my friends & family can be, and it honestly puts things right back into perspective for me. 

I think without the mistakes, the regrets, the stories, we wouldn't be the people we are. I can't change the fact that I was married and divorced, but I can change the decisions I make in the future. I can use my experience to prevent me from making the same mistake again. I can use it to help someone in a similar situation. We can break up with the regret as long as we don't break up with the lessons.

Happy Monday, xx.

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