Okay let’s be careful with this one. The first part: fine. You feel fear—which is a rush of neurochemistry—as long as you’re thinking the fearful thoughts. When those change, as they inevitably do, so too does your chemistry. But what do we mean when we say, “regret is forever?” I’ll buy that if you’ve done something and you don’t like the results, then any time you think of it you’ll again feel the pain of not liking the results and we can call that regret. But it’s the word forever that’s concerning me. Because you have no storage place for regret within you. There isn’t a part of your brain that stores regrets, there’s no internal organ filled with regret-juice. You feel regret when you think about what happened and compare it to what you would have liked to have happened. It’s what egos do. They time travel, they judge and they compare. So no, regret does not have to be forever. You can accept what happened. You can accept that you either did not know enough to prevent it then, or you did not do enough, or you didn’t want to do anything. Whatever you must accept. And once that is achieved, there is no reason or purpose behind continuing to think about it. Without the thoughts you can’t have the chemistry and voila, you are free of regret and yet not the lessons you want regret to reinforce. Nice huh?
Note: Everyone who posts or shares a quote does so with the very best of intentions. That said, I have created the series of Other Perspectives blog posts in an effort to prevent some of these ideas from entering into people’s consciousness unchallenged. These quotes range from silly to dangerous and—while I intend no offense to their creators—I do use these rebuttals to help define and delineate the larger message I’m attempting to convey in my own work. I do hope you find them helpful in your pursuit of both psychological and spiritual health.
Following a childhood accident should have left him dead, Scott McPherson spent his life meditating on thought, consciousness, reality and the self. Seeing the emotional damage done by ego-based overthinking he began dedicating a part of his life to guiding students toward more peaceful and rewarding lives. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, Canada.