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Maybe some of you reading this have regrets about past career or life decisions.  Sometimes you know you made a mistake, learned from it and know exactly what you would do differently in future.  What about the ones you still haven’t come to terms with?  Or when you know what you would do differently, but it’s no good since you’ve already had your only shot at it?

The kind of situation you turn over and over in your mind wondering if you made the right decision….or you know you didn’t, and worry about it.

Now, look back at the situation or event and say “how was I right?” or “how was the situation right?”  Don’t answer the question right away….just hold it in your mind.  Maybe you won’t even come up with an answer today, tomorrow or the next day.

Like many simple-yet-difficult concepts, I see this misunderstood frequently, so I will be thorough in describing what it is not.

Making yourself right is not justification for hurt that you caused others in the past, or for planning to cause harm in future (because you “can’t do anything wrong” after all!)  You can be right and still have genuine regret for causing harm.

Nor does it make others “right” for hurting you (I see this view forced on people, “your soul must have chosen to be abused” etc. and I find it disgusting.)

It also doesn’t involve assumptions about others, e.g. “I kicked him out of my house, and it hurt to do it, but it was the ‘tough love’ he needed to make a better life for himself” – most of us have a hard enough time knowing what our own true path is, let alone someone else’s.

There is also no rationalizing and “finding the positive side” of any event in your life, e.g. “I suffered but it happened so I could learn compassion.”  You may very well arrive at this insight or realization later, but the meaning in suffering cannot be forced prematurely, based on someone else’s idea of “spirituality”.  You can read or hear the concepts, and even believe them, but words are no substitute for knowing and experiencing it yourself.

Besides, insight may not even involve a “bright side” at all.  It could just mean seeing where the event fits into the bigger picture, gaining the perspective such that the event “just is” rather than is positive or negative.  Or it becomes irrelevant.  This perspective and knowing is in my opinion one of the greatest benefits of personal growth work.

This post is inspired by one of the tips in Cherie Carter-Scott’s Negaholics


Obviously different advice works for different people, but I am interested to know about your experiences.

Which responses from people or ideas led you down what you feel was the wrong path?  Which ones led to success for you (however you define that?)

Did you ever give advice or support to someone else that really helped them?  What was it?

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