Regret is like waking up with a terrible hangover. We’re disgusted with ourselves, wanting to forget what we said or did, wishing the whole memory would just disappear. But if we can bring insight and lovingkindness to our feelings of regret, we can use those painful experiences to clarify our intention to love. So, try to welcome the pain of regret as a teacher rather than shutting it down with shame. Ask yourself what kind of relationships you want to have with others. Are we truly interested in listening to other people, or are we shutting them out? Regret softens us so that we really hear others instead of trapping them into roles in our personal drama. If we can hold steady in the quivering space of regret, feeling the pain of our barriers, we can melt those barriers with compassion.

From Which Way Is Up? © 2024 by Susan Gillis Chapman. Reprinted in arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc.

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