Regret is a very powerful emotion. It’s very easy to slip into varying degrees of “I wish X had happened” or “If only Y hadn’t” – and it’s easy to beat ourselves up with this and end up going round in circles. One strong branch that emanates from regret is control; we try and CONTROL the past. When we actually think about it, we know that we can’t control it. We know we can’t change the past event, but what we can control is how we see the event now.
Try and bring to the surface something that you feel regret about; it won’t take most people long – if it does, then this post might not be worth reading! Try and list all the positives to come out of the decision you made, or didn’t make. They might be really hard to spot but they’re in there. The first step in this exercise is the hardest – once you find one, others tend to follow more easily!
Another thing you could try is to do something about the past, now. Reframe it – think about it differently. Or use your sense of regret to propel you forward – like the principles I talked about in “Enough is Enough” (http://fittoflourish.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/enough-is-enough/). Use the injustice you feel to inspire yourself to take action now.
Remember that everything decision you’ve ever made was based either on what you wanted at the time, what you thought was right at the time, or the result of the tools you had (or didn’t have) at that time, so try and forgive yourself in order to move forward.