Can you pull off wearing a silver-foiled NO REGRETS t-shirt with complete authenticity? Not as a vow of fashion but as a vow of truth? Meaning you really do live with no regrets?
I – 100% – CANNOT.
Just yesterday I picked up some kombucha at Central Market. It was a toss between the new to me ginger-lemon and the recent favorite prickly-pear flavor. As the sting from the ginger burns my throat I’m regretting not getting the prickly-pear. I like a little ginger, but this is over the top.
Having choices is one of our human superpowers. We have ENDLESS choices every single day. So naturally, you’re going to make some choices that aren’t going to turn out how you want them to. Some things are going to taste bitter and burn going down.
This kind of regret – experiential regret gives you something you can’t buy or steal. The regret from the outcome of an experience gives you something that makes getting older not suck. It compensates for crows feet, gray hair and having to pee when you jump on the trampoline. The regret from experience gives you the otherwise unattainable WISDOM.
Wisdom is given to those who decide to choose even though there is no certainty of the outcome.
Wisdom draws you closer to the truth of who you are and what you really want in your one precious life. Wisdom means you have the experience under your belt to make a choice that tastes better next time.
The regret matrix can tangle you up in indecision. And that’s the worst kind of regret: the regret from not doing or trying that thing that’s calling your name. The regret of inaction.
Working as a caretaker for the dying, Bonnie Ware noticed a trend in what her patients regretted most from their lives. Moved by what she heard she wrote a book called The 5 Regrets of the Dying. The regrets Ms. Ware heard most often were:
The 5 Regrets of the Dying by Bonnie Ware:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Not anywhere on the list were there regrets of things her patients tried or attempted that didn’t work out well.
Regret is so powerful that even the thought of possibly having it can keep you frozen from acting on what’s truly stirring in your soul.
This is the regret matrix: NOT doing what you really want because you are afraid you’ll regret it.
If you’re wondering if you’re caught up in the regret matrix, ask yourself these questions:
- Is there something I’ve wanted to try and have been able to but chose not to?
- Do I order the same thing at a restaurant because I know it tastes good and don’t want to risk getting a meal I don’t like?
- Do I have hidden dreams I don’t share with my closest friend or therapist or coach?
- Do I hold onto clothes or other possessions I no longer wear or use or even like because “what if one day I need it”?
- Am I hard on myself when I make a choice that doesn’t work out well?
If you answered YES to one or all of these questions, then you are an honorary Regret Matrix Member. If you answered NO to all of these questions then there is a NO REGRETS t-shirt with your name on it!
It’s probably safe to say most of us are members of this non-exclusive club. It’s hard not to be when so much weight is placed on what success should look like. The thing about regret is, it can be a poison causing you to miss out on your life or it can be a catalyst for wisdom.
My life isn’t hurting because I chose the ginger-lemon kombucha. (My throat is, but that will go away.) The regret of choosing this spicy flavor has changed to wisdom. Had I not tried it I’d always wonder what ginger-lemon tastes like. Now I know and I won’t think about it again. I’m moving on to other things because I’ve freed my mind from wondering.
This goes for everything.
I’m a big believer that the whispers of your soul are there guiding you to the most authentic, joyful, magical version of yourself. Choices are what lead us to the wonderful place of authenticity and clarity.
Clarity comes from doing and trying and messing up and failing and succeeding. There is not a bad outcome because even if it didn’t turn out how you wanted it to, it lead you to the next place, which is perfect.
This pressure of getting it all right all the time is an old, tired paradigm that needs to be retired. Life is where we get to sample and try and try again. We live on the plane of choices and experiences. This is what we are here to do. And hallelujah, there is no rule book on what you are supposed to experience or have. It really is always up to you.
The regret of an experience can alchemize into wisdom with your permission. Try the thing, throw out the stuff you don’t want, don’t take yourself so seriously. I know this is how I want to finish out the year. What about you?
This Sunday is our November monthly circle gathering. Have you wanted to try it but haven’t given yourself the chance? It’s a regret-free way to raise your vibration and open your heart. 🙂
I’d love to hear what you think about the Regret Matrix or kombucha – leave a message below!
Till next time, lots of love and living out of your comfort zone. xo