“There should be no room in your life for regret. If in the moment of doing, you felt clarity, you felt certainty, then why feel regret later?” – Yaa Gyasi
To give you all some background, I am someone who I’d refer to as a “quote hoarder,” whenever I read or hear a good quote I type it up in my notes. This is a practice that’s been going on for about a year and I doubt that it’ll end any time soon.
Thus, I wondered, why not share some of my favourite quotes with you and turn it into a post? Seeing as I’m attempting to work on my consistency when it comes to my blog, and my life is not always filled with exciting and photo-worthy moments, this seemed like the most ideal way to keep you all up to date with my ever-evolving opinions, thoughts, as well as put my quote bank into use.
Now let’s get into it!
The above quote comes from one of my absolutely favourite books, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Throughout my 19 years – yes, I know that’s not a lot, but bear with me – I’ve had my fair share of moments and situations that I have sorely regretted. However, what I learned was that with regret, can come resentment and anger towards yourself and anyone else who might have been involved. After living with such resentment and anger over things I could never change nor take back, I felt drained and stressed.
I’ve never liked the idea of being angry with myself or someone else, because in all honesty – it’s depressing. Furthermore, holding onto anger has never been my strong suit (I have such a horrible memory that I’d even forget what I was mad about in the first place), which is why when I read this quote, something in me clicked.
Think about it.
Why regret something when at the point in time when you did it, you were content? Now I totally understand regretting something because you “should have known better,” but do you ever really know what the future will hold? I mean, I sure am no Raven Baxter, so I know that the future is as much of a mystery to me as what I’m going to eat for dinner tonight.
If I’m going to be honest here, this was a concept that I had a lot of trouble grappling with. How was I supposed to forgive myself for not looking ahead of time, and how could I get over that living in the moment brought me to this moment? Reflecting back, to me the answer is so simple, yet so difficult to accept: I’m only human.
So back to what Yaa Gyasi said. Why regret something you did with certainty and clarity? Furthermore, why regret when all it does is add a weight onto your conscience?
Now, just to be clear, this is not to say I no longer regret things. If I do something foolish, I might come to a realisation that leaves me with a pang of regret. However, instead of holding onto that regret and guilt, I say channel that energy to do better & if possible, to make things right. Regret is normal, I consider it a sign of humanity, but covering yourself in a blanket of it is far from keeping yourself mentally healthy – trust me, I know.
The main reason I keep this quote, is to serve as a reminder (like I said, I’m forgetful) that you can’t live your life constantly feeling regret and depression. In my opinion, I’ve come pretty far from falling into the trap of regret and depression like I used to. I’ve learned that throughout life, there will be loads of things that will go wrong and that once something is done, I have no control over what it may lead to. Yet, I’ve also learned that being upset with yourself and others for a long time, heals no wounds and solves no problems.
In all honesty, the way I see things now, I can get mad, but I shouldn’t stay mad because the Loren of yesterday, didn’t know what the Loren of today knew. If at the time I saw things with such clarity and certainty, how could I stay mad for not knowing what the future held?
Anyway that’s my take on regret, whoever is reading this, whether you agree or disagree with me, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
the pink cheebra