"I want to live my life so that my nights are not full of regrets."--D.H. Lawrence
A life with no regrets...not even possible for a regular peep. It is possible to keep the regrets down to counting on your fingers (and maybe your toes). How you ask?
Through mindful living. Mindful living is learning to question yourself before you react. Some peeps actually learn this when growing and some of us learn through experience....after experience...life keeps kicking us until we get smarter and more proficient in our ability to adapt to ever-changing circumstances.
Most of us permit our feelings to govern us and make decisions about our actions. If we had perfect clarity, this might be feasible, but we don't. We don't always make distinctions about the circumstances in our lives and our often faulty beliefs color our emotions leading to choices that don't work out for ourselves and others in the best possible way.
One very effective way to begin to attain mindful living is through Rational Emotive Therapy. RET teaches us what I think of as the ABC's of Emotions as well as instructing us in avoiding thinking errors. While RET wouldn't be used alone in treating mental illnesses, it can be very effective as a short term (3-6 month) crisis intervention technique to assist in turning negativity around, leading to more positive interactions with others. I'll cover what I consider the most important concepts in another blog.
Another piece of mindful living helpful in dealing with negativity on a personal basis is how important it is to guard against negative thought patterns. Prune dark thoughts at the seedling stage before they can sprout by using thought stopping and affirmations. Depression gets you nowhere but tangled in an overgrown garden that will choke the life out of you. (*If depression already has you in its grip, run, don't walk, to the nearest counseling service and if antidepressants are recommended to assist in climbing out of that dark hole, use them and frequent sessions with a therapist. Find a support group so you don't feel like the only purple people eater in the crowd. Force yourself to do self-care until there is light in your tunnel.)
Finally, I think it is important to recognize that there are only shades of grey in our lives. Black and white are lofty ideals in our minds, standards by which we try to ascertain things and map out our place in the world. Good and evil in their purest form are intangible. We can only aim at them, aspire to them and hope not to get so lost in the shadows that we no longer aim for the light. Accept our human frailty and never give up in our search for wholistic wellness.
May wellness guide your path to wholeness. Blessed be.