Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda… ?

Posted: February 19, 2013 in Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Don’t stress what coulda or shoulda happened..because what DID happen prepared you for what’s GONNA happen!

i am not a woulda, coulda, shoulda person. When whatever happens, i usually can accept it and usually learn something from it. They say that everyone has regrets in life. While that MAY be true i have a difficult time in stating any regrets i have. i struggle to think of what or how i would do things differently. If the word is true and everything comes from God, goes through God and ends in God then i find it difficult to have regrets or live a life based on woulda, coulda, shoulda.

The worst emotion i can imagine feeling is woulda, coulda, shoulda, what if, or regret? At Onething Campus i hear people express lots of different emotions. Some are wonderful such as joy, excitement, pride, and inspiration. Others are less positive including fear, frustration, anger, and sadness. Yet, the one emotion that i consider to be perhaps the worst of all emotions is regret.

What is regret? It’s the idea that i wish i had done something differently. There are no dress rehearsals in life, no opportunities for do-overs. i get one shot at life, so i might as well accept that there will be a bunch of “woulda, coulda, shoulda” when i look in the rearview mirror of my life.

The issue of regret is very personal to me because one of my goals in life has been to experience as little regret as possible.

Regret can involve action or inaction. Life presents all kinds of opportunities. i then have a choice whether to embrace or reject each opportunity. i can take a leap of faith and risk failing. Or i can keep my feet firmly planted on the ground and seemingly ensure my safety, while also missing out on what the opportunity had to offer.

i know a lot of people who have deep regrets about what they didn’t do, an idea not pursued, a job not taken, a relationship gone bad.

I came across a blog recently written by a nurse who takes care of dying patients. The post described the five regrets that she heard most frequently from her patients:

1.  “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

This regret is perhaps the most fundamental because it lies at the heart of leading a rich life. So much of the lack of meaning, satisfaction, and happiness that people experience can be boiled down to the fact that they are not living a life that is consistent with their true selves, values, and goals. This creates a tension that can lead to an unfulfilled life.

2.  “I wish I didn’t work so hard.”

I actually have mixed feelings about this regret. I think that if i experience regret #1 and i am in a career that isn’t aligned with who i am, then, yes, i will feel great regret for having spent time working when i could have been devoting my time to activities and people that i value.

At the same time, if my career is one, that i have great passion for, it is a source of satisfaction and pride, and i feel productive, valued, and connected, then this regret may not be relevant. As with most things in life, it’s probably best to strive for a life that includes engaging work, interesting avocations, and nurturing relationships.

  1. Ann Marie says:

    Can’t wait to hear the last 3 regrets.

  2. ldipascal says:

    I hope you’ll be sharing the other 3 regrets tomorrow. 🙂

  3. meandiam says:

    YEP! That’s why I love PAUL: “FORGETTING what lies behind, I press on toward the mark…” To me, this meaning continuing onward, even after so many mistakes…but learning and RELEASING, so that I may be offered opportunity for growth by and IN the Lord. If I won’t let it go (that which I’ve been forgiven for), I will forever be in THAT LOOP of disaster and regret. He brings me JOY in the MOURNING (Note the spelling here). I can be made new again, by his power, for HIS purposes! Love to you all, Michael

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