Regret All of Your Past Regrets

Regret All of Your Past Regrets

There is a common life philosophy—one should live free of regrets because regret creates unhappiness, and past actions are beyond one’s control. While the former statements are true, there is another (perhaps better) reason that people should try not to rue their past acts. Whenever you make a decision, you are making what you believe to be the best one with the information you have at that point in time. The saying “hindsight is 20/20” means, that, with the knowledge, wisdom and emotional distance, you might conclude differently and by extension, act in another way than you previously did.

We constantly make decisions all the time, actually, most are unconscious. Even if the choice made was, in retrospect, a “bad” one (although that is a relative term), it was made because you genuinely thought it was for the best. It is our nature to take care of ourselves. Even when someone does something that is constituted as “self-sabotage” such as, passively-aggressively ruining a relationship or intentionally missing an opportunity, there is some reason he or she has done so.

People don’t hurt themselves for no reason. Many times an avoidance relates to fear of rejection or getting emotional entwined with something, or someone. This is a defense mechanism. Arguably, not a very good one in the longterm, but it keeps people within their comfort zones and protects them from their fears.

We can always learn from past mistakes, and apply that knowledge to the present and future. It’s important to be compassionate to yourself and give yourself the benefit of the doubt, and not chastise yourself for past errors. Most importantly, accepting mistakes or your past means that you can be compassionate towards yourself, and move on from more difficult times. The most unlikable and miserable people you’ll meet are this way because they don’t like themselves.

Or, as RuPaul so wisely said, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love someone else?”

Micaela Gardner

When Two Become One

When Two Become One

When did the standard for romance become the concept of two people fusing together? It’s a deeply-set belief that manifests in the lexicon of love. ”Other halves” for example, indicate that by being with someone you have somehow become less than a person. There’s also an air of ownership that couples feel toward their partners. How many times have you heard “my man,” “my old lady” or another sort of pet name that has a disturbing sense of entitlement surrounding it?

I don’t believe you can “own” any creature; especially, not another human. Such a line of thinking is what encourages domestic violence and possessiveness and stems from insecurity. It is true that when you are surrounded by people who love and respect you, you generally are a happier and stronger person. Equally important, if you invest all of your love and energy in one person who is a romantic partner, you’re psychologically endangering yourself.

People change greatly throughout the course of their lives. Likewise, the relationships people are in also tend to change. Sometimes both lovers grow up together, and sometimes they outgrow the relationship. People often put so much investment in their romantic relationships (and others, too) that they will unwittingly stunt their own personal growth for the sake of preserving a relationship.

Life is scary. It’s full of random events and unpredictability. Sometimes people find comfort in others because they feel they can face the uncertainty of being alive when they have someone at their side. That’s perfectly normal. However, a relationship becomes unhealthy when individuals are unable to stand on their own–that is, if their relationship falls apart, as devastating as that is, they are defeated and unable to return from such a blow.

People drift apart, they move away, life just gets more complicated. One should actively appreciate the time spent with special people, which can lead to fewer regrets, and make it easier to be apart when life separates you. Rather than mish-mashing yourself to your lover and attaching in a codependent way, why not accept that there are two individuals and countless opinions and different histories? A relationship becomes miraculous to me when two individuals find each other, share common interests and differences, and still retain a healthy autonomy and respect for one another.

How does that subtract from love? It doesn’t. It makes love an active choice for both parties and not a desperate need. It means that two people have chosen each other out of everyone else, and with a lot of thought have decided to embark on a journey together, hand in hand as individuals, discovering each other’s hidden depths and the stories they create together. And what, pray tell, is more romantic than that?