You see a lot of memes saying things like “live without regrets.” For many of us that may seem like an impossible goal. We are human and mistakes are inevitable…and so is feeling regret. The problem with feeling regret is that if we allow ourselves to become obsessed with or consumed by our regrets they can easily turn into a psychological pattern called rumination. Rumination is defined as, “compulsively focused attention on the symptoms of one’s distress, and on its possible causes and consequences, as opposed to its solutions.” When regrets spiral into rumination we find ourselves in a self-perpetuating black hole of negativity. Rumination is often correlated to depression, but in my opinion it is hard to tell which causes the other. Either way, rumination is not a healthy habit, but how can we free ourselves of this pattern?
I am interested in creatively solving problems like this, and one of the ways I do this is by using Tarot cards to help me reflect. Below is a Tarot reading I did by asking the question, “How can we heal ourselves of the habit of rumination and let go of our regrets?”
While I was shuffling these 4 cards fell out of the deck. I decided to lay them out sort of like a story board. Here’s how I interpreted the message:
Sometimes shit happens. If we are lucky enough to be prepared for it when it goes down then we can avoid unnecessary complications. For example, having an umbrella handy in a rainstorm. Yeah, you still have to deal with the rain, but at least you don’t get soaked. But sometimes you DO get soaked, but does it really help to get upset with yourself for not having an umbrella? Now, not only are you soaked to the bone, but you’re angry at yourself because of it. The best thing you can do is just accept that you got wet, look for a way to dry off and maybe throw an umbrella in the backseat so it doesn’t happen again. Anger and regret can waste your energy and distract you from taking these practical steps in a timely fashion. Why bother with anger? Why not just decide to quickly move on and grow from the experience? The choice is ultimately yours. You are not a slave to your emotions.
Let’s say you do decide to hold on to a little bit of regret. The shit storm happened and you said “well that’s that” but deep down you latched on to those feelings of anger and frustration with yourself. You secretly think, “Why do I always get myself into these situations?” Regret has now crossed over into rumination as you relive every time you forgot an umbrella and got soaked. The feeling this keeps happening to me!! when will it ever stop?! runs through your mind, infecting your attitude like a poison. You just can’t seem to let go, and you feel like a victim of circumstance. And yet, there is hope in this situation. Each time you ruminate you feel like life is slipping through your fingers…another secret thought is whispering in the back of your mind “just let it go…” This voice is much softer and quieter, it is also kinder. If you listen to this voice you can start to realize that you CAN let it go and that you don’t have to keep focusing on the situations that have caused you stress and strife. This is the beginning to ending a negative feedback loop and breaking free of your ruminating behaviors.
At last we see an opportunity to rebuild. When you stop ruminating long enough to take a deep, calming breath you start to notice things in your life that you missed before. There may be objects, ideas, opportunities just sitting and collecting dust in the corner. You may look at something and think to yourself, “Now why haven’t I noticed YOU before?” You are experiencing a shift in perspective, you are moving away from self limitation and feeling like a victim to an attitude of abundance. The Truth is that you are a creative being with lots of things to offer the world, and now that you have stopped focusing so hard on your limitations you now have the energy to see all your possibilities. Exciting isn’t it? Just allow yourself to dream and then start preparing to manifest some of those dreams!
This little man in the jar is the “old you” – the doubter, naysayer, whiner, complainer – the one who regrets everything and is always waiting for the other shoe to drop. You have sealed him in a vessel in your mind and labelled it “rumination.” You might add another label that says “Warning! Do not drink! Poison!” You can now feel more empowered because you have confronted your rumination head on. Now you see behind it many other bottles. Some of these bottles are poisonous and need to be kept sealed shut…but others are medicinal and can be used to help you grow and create and feel amazing about life. I recommend opening the bottles labelled “Joy” and “Gratitude” first, I always find those to be very nourishing. Stay away from the rot-gut and head for the top shelf, you’ll feel better in the morning if you do! 😉
I hope you found this reading helpful. Regrets are something we must all deal with from time to time, but rumination can be easily avoided by immediately letting go of punishing ourselves for our mistakes. By all means LEARN from your mistakes and remember them, but don’t allow yourself to obsess over the negative results of those mistakes, because all you’ll be doing is feeding that negativity.
Please feel free to comment or message me with insights. I hope this helps someone overcome their harmful habits and step into the light of awareness. I believe in you! Thank you for reading.
PS I used the Collective Tarot for this reading. If you are in need of a private reading you can purchase one from me here at my business site: Joyful Lotus Holistic Healing Services. Thank you!