Regrets and Right View
This is my understanding from a pragmatic point of view
We all have regrets. Mostly they can be healthy regrets which, once we have learned the lessons that needed to be learned, we can let go of. Regret can help foster self reflection and personal growth.
But there are some regrets we cling to or find ourselves obsessing over. They bring a sense of sadness, heaviness and are emotionally draining.
We try to figure out what would have happened “if only” we had done or said something different. But we can’t change the past. We can however become more mindful of the things we think, say and do now. This is part of the Buddhist eight fold path; right view, right thought, right speech and right action.
For example someone regrets that they were not a good parent. These regrets may not be supported with right view: What was the context? What was happening in the culture at the time? What was happening with work and relationships? How was this person bought up as a child? What struggles were they experiencing? What is the belief and attitude system? So many questions to be asked in the effort to gain right view.
Right view brings wisdom and understanding of cause and effect and a sense that things could not have been any different under the circumstances. It helps us understand the cause of suffering and the inevitability that things won’t always be the way we want them. This can bring compassion to others and ourselves. And ultimately relief from regrets.
Spiritual teachers would encourage us to stay in the present because here we can make a difference to the future with right view, thought, speech and actions.
Right view is to have the right concepts and right idea’s.
The importance of Gratitude
Practicing mindfulness of gratitude consistently leads to a direct experience of being connected to life and the realization that there is a larger context in which your personal story is unfolding. Being relieved of the endless wants and worries of your life’s drama, even temporarily, is liberating. Cultivating thankfulness for being part of life blossoms into a feeling of being blessed, not in the sense of winning the lottery, but in a more refined appreciation for the interdependent nature of life. It also elicits feelings of generosity, which create further joy. Gratitude can soften a heart that has become too guarded, and it builds the capacity for forgiveness, which creates the clarity of mind that is ideal for spiritual and personal development.
“Life is not what it is supposed to be, it is what it is, it is how you manage it that makes the difference” Virginia Satir