Can I be honest with you a moment? There are some things that I regret from the past. There are some things that I have done that I am not especially proud of and I have to live with those things the rest of my life. Although it was life changing it was for the betterment of my realationship with myself and God.
Emily Dickinson wrote, "Remorse is cureless, the disease not even God can heal."
'Remorse' arises as a sorrow for past decisions that you've made,
while 'regret' serves as a broader, more useful term,
describing a wish that you'd made other choices in the past:
choices either to avoid doing something that you've done or to do something that you avoided.
At their root, the two emotions are practically synonymous.
They're both cases of feeling sad because of choices that you made once upon a time.
I once believed that but that was in that moment. There was a time when I didn't love me as much as I love who I thought I needed to be. I have managed to loose who I am within what I thought I wanted to be. It was a double life that I got lost in. I knew lots of people that liked who they thought I was. I met men that wanted to be with me because who they thought I was. For those moments I was accepted and not rejected. It was what kept me going and I needed more and more. Then it got bigger than me and it stopped giving me that same feeling. It's like a person that turns to drugs to get that something or escape those demons. Then it began to change. I couldnt get that same fire. I began to feel like it wasnt enough. I began to slip up. The people began not to look as good as I thought. They weren't what I thought just as I wasnt what they thought. It began to unravel and then it was exposed. I had taken so much and could stand anymore. I couldnt keep up and felt drained. It was a moment of not being able to be outside of myself and not being able to like the person that looked at me in the mirror. It was my need to validated by things and people. Validation was my drug and it didnt only hurt people, it hurt me to the core.
Initially it felt best to let go and give up - depart and free the people of my shame, resentment, regret, failure and my inability to love myself. At that point it was about liking myself. I had to find a place deep within myself to realize that I was worth so much more than that moment. It didnt happend over night but it happened. I invested some of what I had invested in all those other people for all that time into myself. I took the time to find out who I was and why I felt the need to be someone and/or something else. I took ownership of what I had done and the people that I hurt but had to figure out how to forgive myself in the process. My need for validation hurt people and they felt betrayed but really it was never about them. They got drug into it but it was never about them. It was only truly about me and my emotions. My lack of love for self and my not dealing with pain that haunted me in my heart. It was the mask that kept me from dealing.
This experience is now called a growing pain and God had a wonderful plan for me although I couldnt see it at that time. He put people in my life that shared his word with me, kept me prayerful and reminded me that I had faith. He kept people in my life that told me that I was not all that bad and that they liked and loved me regardless. They reminded me that I was not all of those things that I had convinced myself I was. This was one situation that at the moment was monumental but realistically was just a wrinkle in time that was public. They prayed for me as I tired to pray for myself. I began a journey of forgiveness for myself. He brought me out of that dark place of hate and told me that he forgave me but I needed to forgive myself in order to move forward. I now know that God delights in our embracing forgiveness, forgetting the past, and going forward in service. We cannot go forward if we remain focused on the past. When we drag guilt about our former lives around with us, we hinder our growth in faith. No matter how great our sin, God forgives when we repent. As we allow the Spirit to work within us, God will help us to let go of the past and move into the future. Seek perfection, but don't be consumed by the search. We are all works in progress.