We encounter these two words fairly regularly don’t we? The face of determination etches across our face as we say it. But we do have some regrets don’t we? We look back on our life and think, “What if I took that job? Studied harder? Asked him out?”
Maybe the feeling that lands in the pit of our stomach is not as strong as a regret. Maybe it’s more like a curiosity. A what if?
Curiosity about a past decision can be a mild form of regret.
So, what if?
What if we could go back in time and make a different decision?
We don’t really know how different life would be but we can at least do a thought experiment, a meditation. We can tell ourselves a story and see what happens.
Maybe there is an alternate universe where we did make that different decision. It’s scientifically plausible you know.
What if I ended up on the west coast for university instead of the midwest? What if I did actually join the U.S. Army? What if learned day trading, coding, or astronomy? What if I continued to pursue acting as a career? What if I kept playing sand volleyball?
A word of warning: Don’t walk down that path without a way back. If we start walking without a map back “home” that curiosity could turn to regret. That regret could turn to despair. Head down that highway of decisions carefully.
Then do this:
Talk to yourself. Talk to the alternative universe you. What would you ask them? What would they say? What did they learn that they could share with you? Are their hopes and fears different than yours? What wisdom could they bestow upon you? What admonition would they give when they looked into your eyes and pleaded with you to listen?
Take your time and when you are done, come back home and move forward with what you learned from the other you. Now you have the wisdom of many different paths from many different you’s.
So I invite you to take your biggest what if first and go back in time in your mind. Make that different decision. What happens to your life? How is it different? And most importantly what did you learn so you can move forward in this life.
See, you’re a pretty wise person after all. You have some great advice to give yourself. Trust it. It’s you after all.
*This post is GREATLY inspired by James Cole and you can find his extraordinary thought provoking insightful peaceful empowering meditations here