I tend to deal with regret in 2 extreme ways. Both are destructive.
Sometimes I let regret fill my heart until it reaches flood level. Then I start to drown in it, and I can’t come up for air. It’s pointless to rehearse endless scenarios of how things could have been, should have been, and would have been. There are too many factors that play into every eventuality for me to play God over my past.
Other times I labor in vain to ignore the symptoms of regret. It’s extremely painful to dredge up the details of failed relationships and bad decisions. So by refusing to feel any regret, I avoid the sensation of loss, right? Wrong. What I end up avoiding is the opportunity to learn from my mistakes. And no matter how much I try to regret-proof my soul, the stuff I’m trying to keep out will eventually seep in. It’s better to deal with it head on. Proactively. On my terms.
I want to learn to wield my regrets like a weapon. I’m learning to point my regrets in the direction of my future instead of allowing them to detonate in my memory of the past.
You can allow the power of regret to ruin your life. Or you can harness it to lead you to repentance. Choose to use the power to produce change.
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done.
-2 Corinthians 7:10-11