How to do Something You’ll REALLY Regret   Leave a comment

Photo credit: Takras / Foter / CC BY-NCIf you’re old enough to read this post, then you have experienced the sting of regret.  The moment you say that thing you knew you shouldn’t, impossible to take back.  The things you failed to do and know you should have.  And for some,  the life-event kind of regrets that manage not only to shatter your life, but through the generations.  When life shifted for me, I found myself on what felt like shifting sand. It would have been easy to do many things I would regret.  I’ve always been the “good” girl, who made the “right” choices . . . and look how that turned out . . . at least that’s what I could have told myself.  So why not try things my way?  Why not do what many newly single moms do and go out partying and looking for someone to meet my needs?  Why not make some major life-changing decisions in the middle of my crisis? People would understand.   I was presented with the opportunity more than once, but not the chance.  My life isn’t arranged with room for big regrets and wrong choices.  I actually have to go looking for trouble.  It made me question, how do so many people “fall” into choices and end up doing things they regret? It’s almost like they go looking for trouble, or it comes looking for them.  How about those who seemed to have everything together, and then “BAM!”, a lifetime of regrets piled up in moments, spit decisions?   Here’s how it happened, and how you can find yourself there too:

Hide your struggles, weaknesses and addictions.

Refuse to ask for help.

Make major life decisions in the middle of a crisis or emotionally heightened situation.

Get deeply offended with God for things you thought He should or shouldn’t have done.

Listen to people who tell you what you want to hear.

Judge other people harshly.  (That will likely be the area you will fall in.)

Ignore that “inner” voice that tells you not to do something.  Do it over and over again, until you don’t hear it anymore.

Find something to dull any uncomfortable emotions . . . people’s approval, performance, business, affairs, alcohol, drugs, being critical of others.  Whatever is your “thing”, be creative.  As long as it keeps you from having to actually address any real issues, it should work just fine.

Don’t ask God what He thinks, ESPECIALLY if you’re pretty sure that you won’t like the answer.

Live only in the here and now.  Being happy is most important, right?

Lie to others.

Lie to yourself.  A LOT.  Tell yourself that you could never do this or that . . . and when you do, tell yourself you’ll never do it again . . . but change nothing.   Tell yourself that you can’t change. Tell yourself that it’s not hurting anyone.   Tell yourself that you didn’t have a choice.   Tell yourself that it’s too late, so you might as well not try.

So there it is, how to set yourself up to do something you’ll really regret.  Not to helpful if you’re trying to get free or stay free from regret.  Helpful, if you recognize your own tendencies in that list, even one of them.  One thing I’ve learned in the past several years, is that no one is immune.  I’ve seen amazing men and women fall.  Some get back up, and some are still wallowing around in the slop.  It really is the grace of God that holds us.  He also give us some incredible tools.   How can you keep yourself from doing something you’ll really regret, or recover from decisions that have left you bogged down with regret?

Tell the truth.  Out loud, to someone you trust.  A counselor, a pastor, a trusted friend.  “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”  James 5:16.  Admit that you need help, and make a commitment to tell the truth through accountability.  Find an accountability partner and find a mentor.  Both will protect you from going off track.  Make sure they are people who are walking in truth as well.  Take responsibility for your choices.  Admit that you have choice, whether you like the options or not.  Admit that you’re powerless.  You can’t save yourself.  “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6

Fill yourself with truth.  Surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth, in love, even if it hurts or makes you angry.  Appreciate them for caring enough that they are willing to risk your approval for the sake of your overall well-being.  Read the bible, daily.  When you are in a situation where you have shut God’s voice off for awhile, it will help you weed through what is God and what is not.  Spend time WITH God.  He IS truth.  “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:31, 32

Take the way out.  The best thing you can do is to order your life so that it is almost impossible to get back into the situation that has caused you pain and regret.  Avoid the places and things that put you in tempting situations, get whatever help you need to get free.  Stay as far away from that “ledge” as you can!  What if you find yourself on the brink of making that terrible decision, but haven’t quite taken the next step, at least not this time? I mean, sitting on the edge of that bed, about to watch that video, open the bottle of liquor, or just in too deep in life in general . . . it may sound crazy, but pray . . .  even if you know you don’t deserve a way out.  “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”   1 Corinthians 10:13. 

If you don’t believe me that you can be right at the edge of making that huge mistake, and God can and will still provide a way out . . . I have a story, a true one, that with my luck will go viral.  So are you ready for it?  I didn’t have many boyfriends.  Really, 2 actually. My husband was one of them.   I had my first real boyfriend . . . at 21.  And yes, he was much more experienced then me.  Please don’t imagine it too closely, it’s pretty personal.  We would kiss often, but rarely laying down.  One day we were hanging out in his bedroom, because his roommates had the living room occupied.  So, laying on his blow up mattress (I know, classy, right?), we started kissing.  It got quite intense.  I didn’t really have the desire in me to stop, and quite had the desire to continue to all things I hadn’t experienced.  So, I prayed.  Not a long prayer, more like . . . “God, I don’t know how to stop this, and I’m not sure I want to . . . please help.”.  What was my way out?  The blow up mattress literally popped!  I don’t mean, started losing air, I mean, loudly, suddenly, POPPED!  I’m not talking a cheap little air mattress, it was one of those heavy duty ones.  And no, there was nothing going on to prompt that to happen, and no sharp objects or signs of the source of damage.  Our time together stopped abruptly,  kissing only, nothing to regret.  What did we do next?  We told our pastor, who was also a close friend.  Instant accountability.  In fact, the whole church was holding us accountable, because no one could resist the urge to share our story!  But looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  No regrets!

No matter who you are we all have regrets, and we all are vulnerable to making some foolish choices.  At our church we talk about “doing life together”.  I really believe that is one of the greatest ways to keep from making terrible decisions.  Please find people to connect to.  Your local church can be an excellent resource, even if you aren’t “religious”.  Find people at work or with the same interests as you.  (Don’t connect deeply with people you are attracted to sexually or physically while you are in a vulnerable state.)   Find an AA or NA or Celebrate Recovery.  Connect with a local outreach or ministry.  Do what you need to do so you aren’t doing this alone.  Whatever that looks like.  Ask for help, and keep asking until you get it.

A couple great East Texas resources:

Pathway church (I love my church!  It’s a safe place): http://www.pathwaylongview.com/

House of Disciples (for addictions):  http://www.houseofdisciples.com/

Hannah House (for young women with unplanned pregnancies): http://www.plministries.org/

Those are just a few, there are a ton of great resources . . . just do a search, ask around.

Photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/takras/3164316249/”>Takras</a&gt; / <a href=”http://foter.com”>Foter</a&gt; / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>CC BY-NC</a>

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Posted January 24, 2015 by canadianmeesh in Uncategorized

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