verb ( -gretted , -gretting ) [ trans. ]
feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, esp. a loss or missed opportunity).
~ a feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over something that has happened or been done.
~ used in polite formulas to express apology for or sadness at an occurrence or an inability to accept an invitation.
I’ve written about depression, guilt, and grief. But there’s another emotion, and it’s just as powerful and devastating as all of these emotions: regret. Rather than being a natural outcome of your situation, regret usually revolves around the knowledge or belief that you could have done something in the past that would have altered the course of things, or prevented them from happening. You can tell yourself that what’s done is done, and that you have to look forward, not back, and of course, that’s all true. You can talk about it, and cry about it, and that’s good, get it out. But from time to time you’re still going to hear that little “If only I’d….” voice:
“If only I’d listened!”
“If only I’d pushed harder, nagged louder!”
“If only I’d been there!”
“If only I’d gone to get that checked earlier!”
“If only I’d done that for him more often.”
“If only I’d been more attuned to what he/she was going through. I should have sensed something was wrong.”
“If only I’d been more patient.”
The list could be a mile long and still not cover all the regrets ringing in the heads of millions of people just like you right this minute. I wish I knew of some great technique that would keep those regrets from ever coming back again, but unfortunately, they’re a part of life.
I can only tell you what works for me.
When one of those nasty regrets invites me to spend time with it, I picture the regret as an invitation:
Then I envision myself tearing up the invitation as I mutter: “Sorry Darling, but I’ve got better things to do. I must send my regrets!”
I see myself throwing the invitation in the garbage with great satisfaction and panache. (I’ve always wanted to use that word!)
This usually works for me, I hope it helps you too.
panache (p-nsh, -näsh)
to do something with flamboyance, confidence, self-assurance, style, flair, élan, dash, verve, zest, spirit, brio, éclat, vivacity, gusto, liveliness, vitality, energy.
informal ~ pizzazz, oomph, zip, zing.