I would think at some point anyone could regret something that they did or said, start thinking about “what if” scenarios and feel the guilt that’s attached to it.
It is kind of impossible to be a human being and not to remember something that you did in the past which you regret at the moment. Everybody makes mistakes. It is normal. We learn from our mistakes and try not to repeat them.
But what if we see what we do as not an error but as something that meant to happen?
What if all the mistakes we make and regret afterwards are to shape us, change our mould?
What if they happen to make us a different person, see everything as a person who experienced that event, but not as the person who you were before that occurred?
What if all is happening to shift your path and to show you that there are other choices in life?
What if your earlier “wrong” choice was not that wrong after all?
Even if your misstep caused a really dramatic result for yourself or others, everything happens for a reason. And yes, this is not a cliché, this is the whole truth, whether you believe it or not. We all have a part in this scenario and we play our role, whatever that role is. We start our life at one point and complete it at another. The journey between those two points is what defines us. Not one or two mistakes along the way, the whole ride.
You might have heard of survivor’s guilt. Mostly seen in ex-soldiers and other people with traumatic event experience and PTSD. Why couldn’t I save my partner? Why didn’t I act differently? Why did I freeze? Why couldn’t I protect my friend? Why didn’t I say something to alleviate the situation? Why am I alive after what happened and not the person next to me? These are the main questions that people with survivor’s guilt ask themselves constantly.
If the people living with survivor’s guilt can look at the situation from a different point of view and see that what happened was not their fault – even if it was – that it happened because it had to happen, then it would be easier to forgive themselves. Maybe then life would be much easier for them to go on.
It is a well-known fact that forgiving others is easy, forgiving oneself is the hardest. But at some point, we should be able to forgive, forget and move on. We should be able to acknowledge, even embrace our regrets and mistakes. Because without them we would not be who we are right now. Life is on our side if we let it be.