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Techniques for a Wiser Life

Regret-Free Living – Jennifer and Tim Owens

We’ve been talking about using our power of choice to live regret-free. In part 1, I told a story about creating enjoyment and avoiding resentment. In part 2, I shared a secret advertisers use called Priming, which can help us when we’re overloaded with options. In part 3, I suggested journaling and negative reinforcement for escaping blank, uninspired periods. In part 4, I encouraged you prevent regret in the lives of vulnerable people by supporting the efforts of A2. Today, I’ll let someone else talk.

I recently did a video interview with Jennifer and Tim Owens on overcoming and avoiding regret. The video had some technical issues, but the wisdom of these two must be shared. I’ll post the interview in 3 parts.

Kristi:   Today, we have two special guests. Jennifer “JennRene” Owens is the creator of several self-care courses. She’s been a social worker for 25 years. Her husband, Tim Owens, is a behavioral health counselor.

Who wants to wake up going, “Argh, I wish I hadn’t done that!”? Today, Jennifer and Tim are going to talk about how to avoid creating regrets and how to get past any regrets you already have.

Thank you so much for being here Jennifer and Tim! Has there been a time, in the lives of people you know, when regret has gotten them mired and kept them from moving forward?

Jennifer: Yes. I’ve seen that in counseling. Clients get caught up in contempt, and the bitterness that’s involved, just regretting the situation or circumstance or something they’re offended by. Their inability to focus forward, to progress has hindered them. They’ve turned it into something that has kept them from moving.

Kristi: Is that contempt for other people–maybe unforgiveness? Or self-contempt, a shame kind of thing? Both?

Jennifer: Both. I think we talked about that earlier. Tim?

Tim: Sure. What’s interesting about regret is that it walks hand in hand with shame. When we find ourselves in a space where we feel ashamed, that causes us to blame. We feel regret and try to live in the past, which ultimately keeps us stagnant. The intent is that we live in the present and learn from the past so we can prepare for the future.

Live in the present. Learn from the past. Prepare for the future.

Kristi: If we’re living in the past in a shameful way, in a way that says we didn’t measure up, it makes us feel like we won’t measure up. We’re afraid to try things. We might not present ourselves in relationships, because we’d rather hide. A lot of people just hole up in their houses in front of the TV and don’t see anybody because they don’t feel ready. They don’t feel worthy. God tells us differently.

If we’re going to believe God, Who created us and hasn’t yet said, “Aw gee, what did you do? I can’t fix this!” we have to let go of the lies that tell us we’re not worthy. We have to say, “Yep, I messed up. I shouldn’t have done that in that relationship. I shouldn’t have consumed that or spent that or used my time in that way or said that, but I can’t fix it now.”

If you’ve invented a time machine, make sure to post a comment. We’d like to hear about that. Most of us don’t have access to one. If we can’t fix it, God can still do amazing things in our future.

Come back next week for part 2 of this encouraging interview.

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