Regret-Free Living – Owens Interview Part 2

©2016 Jennifer Owens

I hope you’ve been enjoying the series on Regret-Free Living. If you’ve missed any of the articles, here are the links:

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 posted the first of a 3-part interview with social worker / self-care guru Jennifer Owens and her husband, behavioral health counselor Tim Owens. 

Here’s part 2 of the interview.

Kristi: Jennifer and Tim, what causes us to continue doing things that create regret? You deal with people who need to make changes in their lives, financially and job-wise or family-wise. They need to get their children back and progress from where they are. How do you help them cross over and start making that change?

Jennifer: I think I can probably give a good example from my personal life. I lived in regret to a certain extent, and it was because of a lot of choices I was making. I chose to stay in a relationship that was harming me. I had to decide to get out of that relationship I knew was mentally and verbally and emotionally abusive. It had me stuck in the mire until I saw myself as worth more than that, saw I needed to make better choices and to forgive myself. I think unforgiveness and regret, they’re like brother and sister. When you’re not able to forgive yourself, release something and let go of it, you tend to sit on it. Sometimes you sit on it in bitterness. I didn’t even have an awareness that I was living in unforgiveness until one day I happened to be in worship, just thinking about all the things that were on my mind. I remember saying, “God, take these feelings away!” I didn’t know what I was feeling was regret. It felt like a burden, just felt heavy.

The next thing I know, He was saying, “Forgive yourself.”

I was like, “Wow!” I’m glad I got that worship, because it was such an awesome place to be when it happened. I just started saying, “I forgive myself, I forgive me.” I went over a litany of things I needed to forgive myself for. I felt so free after that. That was really powerful.

We need to let go and not hold onto things too tightly. My husband always says, “You’re gripping the bat too tight.” If I’m gripping the bat too tight, I’m probably not going to get a home run.

Kristi: You’re gonna get a foul ball!

Jennifer: He also says, “Keep your hand open.” When you keep your hand open, you’re in position to receive.

So you were in church worship?

Jennifer: Yes.

Kristi: We are so independent these days. If you are not part of a church–maybe you just watch it online or don’t even watch it at all and you’re just reading this–I encourage you to make space in your life for worship.  Be in an environment where you are surrounded by people who are also worshipping God. There is something spectacular about that. Sure, we can worship God out in the woods–I do–but you need that corporate environment where all the voices are raised. There is something powerful that happens there. The Spirit of God moves mightily when we’re gathered together.

I don’t even remember the question any more. I got so excited!

Tim: I think the question was, “How do you move forward?” In Behavioral Health, we talk about the fact that guilt is, “I did bad.” Shame is “I am bad.” What’s true is that as we begin to see ourselves from God’s perspective, the way He sees us, we understand Romans 8:1 NIV

“There is therefore no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus.”

We don’t have to fear; we don’t have to be afraid; we don’t have to feel like we are “less than,” because we are the King’s kids. What’s true is that as we understand ourselves from that perspective, from His perspective, we don’t have to have the shame that keeps us stuck, that causes us to live in regret, which causes more shame. Ultimately, that allows us to move forward with our lives in a way that facilitates grace and peace and joy and the things that give us abundance.

Join us next week for the conclusion of this inspirational interview.


Michael Bridges
Michael Bridges

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