Anyone who makes it past the age of five accumulates regrets. We are all perfectly imperfect humans doing the best we can with what we know. But sometimes we make mistakes. We hurt other people. We hurt ourselves. We do things we wish we hadn’t. We miss opportunities. No matter how much we wish we could go back, sometimes there’s no going back.
When we connect to our Radiance–our Highest Self rooted in all of our unique gifts, talents, strengths, triumphs, assets– we can learn and forgive and let go and love and be here in this moment in spite of it all.
In my twenties, I spent a lot of time denying that I had any regrets in life. No regrets! All lessons learned! Meant to be! What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger!
In my thirties, I’ve learned to sit with the regrets–without hiding or denying. And boy have I made some doozies. Ones that I won’t tell my mother about, and ones that she knows about but we both wish she didn’t.
But then what? It is hard to face the fact that we are not perfect, that we’ve broken people’s hearts, that we’ve broken our own heart, that we’ve lost trust that we wanted to build, that we could have lost everything. This is when we most need to connect with our own Radiance.
The Law of Radiance teaches us to breathe into our experience and to face it with all that we are. Because we are so much greater than our regrets. Our Radiance towers over our mistakes. We can start by breathing into that memory or experience and find a little tenderness around it. Allow the pain to flow by us. And then connect with our most loving, highest selves. Supporting ourselves by being in touch with our radiance allows us to connect with our own strength, to find joy, and to have heart even when life gets hard.
I don’t believe everything happens for a reason. Life can be difficult. Inequality of opportunity and racism is rampant and irrational. People don’t get killed or get cancer or starve to death or die from TB for some deep spiritual reason or for failing to attract a helping hand from the Universe or their God. But I do think that in every experience, we have the opportunity to evolve into more of who we are. It’s all about the choices we make about what we are going to do with the experiences we have had.
The Law of Radiance says that in order to live from our Highest self, we must live from what is real–the spaces of our love, our energy, our unique gifts, talents, strength, and power. And we must take that Radiance to see the past clearly and to make a clear path forward. Yes, there have been times of mistakes and regret. But that doesn’t obliterate the Radiance we have within us.
We must hold ourselves with all of the compassion we can muster and forgive ourselves. Despite our mistakes, we have the opportunity to let our Radiance shine. We should be devoting more energy in focusing on our Radiance than on our mistakes. With a clear focus on our own Radiance, we can look to our past and see those moments where we had to buckle down and give it all we had to turn around some of those challenging situations. We can focus on the lessons we’ve learned, the strength that we’ve exercised, the determination we’ve had to get through our challenges to return to joy. We can see how we would use our Radiance to more effectively handle that situation next time. Because, no matter what, we are still filled with beautiful gifts, strength, talents, unique qualities that make us different from anyone else on earth.
We are on a journey of growth and life, and every road is bumpy. The trick is to learn how to navigate those bumps–to recognize that the bumps happened, and that we are responsible for some of them. And then to love ourselves anyway and allow the bumps to be behind us.
Law of Radiance Freedom Exercise
The next time you are feeling filled with regret, try this exercise. Sit in a quiet room. During the first two minutes, focus only on your breath. This will help bring you into the present moment, into your body, into the experience.
After two minutes, give yourself permission to fully feel your feelings of regret and sadness. Sit with these feelings for two to five minutes.
Next, transition to offer love, comfort and forgiveness to your past self. Imagine holding your inner spirit with the tenderness of a newborn. Say out loud: Dear [insert your gorgeous name here], I love you, and I forgive you. Repeat it until you really feel its truth. If there are others who are involved, take a moment to think of them with love and forgiveness.
Don’t leave this space until you find the gratitude in this moment. Be grateful for yourself, for others, for the ability to learn from your experiences, for the opportunity to start new and make a new choice. For instance, if you are feeling regret about pain you caused a loved one, take some time to feel grateful for the wonderful times you’ve shared and (if it makes sense) for the experience of being able to have them in your life. Or, if you are feeling regret because you feel you may have done something wrong, take some time to feel gratitude for another chance, for the trust you have in the Universe to provide for you, for the faith you have in yourself. Spend several minutes in this place of gratitude. Allow the joy to seep into your soul.
Cherish your Glimmers of Radiance, love yourself and let the past go. Only then will you be light enough to fully experience all of the Radiance you have to offer. Freedom is here and now, in this new moment, in this new breath, in this new choice. Bring into focus your Radiant strength, love, gifts, and hope. Make your new choice. Make it over and over. Keep your Radiance flowing.