[Coaching Call #020 is out! Today's Topic: Spiritual Marketing - Attracting Customers With Energy
This may be my favorite call so far. This owner of a dog training business wants to attract more clients. Some really fun parallels between talking to the Universe and training dogs came out. Not only is this a fun and valuable business call, but it'll get you looking at LOA in a whole new way! Check out the full call summary here].
Awesome Laura asks: “I am new in learning about the LOA and I have a question I haven’t been able to find an answer to online. Since you said that our lives exist on different levels or dimensions, is it possible to put yourself on a different vibration to change the past? Like if you have something you regret a whole lot, is there a way to find the vibration of the option you wish you had taken?”
My answer to this question is going to build on a previous post I wrote about guilt, which explains what guilt is and how to shift your perspective so that you can release it. I don’t want to repeat that entire post here, so I’m just going to point you, ever so helpfully, to the link. Since guilt and regret go hand in hand, I strongly suggest you read this post, as well:
Now that you understand how your perspective of your past determines how you feel about it, and that this perspective can often be skewed, we can move on to the real question posed here: Can we change our past?
Well, yes. Yes we can. But not in the “Step into my Tardis and let’s go back to 1986 and keep me from getting that awful, awful spiral perm” kind of way (stop judging. We all have our regrets…). You can change your experience of your own past in an energetic way. And yes, I know that sounds a bit dissatisfactory, like I’m asking you to just imagine that your past was different, but it actually goes much, much deeper than that. Bear with me.
Regret can come with or without guilt
As I explained in the post on Guilt, we often feel badly about past events because we have a skewed view of the options that were available to us at the time. We judge ourselves and sometimes others based on our current view, NOT on the actual perspective we had access to at the time. When we wish we’d done things differently, when we blame ourselves for how things turned out, we experience guilt AND regret.
But regret can come without guilt as well. Regret is simply looking at past events, judging them and wishing that things had happened differently. It doesn’t always come with self blame. We can also regret the actions of others. Or, we can let go of guilt by realizing that, at the time, we really made the best choice possible, but still feel regret that we were in that situation in the first place.
Regret actually happens in the NOW
Before we move on to changing the past, let’s take a quick look at the actual dynamics of regret. Sure, we’re looking back on past events, but the feeling that focus is generating is actually being generated in the NOW. In fact, the whole reason we’re looking back at all is because something in our NOW isn’t the way we want it to be. So, we look back at our past and try to figure out where it all went wrong, convinced that if this or that had gone differently, our lives right now would be better. Think about that for a moment: Look at an area of your life that you’re really happy with. Were there any incidents in your past where you experienced pain on that subject? Of course there were. Do you regret them? Or, having found happiness on that topic, do you see how those more difficult events actually brought you exactly where you are today? In short, if you’re really satisfied about something, you generally won’t have any regrets. But, if you’re not satisfied in some way, if you’re feeling that something is missing or you should be further along by now, you go looking for something or someone to blame. And the past makes for a convenient target.
I’m going to give you a series of questions that can help you release regret. And, because I like to make it all practical and shit, I’m going to add example answers, so you can see the technique in action.
I’m going to use an example from my own life, something I used to regret but no longer do:
When I was in the 8th grade, I realized that I was bored out of my skull in school. I had come from Germany to the US two years earlier, and although I’d had to learn the language, my academic knowledge was far advanced to the school system I’d been placed in. So, I had the idea that I could skip the 9th grade, hopefully giving me a bit more of a challenge and causing me to graduate a year earlier to boot. My teacher, however, advised against it, telling me I’d have to go to summer school and that I’d be a social outcast. I’d entered school a year early, and was always a year younger than everyone, so this would’ve meant that I’d be two years younger than everyone else. My mom and I listened to her.
The result was that I was so bored in high school, that I ended up skipping more school than I attended. I stopped excelling in school, and even let my grades slide to a 3.0 (I could easily have gotten a 4.0). The only academic subject I still put any effort into was math. I loved math, and planned on majoring in it in college. Until, that is, another helpful teacher told me that all I could hope to do with a mathematics degree was to teach math (presumably because I was a girl). Mind you, this was before the internet, and I had no idea how to research the information I would’ve needed to contradict this opinion. Disheartened, I gave up math, as well, and ended up getting a theater scholarship (I ended up dropping out and taking a year off before going back and ultimately studying business after a detour into pre-law.)
Years later, when I was going through some tough times and I questioned my life choices, I looked back on those two teachers. I blamed them for giving me such obviously horrible advice, for projecting their own limitations onto me and I regretted my decision to listen to them. If only I’d been stronger. If only there had been someone who would’ve taken an interest in me. If only I hadn’t given up…
Questions to help you release regret
Knowing that the issue you’re really dealing with is some kind of dissatisfaction in your NOW, it makes sense to start there. Think of something you regret and ask yourself the following questions. My example answers will come from the frame of mind I was in when I still regretted these events. I’ll give you my current perspective at the end.
How would your life be different right NOW if that Past event had gone down differently?
Example answer: I would’ve graduated high school at 16, gotten my Bachelor’s at 20, my graduate degree at 22 and maybe even a doctorate. I almost certainly would’ve continued to study math, and would’ve then had the opportunity to become a computer programmer, and probably would’ve been a freaking millionaire before I was 30. If only it hadn’t been for those stupid teachers, damn it!
Can you know with 100% certainty that this outcome would’ve come true? Can you know for sure that you’d be happier now?
Example answer: Well, no. But that scenario sure feels better than where I am right now, working way too hard for way too little money. I mean, I can’t really be certain that I’d be a millionaire, or that I even would’ve gone into Math. I could’ve been a lawyer, too. I briefly changed my major to Pre-Law. Still, I would’ve graduated really early, and I wouldn’t have let my studies slide. I may have gotten a scholarship to an Ivy League School and had my pick of jobs when I got out!
Is it at all possible that you’re romanticizing the choices you would’ve made? Would that one incident really have changed everything about you? Did you not have limiting beliefs that still would’ve manifested?
Example answer: Ok, yes. I didn’t have very good self esteem, which is why I listened to those teachers in the first place. And, I was painfully shy back then, so going into a field like math would’ve probably fed that side of me, causing me to become a total introverted geek, which isn’t my normal state. I would’ve continued to hide from the world. That whole lawyer idea only came after I’d been out in the world a little. Also, now that you mention it, I’ve been exposed to programming enough to know that I wouldn’t have enjoyed it at all. I thrive on the interaction with others. Honestly, if I’d maintained my protective, fearful behavior, shutting myself away from society and submersed myself in a world of anti-social technology (geeks were not chic back then, y’all), I probably would’ve ended up incredibly depressed.
If nothing else had changed except those two decisions, I suppose my life wouldn’t have turned out all roses and puppy hugs. I suppose I’ve been assuming that by changing those two decisions, everything else would’ve changed magically with them. But that’s kind of unlikely, isn’t it?
Is it possible that having made different choices, that your life now would actually be worse?
Example answer: Yeah, I guess that is possible. Had I gone an academic route, I never would’ve found my way to being more outgoing again. I would’ve let my fears rule my life. I could, conceivably, be trapped in a field that makes me really unhappy. And had I actually gotten a doctorate, the likelihood that I’d be willing to change careers would’ve been slim.
Is it not possible that right now, even though your situation isn’t quite where you want it to be, that you’re actually on your way to what you want, and that the event you’re regretting was actually the perfect catalyst to getting you another step closer?
Example answer: Well, it’s a bit of a stretch, but I suppose it is possible. I mean, maybe I am on my way to what I want right now. Maybe I’m not done and right now, I’m just going through a rough patch on the road to what I want. I guess I’ve kind of been assuming that I screwed up my life, but what if I didn’t? What if I’m on my way to something even better than being an unhappy but rich computer programmer?
There are no regrets when you’re happy
It’s so interesting to look back at that time in my life, the time when I had those kinds of regrets, from my current perspective. Regarding this example subject – my career, I have obviously found my passion now. I’m deliriously happy about what I do and wouldn’t change it for the world. And from that point of view, it’s easy for me to see how those teachers were not only perfect mirrors to how powerless I felt at the time and for years later (I felt as if they had abused their authority to get me to make bad decisions), but how they actually did me a favor, steering me away from a path that would’ve kept me from becoming who I am now. And I LOVE who I am now, so I can’t really regret anything (which would be every detail of my life) that brought me to this point.
In short, people who are happy, don’t have regrets. Of course, you can be happy in one area of your life and not another.
This whole process becomes a little more complicated when you regret something that happened to someone else, like your child. In that case, you’d need to forgive the person who hurt them, and then go through this series of questions on their behalf. Since, however, it’s much harder to answer these questions for someone else, because you can’t ever really know how they feel or what their experience is, it’s much easier if you make them a part of the exercise. This way, you may actually discover that you feel worse about their past than they do and are seeing them as more damaged by those events than they see themselves. That can be quite the wake up call.
Take the shortcut
Regret is a dis-empowering emotion. You are essentially saying that your NOW is all messed up because of something happened in the past and that there’s nothing you can do about it. If your NOW isn’t the way you want it to be, start focusing on what you want instead of all the reasons you can dredge up of how this or that held you back. You don’t need to find the vibration of what your life would’ve been like if you had made a different decision, because you have no way of accurately knowing what that would’ve been like. Just take the shortcut and go straight for what you want NOW. What’s causing your NOW to not feel good? What do you want instead right now? What does that feel like? Focus on that and feel good. That’s all you really have to do.
Changing your past
But, it can be helpful to put the past in a different perspective. And as you do so, you change your past. Sure, those teachers are still a part of my life’s story. But, I no longer see them as ignorant abusers of authority who messed up my whole life. I see them as unwitting angels who nudged me away from a direction that wouldn’t have led me to where I wanted to go. Our reality is filled with such angels. And by shifting my perspective this way, I no longer regret what happened. I have no negative emotion about it. My experience of those teachers has been forever altered and so, my past has changed. Where it used to be flawed and full of pain, now I see mostly perfection and light. And no, this isn’t at all the same as pretending that my past was more positive than it was. I still see all the painful events and I can acknowledge that the pain existed. It’s just that the pain is no longer part of my NOW.
What do you regret? Have you been able to release any regrets in your life? Share in the comments and discuss!