Living Life With No Regrets

Posted by on March 8, 2012 in Get Off the Sidelines, Ken's Blogs, Love versus Fear, Speak your authentic truth

Living Life With No Regrets

Do you live your life with regrets, looking back at mistakes you’ve made and wishing you had done things differently?

This week I had a reader send an e-mail asking about regret and the mistakes that we make in our lives. I shared my thoughts with him and it also gave me the impetus to share my thoughts in a blog.

I think Regret is an emotion that we all feel and it is very real. Whenever that emotion shows itself, I believe we need to acknowledge the emotion, and possibly even thank the emotion for making itself present. I believe we need to acknowledge all emotions that we feel, because suppressing the emotions is far worse. But then I think we need to let it go. This is the choice that we have. It may not be easy, but it still is our choice. In one of my other blogs “Who Do You Love”, I quoted a story about the battle of two wolves that is going on inside all of us, with one of the wolves being fed based on “fear-based” emotions and the other being fed by “love-based” emotions. So if we choose to continue to think about the emotion (Regret in this case) then it will continue to manifest itself. But as difficult as it may be to do at that time, if we stop to “feed the good wolf”, to ask ourselves what we’re grateful for, or some other “love-based” question, then we can shift ourselves right then.

Even the way you look at your “mistakes” is a choice. You can look at them as mistakes or you can look at them as experiences. Not all experiences are good, but if you didn’t have that experience, you wouldn’t have learned the lesson. I don’t think you’d appreciate the positive experiences as much. If everything came easy, would we really appreciate the good in our life or would we take it for granted?

I have read many people write that “we are all perfect exactly the way we are and we are at exactly the spot we’re meant to be”. I choose to believe this, even though I’m going through some physical difficulties myself. Whether you actually believe this or not, it does present an interesting starting point for moving forward. It is very easy to harbor regret or any other negative emotion, and it is often very difficult to let those emotions go. But I believe the sheer “practice” of letting them go, choosing love vs fear, is where our growth comes from. I know that there is a tendency to beat ourselves up for our past mistakes. While this is true, and I’m sure many people do it, that act of beating ourselves up is also our choice. At any moment we can choose to say “thanks for the lesson” or something similar, and move on.

So what’s the key word here? PRACTICE. Many of us read and “know” that we shouldn’t harbor regret, that we shouldn’t be hard on ourselves, that we should choose love vs fear, etc, but the changes don’t happen overnight. They take practice, and each time we succeed gives us further momentum to succeed again next time.

What would be the greatest regret of all?

I was speaking to a very good friend about regret and she sent me a story about someone who worked with patients in palliative care, spending time with them just before they passed. She comments that every patient had found peace before they departed and when questioned about their regrets the most common response was:

I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have had not honored even half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

If you had the foresight to know that you might have this regret just before you died, what would you choose to do differently today?

As Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “Don’t go with your song still inside you.”

It is your choice. It all starts with your first step, you can’t reach the top of the staircase if you don’t take that first step.

If you’d like to share an interesting regret story, send it along to [email protected].

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Namaste, Ken

Written by Ken

Ken Jaques describes himself as a Health Care Evolutionary, Community Builder, and Speaker. True healing begins when we treat root causes instead of just masking symptoms. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2008, Ken has experienced many facets of the health care system. As “the only patient who ever lost their hair on this low of a dosage of chemotherapy” – as spoken by his rheumatologist – Ken has been on an amazing journal of self-discovery, a journey of true healing. In his blog, Ken shares stories of how his beliefs have changed over the past few years, and how they are still changing. Is it possible that our bodies can heal themselves? Do we really have to live without hope after we receive a chronic illness diagnosis? These are the types of questions that Ken encourages people to ask themselves as they embark on their own physical or emotional healing journey.

Ken is creating a platform to connect People, Patients, Practitioners, Partners and Promoters, enabling a collaborative effort to help shift the focus on health from I-llness to We-llness. Check out the pilot at

“When ‘I’ is replaced with ‘we’, even I-llness becomes WE-llness” ~ Malcolm X

1 Comment

  1. Ken,
    As always, thank you for these wonderful blogs and for sharing your soul with us.

    Allow me to provide my viewpoint on “Living Life with No Regrets.” I would call it “The Rain and The Rainbow.” I think that somehow, somewhere within our psyche lays a bucket-list that we wrote long before we were born. Bear with me for a minute and try to hold your laughter.:) I believe that before we were born we sat down and listed out all the things we’d like to experience to varying degrees. I’ve listed a few here; some are metaphoric in dimension.

    Heartache (Check)
    Betrayal (Check)
    Loneliness (Check)
    Childbirth (Check)
    Love (Check)
    Growth (Check)
    Anger (Check)
    Fear (Check)
    Friendship (Check)
    Thrown under a bus (Double Check)
    Understanding (Check)
    Depression (Check)
    Joy (Check)
    Wealth (-Check)
    Disease (-Check)
    Hunger (Check)
    Adoration (Check)
    Marriage (-Check)
    Laughter (Check)
    Forgiveness (Check)
    Patience (Check)
    Pride (Check)
    Tenderness (-Check)

    And somehow through the course of our lives we either created or allowed ourselves to travel roads that would provide an opportunity for those experiences to present themselves. We did this to be able to enjoy the fullness of life. We did this “KNOWING” that we possessed the necessary RESOURCE(s) to overcome them, when needed, in order to be able to appreciate all that life has to offer; the Rain and the Rainbow.

    So, as the title states “Living Life with No Regrets” speaks to our internal bucket-list, in my view. A life unfulfilled is indeed a regretful one. We are all running a race trying to check off as many things as we can before the end. Some, once here, venture to write one down attempting to capture all that they think they want to do before passing over to the great beyond. Remember… there was a time man thought the world was flat. People vainly make their lists from this side with a selfishly, skewed and failing eye of what life entails:

    Sky Dive (Check)
    Visit some exotic place (Check)
    Get that fancy car (Check)
    Be Famous (Check)
    Have a high-profile career (Check)
    Use a familiar catch phrase (Check) (I’ll be back), etc.

    My point is whatever your station in life, the here and now. Live it! Enjoy it! Love the YOU that you are NOW! Embrace your wonderful imperfections…it is the task of the Potter to help us realize His beautiful creation and to call out the POTENTIAL within us all. He perfects the mold. Acknowledge your value; YES your worth! YOU are NOT trash; there is no LACK within your Spirit. You are a precious, precious BEING and if you happen to reach no notoriety, no fame and if no one proclaim your accolades. If all you’ve accomplished in this life is to bring ONE person some measure of JOY, a level of UNDERSTANDING and PEACE in a time of despair… then you’ve realize your potential. You’ve done what many have forgotten is the GREATEST of value by perfecting a ROI, you’ve been a BLESSING.

    But…dearest brothers, if you find yourself still on this side of the veil there is one thing you (we) are not permitted to do. We are NOT permitted to rest on our laurels. We are not permitted to boast about the hungry we’ve fed or the one kind thing we did presenting ourselves, in the eyes of others, as some kind of great conqueror of deeds. Do not return empty handed after having buried your talents in the ground thinking it a good gift to offer up upon your return. If you are able to duplicate that blessing and create another and another and another DO SO. Squirrel away every good deed you can to your fellowman – STORE IT UP! Then go and create more, the more you create the more you’ll be ABLE to create by way of the circuitous nature of the good deed. Like a plant providing oxygen as it exhales after being watered.

    Now let me share a little secret with you. When you squirrel it away time and time again, then when the RAIN comes, in the Rainy Seasons of your life, this stored up reciprocal-harvest will provide YOU with RAINBOWS. And you will always have a reserve to call upon even in your Driest Seasons – like manna from heaven.

    Therefore if, for some reason, I don’t see tomorrow let me offer up this final petition in the presence of the most High God. May I come before you having left more than I’ve taken, having loved more than I’ve been offered love. May the few good deeds I’ve done before you compel your face to shine upon me. May the laughter I’ve created in others ring in your ears even now. Let me, Dear Lord, come to you having used up all of my POSSIBILITIES presenting to you an empty container. Let the talents you once gave me be shown to have increased in value and weight. Let the seeds I planted with my own hands be continuously watered by another in my stead – as I’m confident you’ll supply sunlight for them to grow. I won’t ask for time to spend another minute to say “goodbyes” to family, friends and children – for they know I love them. My soul will not weep for things left undone because you’ve blessed me with a fullness of a well-balanced life. I’ve cried, I’ve laughed, and I’ve stumbled and in doing so caused others to stumble behind me. I’ve dusted off and gotten up, time and time and time again. I’ve lost hope then you’ve returned it to me. I’ve shown and been shown compassion, forgiveness and favor. I’ve worked… rested and worked some more. I’ve had your company and conversations during the course of my travels – you’ve never left my side – what more could my soul desire. Except this one final request, in my passing let the final words that glide over my lips be those of gratitude and praise to you for giving me this wonderful experience; this amazing opportunity. And if there is a legacy that I could leave behind, let it be to always love my brother, my friends in kind. Amen.

    One final thing, like the word NEWS is an acronym for North, East, West and South so too is LOVE. It means, Life Offering Valuable Execution.
    The greatest Sorrow is Regret…
    The greatest Gift is Forgiveness…
    The greatest Power is Love.
    May we all be so favored as to recognize and enjoy “The Rain and The Rainbow.”

    May Joy always find you – My two cents,
    Hollywood W.S.

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