I once attended counseling with a wise Lutheran pastor. He was an active Colonel as a Chaplin in the Air Force, and had spent time in war zones. I mention that to point out that he had not only a ministerial background, but had witnessed tragedies of the most severe type.
He asked me questions for 2 or 3 sessions, and offered little advice early on--he supported my desire to grow as a human, but wasn't pompous about pretending he had instant solutions. When he was ready to deal with my regrets, he offered me this advice:
"Take a few minutes, and write out everything that you're sorry for. Be detailed, confess every bit of it. And then once you have that letter to yourself that you've composed, go somewhere remote. Read it to yourself, and acknowledge that you're NOT that person anymore--that you KNOW things now that you didn't know then, and that you won't repeat these mistakes. Then quietly burn the letter, and scatter the ashes to the wind."
I think that is powerful advice that allows us to move forward with a clean(er) conscious.
Well when I got sober I did an inventory of my life and shared it with somebody , that helped. This time around I been in therapy since 2011, continually once a week dealing with the baggage of P.T.S.D.
Showing up and telling the truth and being authentic with others kinna keeps things on a even keel. Not doing things that I would be afraid of getting caught for, certainly makes for a simplified day to day, there is a lot less book keeping, doing things this way. Being kind to others and when appropriate "maintaining the noble silence".
Having learn from the past the cost of certain behaviors,helps repeating those mistakes.
I haven't always been an angel, but the less than commendable behaviors seem to make it no further than passing thoughts. Accepting the fact that being human involves having things to work on.
I have decided to seek out a therapist as soon as I can get an appointment. Events of the last couple of months…well the last couple of years…are messing my mind up badly. There’s times I think I’m getting better then something happens that sets off another spell of misery in my head. Time for a professional.
I have done that and benefited from it. Ask around, though, before you choose. There are therapists, and there are better therapists.
The regret question, I believe, is helped by distinguishing between guilt, which can be addressed and resolved, and shame, which is destructive and self-perpetuating. This book (linked) helped me to understand the distinction, and a good therapist helped me sort things out. He retired while I was still seeing him, but I believe he helped me find my way out of the woods.
What really helped me with it was to realise that it's normal to experience those feelings, and pretty much everybody has something like that. Even just that simple realisation made a lot of difference to me.
The human mind should come with an owner's manual because we get very little useful education regarding how to manage our thought processes and habits of mind, including weaknesses and bad practices. At my age, I at least have learned through experience that much of what our mind construct is not really anything present in the world. I have learned that putting experiences into words obstructs reality as much as it specifies it. So while I don't practice avoidance or denial of experiences that have been bad, including my many faults and failures, I do find it possible to dismiss brooding, repetition of thoughts I've already had, and certifiably destructive what-iffing, etc. I engage as much as I possibly can with experiences as they are occurring, and try to make good decisions and take good actions; I try to recognize my failings clearly. But once things exist only as mere ideas, the most I do is work on whatever the continuing consequences, if any, may be. It's not even mental self-discipline any more. I don't think backwards. Those who recommend music are wise, I think. I don't believe true musical performance and other thoughts can exist at the same time. As for self-medication, I don't think that accomplishes anything except in the moment and just kicks whatever the problem or weakness may be forward to reappear in the future as a kind of psychic credit card debt with a bad interest rate.
"If you cannot do adversity, don't gig"
- Frank Zappa
Follow your gut instinct
To thine ownself be true
Learn how to manifest your needs and live simply.
The more complicated you make life, the less you enjoy it.
I'm 70yrs old, playing the best guitar of my life when my arthritis and beat up high mileage carcass allow
Obviously the op is questioning motives , actions responces and outcome of a situation
if the actions were from an ingnorance perspective, a new insight is a learning experience, and an apology may smooth out the situation
if the responce from those actions was hurtful to some one , then 2 things will happen
1) time may heal the wounds
2) they may need to distance them selves from the issue, again over time.
if the situation was of bad judgement and trust was broken to someone close , mending and healing over time may help
at some point the the op will have to forgive themselves for any personal lack of judgement they may have been party to
I was in university and I worked a pawn shop in Vancouver owned by a jewish gentleman , one of the elderly employees was talking about a vacation he was about to take , My brother had just come back from a European treck through several countries over there . one in particular was Germany , I sugested that to this gentleman with out thinking .....he was a halocaust survivor
once the words left my mouth I could have shot myself for my ,what appeared ignorance, arogance and unfeeling,
this one stayed with me for a long time