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No regrets - Beazley H.

Beazley H. No regrets - Wiley publishing , 2004. - 234 p.
ISBN 0-471-21295-4
Download (direct link): noregrets2004.pdf
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In completing this journaling exercise, include a description of the resentment itself as well as the reasons you hold it. In other words, why do you blame the other party and for what? Be honest and complete, but do not dwell on these resentments beyond the journaling exercise, and do not fuel your anger with further thoughts of them. Identify the resentments
and then leave them behind as you move to the next journaling topic. You will deal with these resentments later.
4. Consequences of Holding onto the Regret
The consequences of holding onto the regret are the consequences you are suffering today because you have not let it go. It is probably the primary reason you are reading this book and working this step.
Lola was in her sixties and so was her older sister, with whom she had intentionally not spoken in fifteen years. The death of Lola’s only cousin, whom she had adored as a child, reminded her of how much she had shared with her sister in their youth and how much she regretted not seeing her. The fear of losing her sister without ever speaking to her again became a terrible burden. Lola thought back to the laughter and the escapades, to the times she had depended on her sister for support when there was no one else to whom she could turn. The parting words she had uttered at their breakup were not the last words she wanted to have said to the sister who had once been her best friend and a crucial part of her life. The more Lola thought of her sister, the sadder she grew about the current state of their relationship. Suddenly the consequences of holding onto the resentments the old regret had spawned were too great to bear.
The costs of holding onto a regret include the time you spend thinking about it, the emotional energy you invest in it, the sadness it causes, the anger it fosters, the happiness it steals from you, the new losses it creates, and, with some regrets, the guilt and shame it generates. Whatever the consequences, write them down. These consequences of holding onto your regrets will provide you with important reasons for letting them go.
With the completion of Step Two, you have examined your regrets in detail. You are now ready for Step Three, in which you will explore a set of thought patterns that create, deepen, and maintain regrets when the thought patterns are carried to an extreme. By identifying these thought patterns, you can counteract them, eliminating their role in maintaining your old regrets and in creating new ones.
Step Three: Changing Toxic Thought Patterns
In Step Three, you will explore a set of common thought patterns that, when carried to an extreme, may have played a part in creating your regrets and in making them more difficult to let go. These common thought patterns, such as perfectionism, cause many small regrets in daily life. When they become a person’s primary way of dealing with the world, however, they contribute to creating and maintaining burdensome regrets. In this step, you will determine what role, if any, these thought patterns play in the regrets you hold. By being aware of their contribution to your regrets, you can counteract them using thought analysis and the other spiritual and psychological tools available to you.
Working Step Three
The most common thought patterns that support major regrets when they become the primary way of interacting with the world are the following:
• Perfectionism
• Exaggerated control
• Foreseeing the future
• Knowing what others are thinking
• Personalizing events
• Incomplete comparisons
• Undeserved guilt
• Reimagining the past
• Extreme thinking
• Using regrets as justification for inaction
We develop some of these toxic thought patterns as children or teenagers. The adolescent beliefin invincibility, for example, is universal. But ifwe never let it go, it will work against us, threatening our lives. Other toxic thought patterns came out of the dysfunctional families in which we were raised, providing our only defense against the difficult circumstances with which we had to cope. But after the dire circumstances of our young lives changed, we never let go of the thought patterns and their false beliefs. Now they no longer protect us. They punish us, but we continue to hold onto them.
The Action List for Step Three is as follows:
Action List: Step Three
ChangingToxic Thought Patterns
1. Analyze each regret for toxic thought patterns that support it
2. Use thought analysis to counter toxic thoughts that support the regret
1. Analyze Each Regret for Toxic Thought Patterns That Support It
As you read through the thought patterns described in the following paragraphs, ask yourself which ones, if any, apply to your regrets. Did any of these ways of thinking, carried to an extreme, create your regrets? Do any of these thought patterns keep you holding onto your regrets?
Perfectionism is a common example of a thought pattern that characterizes many people to some degree, especially those who hold high expectations of themselves and others. When this thought pattern becomes the predominant factor in determining our behavior, however, it creates serious problems. While acknowledging intellectually and to others that perfection is impossible, perfectionists nonetheless behave as if it were possible. Nothing less than perfection is acceptable to them. To be less than perfect is to fail. But perfection isn’t possible for any of us.
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