7 Mistakes You Might Want To Avoid Now So They Don't Become Lifelong Regrets

by Lauren Martin

I wish I were the kind of person who doesn’t have regrets. I wish I could say that all my mistakes were supposed to happen, that I am glad for them.

I wish that I didn’t let the heavy burden of my past crush down on me day in and day out. I wish that I was stronger and could let the pains of yesterday blow into the wind like dead leaves.

Fortunately, I still have a good amount of time left on this earth and have yet to make mistakes that can’t be somewhat atoned for.

I have yet to make any of those mistakes that will haunt me on my deathbed as the biggest regrets of my life -- but I’ve seen it happen.

I’ve seen the regrets that haunt my parents, grandparents and all the others around me who think they are quickly running out of time. I’ve seen the fallen faces and the effects of all-consuming regret. I’ve watched it tear families apart and kill people long before they stopped breathing.

Whether it's wishing they had pursued their passion or that they stayed in touch with their children, I’ve seen the crushing burdens of guilt and regret darken the bleak fate of those who wish so desperately they could do it all again.

But they can’t and they must live with their mistakes for the rest of their lives. They must try and bury the past deep in their unconscious or let it sit there, festering, ruining every moment of their present.

While I lament the fate of my parents and those close to me, I've also realized that I must learn from their mistakes. I must remember their feelings and their sorrows so I may never feel the same.

Of course, it’s inevitable that I am going to make mistakes along the path of life, but singling out a few that I must try my hardest to avoid can’t hurt.

I can live my life around these mistakes -- crawling, stretching, and diving away from them the way a thief avoids moving alarms.

These are my mine, the things I must stay away from. They are the choices I’ve seen ruin lives and the moments that can’t be taken back. They are the nightmares of the fallen and defeated and I refuse to let them be mine.

Following someone else’s dream

In 20, 30 or 40 years, do you think you’ll regret disappointing your parents when you were a kid or following the path you didn’t want? The sting of unfulfilled dreams is much more painful than that of disappointment.

However, the pain of not knowing what could have been is worst of all. Do yourself a favor and skip this regret, because it’s one that will most certainly define your entire life.

Not appreciating your parents

Your mother carried you for nine months, gave up her life of freedom to give you yours. Your parents gave you a life, a home and a will to survive. They raised you, worried about you and made you into the person you are today.

Though you may not always see eye-to-eye or understand their ways of life, they are your flesh and blood, your only real attachment to this world.

When they are gone, and you are truly alone, you’ll realize your biggest mistake in life was not telling them that you loved them more, not getting to know them more, and not being with them more.

Pretending to be someone you’re not

It’s easy to let the pressures of society dictate your role, but you must spend your life fighting against that pressure.

When you finally learn that the opinions of others are as unimportant as those fights you had with your best friend back in college, you'll realize that you're left with nothing but the shallow shell they made you fit into.

The most admirable thing people can be in this world is themselves; never give up your pride for the approval of the masses.

Lying about stupid things

Lying is one of the easiest things to do, but hardest to take back. If you let it, it can become second nature, something so natural that you begin to forget what’s real and what you made up. People will begin to see your lies because they always do, eventually.

Tell a lie and it’s inevitable that you will regret it because, in this unexplainable universe we live in, they always come back and haunt us. Tell the truth and you will never have to regret a lie.

Burning all those bridges

While it’s necessary to burn some parts of your past, be careful not to burn all of it because there are some bridges you may want to cross again.

We never know where life is going to take us and fate has an odd sense of humor, many times, sending us back to places with our hypothetical tails between our legs. Always keep some options open, if you burn all your bridges, you’ll only end up stranded on an island of your own making.

Forgetting to live in the moment

Is there anything worse than getting somewhere and not realizing how you got there? Even worse is only realizing what a good time you were having when it’s too late to still enjoy yourself.

Living in the present is a basic notion, but as with most simple things in this world, we find a way to make it complicated. There's nothing complicated about learning to appreciate and notice your surroundings. There's nothing complicated about being present.

Giving up real love

Love is the only real and honest thing in this world and refusing to accept it is denying yourself maybe the only real thing worth living for.

Too many times people find a way to reject love, either because they are scared or don't recognize it when it wraps its comfortable arms around them.

Take love from everyone, don't be afraid to fall head first into it and protect it as the most sacred thing in your life when you've found it.

Photo via Flickr