10 Ways to Release Regrets

by Patricia Spadaro

Facing an unwanted ending or a painful memory—or know someone who is struggling to recover from a loss?

Endings can be tough on the heart and soul.  Lay-offs, break-ups, or sudden, unexpected life changes can throw us off balance and make us feel unsure about ourselves and our future. When someone or something pulls the rug out from under you, you may find yourself drowning in a caldron of emotions, anything from grief and remorse to anger, fear, or blame.

Whether you’ve experienced a recent loss or are struggling with an ending you’ve never come to terms with, you can move forward more quickly by finding effective ways to release regrets.

Learn 10 important ways to honor endings so you can find closure gracefully, get past the pain, and open the door to new beginnings:  Click here to read my new feature on saying goodbye to regrets on Beliefnet.com

Missing a Loved One? A Tip to Help You Move On

by Patricia Spadaro

While the end of the year and the holiday season can be a time of joy, it can also be a time of loss and grieving as loved ones pass on or we are reminded of those who shared the holidays with us in the past. The final months of the year do seem to be a time of physical passage. In the last few months, several of my own friends have had to deal with the passing of parents or long-time friends.

Here’s one way to make the passage a bit easier for you, especially if you were not able to say your last goodbyes. In my travels, I once met a German woman who seemed upset and was having a hard time enjoying her vacation. She told my husband and I tearfully that her mother had recently passed on unexpectedly and she had never been able to say her last goodbyes.  As I shared this same advice with her, her face suddenly lit up.  It had lifted a bit of the burden she felt, and she was very grateful.  (You can adapt this same ritual to help you move through and honor the ending of any relationship or incident in your life.)

1. Carve out some quality time alone.

2. Take a clean piece of paper and write a letter to the heart and soul of a parent, partner, or friend who has moved on. Tell them in this inner message how you feel and what you most appreciated about them. Let them know what you didn’t get to tell them, perhaps even what you regret about your relationship over the years and any pain you felt.

3. Even if you had a difficult relationship with this person, make a point in your letter of recognizing the gifts that he or she passed on to you or the strengths you developed as a result of your relationship.

4. Then burn the letter (be sure to do it in a safe place!) as you ask God (using whatever name you prefer to address the creative Spirit of the universe) to carry this message at inner levels to those who have passed on.

Physical rituals like this can help you bring closure, find a sense of peace, and move on more quickly.

Remember: The greatest gifts that loved ones give us are the gifts that still live on within us. We honor those who have passed on by discovering what they have given us and allowing those gifts to express through us.

Think about this:

•  Are you missing someone in your life?
•  What gifts did he/she give you?
•  How will you continue to express those gifts in his/her honor?

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