We just finished an amazing retreat in Los Angeles with women from all over the world. One of the common themes among the women was the topic of regret. When I returned home, I received an e-mail from a dear friend going through this journey, and the topic surfaced again. Regret, remorse, should have, shouldn't have, guilt, shame, if only...
If we examine the list of our regrets associated with fertility, it might look something like this:
If only I had _______________________, then I'd be a mom.
If only I hadn't done _________, then I'd be a mom.
If I had known ________________, then I'd be a mom.
If I would have ________________ earlier, then I'd be a mom.
If Dr. _____________ hadn't done ________________, I'd already be a mom.
If Dr. ____________ would have done _____________, I'd already be a mom.
If my ____________ would have __________________, I would be a mom.
If my _____________ wouldn't have _______________, I would be a mom.
I feel ____________ about what happened _____________.
If you keep up this line of questioning, the list will be endless. When you finish one group of regrets, another one will come along, tormenting you all the way along the journey.
Yet, as I told my friend, you don't need to indulge them, figure them out, or push them away. They won't get you anywhere, because regret is an imposter. It isn't real. Nothing could have been done differently than it was. Your past literally could not be other than it is. You are not here by mistake.
Keep dealing with the only time you have - now. Watch the feelings (now) about a fictitious moment in the supposed past, when it was also now. Not a different now; the same eternal moment, which the mind records as memory. Every time the memory captured an event or experience in the now, it also colored it with some feelings about where your emotional body was at the time. It is doing the same thing now - coloring the memories with judgment. Nothing ever, ever, ever, ever, could have happened differently than it happened. Nothing ever is happening other than it is happening. The happening, including your response to what is, happens spontaneously based upon everything else in the universe and your own personal history. Then the mind comes in later and judges it as good, bad, right, wrong, should have, should not have... And creates an energetic knot.
The energies of regret are twofold - the downward, inward energetic pull of metal (which governs grief and loss), and the upward, outward energetic push of wood (which governs frustration, anger, and resistance) - opposite energetic movements. One pulls you in, one pushes against. It's a losing game.
When you tease out the sadness and anger, what's left is the raw emotion of how you feel about what you wish could have been. When it's projected out in the future, it creates enormous tension in the body mind. Journal about it, if you find it helpful. Do a releasing ceremony. Do a physical release if it feels appropriate. Feel its effects in your body. See what is has to offer you when you see it for what it is. Go into the heart of it. Feel the emotions associated with it. And see what gift remains in the center of it. And in the wake of showing up 100% for yourself, you are left with the only peace possible - acceptance of your past; acceptance of yourself; acceptance of what is, right now.
You have always done exactly what you had to do. And in this ever-present moment, you are doing exactly what you must be doing.
When the contraction of regret is truly released, it can't obstruct your energetic patterns anymore. Only then you are truly forgiven.
Randine Lewis, MSOM., Ph.D., L.Ac.
Author of The Infertility Cure: The Ancient Chinese Wellness Program for Getting Pregnant and Having Healthy Babies and The Way of the Fertile Soul: Ten Ancient Chinese Secrets to Tap into a Woman's Creative Potential.
At Acupuncture Denver we follow Dr. Lewis' Fertile Soul Method for fertility enhancement. Jane Gregorie, the Clinic Director, works closely with Dr. Lewis and is a founding member of The Fertile Soul Clinical Excellence in Fertility Program.
Our clients have benefited greatly from attending Fertile Soul retreats. Acupuncture Denver holds Fertile Soul retreats in our clinic and continues to receive support and training from Dr. Lewis.