Regret is an emotion of dissatisfaction from personal acts or behaviors that happened in the past. Other emotions, such as sadness, guilt, embarrassment, or shame result from feeling regretful.
More importantly, regret can be felt from the results of an action as well as the results of inaction. For instance, a parent may feel regret because they disciplined a child too harshly. On the other hand the parent may feel regret because they failed to disciple the child at all.
It seems to be a favorite topic of those that handle high-profile interviews for the media, i.e. any regrets? We all have regrets, some are more painful than others. It becomes incumbent upon each of us to deal with regret in our own way by making amends in some way. Simple words, like "I'm sorry" can go a long way to soothe the regret being felt.
When that isn't possible, such as when a death occurs, other ways to channel the energy to make ourselves feel better can be drawn upon. For example, showing others good deeds by giving back in some way to off-set the regret helps.
Time is a great friend or your worst enemy when you have a regret. Only you will choose which way to categorize for yourself.
Each of us live with things that we wish we could change. But in the final countdown only we will know if we can be at peace with our own regret and the actions that we took to mitigate them.
“Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.”
- Sydney Smith