#88 | Regret can be painful and useful.Jul 03, 2022
Hi, it's Lynn, your adulting coach. Do you beat up yourself after helping your child? This video is inspired by a post on Facebook where the mom had held her child all night long as he was crying, but wasn't able to express what was going on inside of him.
When he finally calmed down at the end of the night the mom laid down on the bed and cried that she couldn't help him more. She regretted that she didn't have just what he needed to offer him so he could feel better right then.
Has that ever happened? It's happened to me. They suffer. We both get through it. And then we start saying, "If only I had said this or done this or knew that or had a magic wand, then they wouldn't have suffered so."
We just hate to watch them suffer. It's hard. And then we beat ourselves up further afterwards, when we regret that we were not the parent that we wanted to be. At that moment, we were not the coach that could help them see the way through the pain and to the other side.
That regret could also be a useful emotion. And we could be grateful for it. And here's why.
When we are in that painful place, we are seeing where we are compared to where we would like to be. And there's a gap here we are, here's where we want to be.
We are focused on that gap. We are not the mom, the dad, the coach that we want to be and we regret it and that creates:.
- Okay, so here's the situation my child is suffering
- My thought is, "I'm not good enough. I'm not a good enough parent or coach yet to help them."
- And that creates regret. And our actions are to beat ourselves up. We think of what you know all the million things that we wish that we could have said or done or if we'd only had that magic wand and could just make this suffering go away.
- And the result is we're dissatisfied with who we are. Makes sense.
Perfect sense. We all want to be the parent who is just right for our child at each moment.
Let's also though look at it from the gain. So this is the gap where we are and where we would like to be. The gain is here's where we are. Here's where we used to be.
When we focus on how far we've come, the progress we've made, our increased abilities to empathize and comfort and understand and connect both with ourselves and with them and the practices that we have put in place that have really improved our family and showing our kids just how imperfectly we love them and unconditionally. We love them. Then we can see that regret as a useful emotion.
"Okay, I am regretting it but look at how far I've come."
So when we look at it from the gap, we say okay, regret you're good because you show me that I have room to grow. There's more to go here. I'm not done yet. I'm not yet the coach both to myself and to my child that I can be.
That gap is there, it pulls us forward. We humans want to fill that gap.
And of course once we do that we bump it up again. So it's our inspiration to grow and improve and get better. And when we look at that gain, then we say okay, so they were really unhappy last night. I really watched them suffer. My thought was I'm still not the coach I want to be. My emotion can still be regret.
But I can look at it from " Okay, let me identify where are the skills that I can get that I can learn to level up my ability to coach them appropriately and maybe even coach myself appropriately? Oh, that's what I need to learn."
And the result of that becomes one step further down that road to becoming the coach, the person, the parent, who I want to be in this world.
Maybe we can see regret and all emotions, whether they're comfortable or not, as gifts. Aristotle encouraged us to do this. He said, "Anybody can become angry, that's easy, but to be angry with the right person to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose and in the right way. That is not within everybody's power. If they don't want to do this, it's not easy."
And I'm going to add that it's always worthwhile. We can take any emotion anybody can become regretful, that's easy, but to be regretful with the right person and to the right degree into the right time. Into the right purpose and in the right way.
That's what we want to do with all those lovely emotions, that somehow the miracle of our brain takes the thought and tells the body to secrete the hormone that causes that emotional vibration in our body. It's a miracle.
You're a miracle. Your child is a miracle. We're all perfectly imperfect. And it's wonderful to begin to keep trying and begin again to level up our skills every time we are forced to see an emotion and experience an uncomfortable emotion. Like regret. All emotions can be both painful and useful.
Bye for now.