Regret: a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction, etc.; a feeling of sorrow or remorse for a fault, act, loss, disappointment, etc. (Dictionary.com).
At some point in your lifetime you will find yourself regretting things you may have done or not have done. If you are divorced, you may wish you had never been married in the first place. You may think about what would have happened if you never met your spouse. What if you had never let your friends convince you to go to the event where you met your spouse? What if you had gone to college somewhere else? What if? What if?
On the flip side some of you may regret initiating or giving in to the divorce process and desire to start all over again. In some cases you can, so don’t rule out reconciliation, however in some situations the former spouse has already moved on and even remarried. Regret can happen at any time, but most often when there is some type of nostalgia involved.
When holidays come around and I can’t be with my children because they have plans with their father, I regret being divorced. These feelings typically occur in relation to my children. Would they be different if we had not divorced? Would they have a better chance at having their own successful relationships if we had stayed together? As soon as the events are over my thoughts fortunately return to normal and I am okay with the decisions I have made.
We Cannot Change the Past
The past is over and we cannot go back and undo any of our actions. We may have to forgive ourselves for bad decisions and accept responsibility for our behavior. If we have harmed others in the process, it may be a good idea to seek their forgiveness. Harmful words were exchanged that cannot be taken back. Money was spent and taken that cannot be replaced. You may have lost items of personal value that were passed down through many generations in your family. Don’t worry about trying to undo anything, instead accept the fact that we cannot change our past but we can influence our future. Focus on the future and what it will take to start a new baseline and keep moving forward.
Learn Your Lesson
If you do feel like you made mistakes, don’t wallow in the muck and the mire, learn from your mistakes. Maybe you said some things you shouldn’t have said and did some things that were unbecoming of you and totally out of your character. Don’t dwell on your mistakes; instead focus on what you have learned in the process. For example, I was frustrated when I realized a friend I had confided in was the person spreading rumors about me. I regretted talking with the person, but couldn’t undo the conversation. I learned my lesson and thought twice before opening my mouth to the wrong person.
By stopping to take a look at the past, I learned many qualities about myself. I learned what my pressure points are and my vulnerabilities. I understand the words or behaviors that provoke me to anger and avoid those situations. I learned who my friends were and who I could trust. There are so many lessons to be learned.
If you find yourself playing old tapes in your head about mistakes you have made, write them down and then write down the corresponding lesson you have learned. Write down what you would do differently if confronted with the same situation again. Prepare yourself to not repeat the same blunders again.
It Won’t Happen Again
At times I regretted being so trusting and eventually made some definitive statements such as “that will never happen to me again.” On a few occasions I felt attacked and was hurt emotionally. After I cried my eyes out and washed my face, I made the decision that I wouldn’t let anyone get to me in that way. In the words of Mary Mary, I told myself, “I cried my last tear yesterday.” I could hear Mary J Blige singing in my ears, “ I’m not going to cry, I’m not gon’ cry, I’m not gon’ shed no tears.” Once I made up my mind that I would not experience the same hurt again, I grew stronger day by day.
Spending time regretting the past is useless. Again, you can’t change the past so quit focusing on it. You can’t drive forward staring out of the rear view mirror, but every now and then a quick glance will keep you from making the same mistakes and keep you on the right track. Your mantra should be Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV) “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Anyone that has ever traveled with me knows I have a sleep regimen that I must follow in order to get a good night’s sleep. When I stay at a hotel, my sleep ritual is a work of art. First of all, I use all the towels in the room to cover up any possible light that may enter. There is a towel under the door, one over the digital clock and one over the on-light on the front of the television. I have a clip or a safety pin to keep the curtains closed, and the air conditioner is practically on freezing. In case of an emergency I have my eye pads for any light I cannot control such as a smoke detector at the top of the ceiling that flashes on and off.
On the bed itself, I need at least 4 pillows or five if my husband is travelling with me. I always ask for a room that is away from the elevator and ice machines due to the noise. However, I keep cotton balls in my suitcase just in case. One thing I appreciate about hotels is they always have white, clean, cotton sheets which I prefer on my own bed. It takes all of this to ensure that I get a good nights’ sleep. When I am at home, I don’t have to worry about my sleep environment because after suffering from insomnia for a few years, I have finally perfected the art of perfect sleep in the Love household.
According to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research I am not alone in that at least 40 million Americans suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders and another 20 to 30 million experience occasional sleep problems. So what are the most common types of sleep disorders?
What happens when we don’t get enough sleep? I know I am irritable, can’t seem to focus and find myself sometimes eating and snacking to stay awake. Caffeine may help but it causes further problems for me when it is time to go to sleep at night. Seventeen hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.05 percent (legal limit is 0.08 in most states). Lack of sleep can make your more susceptible to depression and suppress immune function.
Here are five ways to sleep in heavenly peace:
Finally, if you are experiencing sleep problems of any kind, find out what is keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep. Tonight, make up your mind to experience the joy of sleeping in heavenly peace. If your lack of sleep is caused by a physical condition, see your doctor to get the help you need. If your lack of sleep is caused by a spiritual condition or worry, remember that sleep in a gift from God. Psalm 127:2 states, “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.” Goodnight!
October is breast cancer month and each year, the Susan G Komen Foundation through strong advertising campaigns, manages to get just about everyone to wear something pink for breast cancer awareness. Health centers will give away free mammograms and hand out breast exam cards. At our church, our cancer care ministry will sponsor a “Worship in Pink” to encourage our members to be aware of the risks of cancer and to celebrate cancer survivors. During the month of October, the color pink is everywhere and I typically will get my own mammogram during this month because the local Breast center gives great gifts to their patients all month. They also encourage you to bring a friend.
Our church has been severely impacted by cancer, therefore a few years ago my husband and I desired to gain knowledge in how to minister to those affected by cancer. We were invited to attend the Our Journey Of hope (OJOH) Cancer Care Leadership Training seminar at the Cancer Treatment Center of America’s Southwestern Regional Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The training was a biblically-based, comprehensive cancer care ministry training program designed to equip pastors and church leaders with tools to effectively minister to those impacted by cancer. During the two-day training session, we along with other pastors and ministry leaders immersed ourselves in the spiritual and practical methods of bringing hope, care and comfort through cancer care ministry. We also received ministry insights for addressing the specific spiritual needs of those battling cancer and their caregivers.
The Susan G Komen Foundation’s whose mission is to “save lives by meeting the most critical needs in our communities and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer” documents the following statistics from the National Cancer Institute for 2016:
In recent years, incidence rates have been stable in white women, but have increased slightly in African American women. At this time there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. (This includes women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.)
What causes cancer? The precise causes of breast cancer are unclear but The American Cancer Society does list aging and family history as significant factors. The most common risk factors besides age include; alcohol consumption, being exposed to cancer causing substances, diet, hormones, obesity, sunlight and tobacco.
Some studies have been conducted to determine if there is a relationship between stress and the incidence of cancer. Apparent links between psychological stress and cancer could arise in several ways. For example, people under stress may develop certain behaviors, such as smoking, overeating, or drinking alcohol, which increase a person’s risk for cancer. In 2008, a group of Israeli scientists studied a group of women under 45 years old. They found that young women who had endured two or more traumatic life events had a higher than average rate of depression and greater vulnerability to breast cancer. The younger a woman was when a crisis hit, the greater their risk for cancer.
Dr. Michael S. Barry, author of The Forgiveness Project: The Startling Discovery of How to Overcome Cancer, Find Health, and Achieve Peace asks the question: Is there a relationship between the insidious disease of cancer and the sinister, life-threatening emotion of hatred? Based upon his work as the retired leader of the pastoral care department at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia, he has concluded: “The stress of unforgiveness negatively affects the immune system. Forgiveness, on the other hand, has an immediate, wholesome effect and long-term benefit in strengthening the immune system and positively affecting the healing process.
Benjamin Franklin once said: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Therefore it is important that we learn the risk factors for cancer and change our lifestyle and behaviors accordingly. Here are some suggestions for cancer prevention:
Lastly, the bible teaches us not to worry. Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Blessings & Health,
Janice R Love, Author
First Lady, Mom, Stepmom and Divorce Ministry Coach