Conversations with Jerry - self acceptance, life after death, and healing

     I was talking with a man recently who’d been caring for his dying father.

     "I left him to take care of some personal business,” he said. "I knew I shouldn’t have gone because something

inside told me not to go. But, I didn’t listen. My father died while I was gone."

     Regret. The word originates from Old French— regreter, which means "bewail (the dead), feel sad, repentant, or

disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, esp. a loss or missed opportunity.")

      "If only I’d been a better sister, brother, wife, husband, mother, father, daughter, son, or friend . . ."

     "If only I’d said a, b or c."

     "If only I hadn’t said a, b or c."

      Get the picture?

     Living with regret is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. It's like climbing a mountain carrying a

100 lb pack while judging, criticizing, and berating yourself.  

     If you're ready to lighten your load, I invite you to think about a regret you'd like to release—something you did

that you think you shouldn’t have or, conversely, something you didn’t do that you think you should have. Choose

something substantial and meaningful.

      1. Write down your regret the way you say it to yourself. 

     (Using the above example: If only I’d listened to myself . . . I should have been there for my dad.)


     2. Tune-in to your thoughtsWhat do you tell yourself? Write it down.

     (Continuing with the above example: If only I’d listened to myself, my father wouldn’t have died alone. He    

     shouldn’t have died alone. I let my father down and I let myself down. I was never a good enough son. I’m


     3. How do your thoughts make you feel? Write it down. 

     (I feel sad. I feel angry. I feel inadequate. I feel unworthy. I feel ashamed. I feel guilty.)


     Don't read on until you've completed this process, because I want to point something out. As you thought about

the regret, did you notice that your mind automatically assumed that things would have turned out better if you 

hadn't done whatever it was you did? (Or, conversely, that things would have turned out better if you had done

whatever it was you didn’t do?)

     We assume an untruth when we're in the throes of regret: we assume that what we regret would have turned out

better than the actual outcome. But how can we possibly know with certainty? We can’t.

      Next time you’re in the throes of regret, challenge this assumption. Truth be told, you don’t know how

things would have turned out. Our minds, however, tend to idealize what isn’t in lieu of what is. "If only . . . "

is the accompanying refrain.

     Here are some examples of empowering principles that I live by. You may find them helpful, as well:

     - Life is occurring—exactly as it is and exactly as it is not—regardless of my judgments about it: 

     Facilitates me in owning and releasing judgments so that I can embrace what is. Arguing with reality is a losing

     battle. I prefer to reduce suffering, not add to it. 


     - I am 100% responsible for my own experience: 

     Allows me to take ownership rather than assign blame.  We are not victims of circumstance. If you are blaming

     someone or something for the way you feel, you are relinquishing responsibility and pretending to be powerless.

      You are the only one who can change the way you feel. (Here's a tip-off:  "I am upset because . . . " is a subtle way

     of assigning blame. What follows the "because" is where you're assigning blame.)


     - Every event, no matter how challenging, provides an opportunity to grow spiritually: 

     Why is this happening to me? and/or why am I being punished? are not powerful questions, so they can't elicit

     powerful answers. Asking a more powerful question like, how can I grow from this, or what would my soul have

     wanted me to learn from this? allows me to find growth and value in the most challenging of circumstances. 


     -I am free, in every moment, to choose my attitude:

     Reminds me that I have the power to choose my response to life, regardless of circumstance.


     -Our beliefs generate our thoughts and our thoughts generate our feelings:  

     We are living in the feeling of our thinking, and not in the feeling of our circumstances. It's our thoughts about our

     circumstances that create the feelings, not the circumstances themselves.  If we want to feel differently, we have to 

     think differently and in order to think differently we have to challenge and change our beliefs. Releasing what no

     longer serves us—assumptions, limiting beliefs, conditioned patterns, misinterpretations and judgments—allows

     us to reduce suffering and grow spiritually. And, guess what? Outer experience is a reflection of inner reality. 

     When we change within, our outer experience shows up differently.


     Now, I'm not advocating that we shouldn't grieve when a loved one transitions; quite to the contrary: if we’re

present to sadness, we need to give ourselves permission to cry all of our tears. Living with regret, however, is

to suffer unnecessarily.

      I began this article by sharing about a man who’d been caring for his dying father.

      "I left him to take care of some personal business,” he said. "I knew I shouldn’t have gone because something

inside told me not to go. But I didn’t listen. My father died while I was gone."

      I could hear the regret and guilt in the way his voice lowered and trailed off. Can you see how regret was showing

up in the way I just described? In his mind things would have turned out better if he'd been there when his father

transitioned. In his mind that's how it should have happened. But, I ask you: how can we possibly know with

certainty? We can't. It is this underlying assumption that keeps regret in place.

     "It was wrong of me to have left. I should have been there for him."

      “Let's take this out of the arena of right or wrong," I said. "From a spiritual perspective, we can't judge it because

we don't know. What if, on some level—for your highest good and the highest good of all concerned—you both agreed

to play it out this way? What might your soul have wanted you to learn from the experience?”

      He paused. “I guess my soul would have wanted me to learn to listen to myself.”

      “What a beautiful gift your father’s given you. Would you be willing to accept it, receive it and be thankful for it? If

I were a gambling person, I'd bet that’s what he'd want for you.”

      “But he died alone.”

     “My aunt was alone when she transitioned. She told me, through a medium, that it was precisely how she wanted

it. Would you be willing to consider the possibility that it’s how your father may have wanted it, too; that he may

have been waiting for you to leave so that he could transition?"

      “That never occurred to me.”

     "And although we all make the transition from physical to spiritual on our own, are we ever really alone? I don't

think so."

      The session continued a while longer, but can you feel the energy start to free up?

      The next time you find yourself deep in regret, remember to challenge your assumptions. No matter what you've

done—or haven't—you are lovable, adequate and worthy . . . and all is well.


P.S. Your worth isn’t in what you do or what you have. It’s in who you are. Just by BEING, you are inherently lovable,

adequate and worthy. It’s the LAW of the universe: Lovable, Adequate, Worthy




If you have questions or if I can be of service through Soul-Centered Coaching, send me an email:


 Copyright © 2009 by Irene Kendig

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Comment by sari Gilfenbain on July 1, 2011 at 1:21pm
Wow! I am in awe of you, Irene! Your writing style is so personal that it drew me right in. Do I have regrets? You betcha! Thank you for showing me how to lift the load.
Comment by Holly Johnson on August 3, 2010 at 12:18pm
After spending some time thinking about this wonderful article....I would like to say that a 'regret' that I have carried with me with loved ones that have gone is, the....not clearing the air, making peace with issues, understanding their point of view, and the acknowledgement that they understood my point of view. I know I can talk up a storm to them now, and I know they hear me. But it is nothing like the exchange that we would do in the physical by looking into one anothers eyes and experiencing that profound 'knowing'......
Comment by Holly Johnson on August 2, 2010 at 8:25pm
Beautiful article Irene. A reflection of your heart! Thank you!
Comment by Irene Kendig on January 10, 2010 at 9:08pm
Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback, Nakhone. I am grateful that the article is shedding light on some of your assumptions. You deserve to be free of regret. Jana is a wonderful medium. I'll send you a website message with the info. All the best to you!
Comment by Nakhone Keodara on January 10, 2010 at 5:57pm
Thanks, Irene. I have several regrets that I'd been carrying concerning the death of the love of my life and my father and this article is shedding some light on my assumptions of what the outcome would be if I were to be present. I can't thank you enough for this message. I would like to speak to a medium. Can you point me in the right direction? Thanks.
Comment by Irene Kendig on September 6, 2009 at 2:25pm
Wonderful, Jennifer! Thank you for posting!
Comment by Jennifer King on September 6, 2009 at 1:46pm
Just what I needed to hear from you this morning. This changes the direction of my day to a more positive one. Thanks Irene!
Comment by stephen witmer on February 27, 2009 at 7:46am
fabulous article 5 stars

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