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Ep #159: Breaking the Chains of Regret After Divorce | Becoming You Again Podcast

Haunted by the echoes of decisions past, we've all faced the ghost of regret, especially in the aftermath of a marriage ending. In this episode, I'm opening up about the often unspoken sorrows of divorce, the 'what ifs' and 'if onlys' that can cling to us like chains.

Your journey through divorce is one of healing and growth, and in this episode, you'll be armed  with the tools to break the chains of regret, have compassion for yourself and you'll gain the  insights needed to embrace self-love and resilience during this profound life transition. Listen in, to equip yourself with strategies to let go of the past and step boldly into a future defined by your own sense of empowerment.

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List to the full episode:

Grief and trauma are the two biggest struggles women deal with as they go through their divorce. It's highly likely that you are experiencing both and don't even realize what you're feeling. I'm here to tell you that it's okay for you to grieve your marriage (even if it was shitty) and it's normal to be experiencing some kind of trauma (which is essentially a disconnection from yourself - your mind, body and soul). I can help guide you through the grief in all of the forms it shows up so you can heal. I can also teach you how to ground yourself in healing so you can ease through the trauma. Schedule your free consult by clicking here.

Featured on this episode:

  1. Interested in the Divorce Betrayal Transformation? Learn more here.

  2. Are you lost and confused about who you are after divorce? Don't worry. I've got 51 Ways to Get to Know Yourself Again. Click here to download.

  3. Want to work first hand with Karin so you can stop worrying about what your life will be like after divorce, and instead begin making it amazing today? Click here to schedule a consult to find out more about working 1:1 with Karin as your coach.

  4. Haven't left a review yet? No problem. Click here to leave one.

Full Episode Transcript:

If you're going through a divorce and you're looking for mental and emotional support as you navigate this process, then you are in the right place. Becoming you Again is the exact podcast to help you with all of that and so much more. I'm your host, Karin Nelson, and you are listening to Becoming you Again, episode number 159. Welcome to Becoming you Again, the podcast to help you with your mental and emotional well-being during and after divorce. This is where you learn to overcome the grief and trauma of your divorce. We're going to do that by reconnecting with yourself, creating lasting emotional resilience and living a truly independent life, so that your life can be even better than when you were married. I'm your host, Karin Nelson. Welcome back to the podcast. My lovely ladies, I am so glad that you were married. I'm your host, Karin Nelson. Welcome back to the podcast. My lovely ladies, I am so glad that you're here.


Before we jump into the podcast today, I want to just ask you a very quick favor. If you haven't yet rated the podcast, depending on if you're listening on, most of my listeners listen on either Apple or Spotify, and if you haven't rated it on either of those, just if you will do me this quick little favor, go in and give the podcast a very quick rating. If you're on Apple podcasts, you can give it a rating by just scrolling to the bottom of your page in your podcast app and, just right there, leave a rating and you can even leave a review. And if you're in Spotify, again, you just go to the podcast app and you can just click the rating right there on the page in the app. It takes less than 10 seconds. You can do it right now, even as you're listening. You don't even have to like turn the podcast off to do it, and it would help get the podcast in front of more women who are struggling as they go through their divorce, just like you. The more people that we can help get through their divorce with the support, the love, the toolbox full of tools to be able to help them give themselves the love that they need as they go through maybe one of the hardest things that they've gone through in their life, the better off we all are. Okay. So that is me on my little soapbox asking for your help. Thank you so much.


Now let's dive into the podcast. Today I'm talking about regret, which I don't think I've actually specifically covered this topic before in the many podcast episodes that I have done so far, and so I think this is a really good one, because this might be something that you are struggling with as you go through your divorce. I was having a conversation the other day with my partner and we were talking about something that didn't have anything to do with divorce. We were talking about a different topic. I don't even remember what the topic was, but this idea of regret came into our conversation and it got me thinking that it's possible that there are many of you out there who were listening to this podcast who are thinking back on either your years in your marriage, specific decisions, things that happened that you might be kind of thinking why did I do that? Why did I make that decision? Why did I let that happen? Why did I stay so long? Why did I put up with so much? Why didn't I get out sooner? Why didn't I voice my needs? Why didn't I and the list could go on and on right.


We have these, these ideas, these thoughts, these regrets that we look back on in our past and go if only I would have done this thing different, or if only I had made this different choice, or if only I showed up in a different way, things might be different and I wouldn't necessarily be going through this thing. And I think this is a very common thing for us to do, especially as women. It's very easy to number one, get into self blame. Uh, because we're just kind of taught that we're in charge of making sure everyone's needs are taken care of Not our own, of course, those are last, but everyone else's needs are taken care of, and so if anything goes wrong, we often step into this idea of self blame, like it must be my fault, I must've done something wrong, I must not be good enough, I must have said something or whatever right. We get into this self-blame idea, and I think that self-blame often goes very much hand in hand with this idea of regret.


So I want to talk about it today. I want to give you kind of a really great definition that I came across by a mentor of mine who, when I read this, I was like this just absolutely explains what regret is, and then I'm going to kind of talk about why regret might be playing kind of a pivotal role in your healing process, especially when it comes to opening up to grief around either your divorce or anything else that you might be grieving about. It doesn't have to grief around either. Your divorce or anything else that you might be grieving about doesn't have to be specifically for your divorce. You might actually be happy that you're getting a divorce, but even if you're in that space, there can be many other things that you're grieving despite getting a divorce. So we're going to talk about it. Let's just jump in.


So I want to give you this definition that I read the other day is by Amar Atma. He is what I would describe as a grief coach. He really teaches a lot about grief, teaches you how to work through your grief and recognize your grief in all different aspects. It doesn't have to be specifically for divorce or loss. It can be many, many, many aspects of grief. But this is how he defines regret. He says that regret is an emotional response to disappointment or remorse about past actions or choices. It's a longing for a different outcome, being dissatisfied with how things unfolded, and it is often fraught with self-blame and a wish for things to have been different, to have been better or to have been more. So I love that definition because I think basically everything that he says in describing what regret is is very true and I can practically, as I read that definition out loud I can practically see you out there as you're listening to this podcast, nodding your head in agreement, thinking about your marriage, thinking about how your marriage has ended, thinking about your time in the marriage, even time during divorce, right, whether you are the one who asked for the divorce or you were the one on the other end of that decision, I can see that regret is probably playing a vital role in your grief process, and you might not even know it.


How often have you looked at your past choices when it comes to something during your marriage and you wish that things had unfolded differently? Like? How often do you turn to self-blame when it comes to the way things look now? Like if only I hadn't have done this, I wouldn't be where I am now. Or if only, like right, we turned to that self-blame. How many times have you wished that things had been different and that you find yourself envisioning moments where you would have, could have, should have done something? Fill in the blank, right?


The problem with all of that wishing and hoping and kind of living in the past and replaying the past and trying to change the past, even wishing that we had done something different, made it a different choice, showed up in a different way. The problem with all of that is when we hold onto regret, it can hold us back from stepping into our full healing journey. It's like keeping one foot in the journey and the other foot firmly planted on the sideline of that journey, and so we need to start taking a look at how regret might be holding us back and opening ourselves up to understanding it more, so that we can fully grieve and move forward. The first thing and that, to me, is the first thing that regret does is it doesn't allow us to fully grieve is the first thing that regret does is it doesn't allow us to fully grieve. Whatever that grief is for, whatever the reason for it, it just that regret doesn't allow us to fully step into that grief, because unresolved grief keeps us from being able to tap into feeling other parts of our emotional life, and I've kind of described it like this before. But grief is like trapped clouds of emotional burden. Sometimes any other emotions that may be underneath your trapped grief clouds cannot be felt, cannot be processed, cannot be worked through or allowed until you clear out your unresolved grief, and regret is one of those things that keeps you from fully being able to resolve any of those grief clouds that you might have that are sticking around. Another part of regret that I think is possibly holding you back from stepping into your full healing journey is that regret keeps you in this state of self-doubt.


I just did a podcast a couple of weeks ago on self-doubt. It's called Self-Doubt 2.0. I don't remember what number it is, but you can find it. Just go scroll through. It was just a couple of weeks ago and if you haven't listened to that one yet, I would highly recommend that you do. When you're done with this podcast, go give that one a listen. But the TLDR of that podcast is that self-doubt keeps you from being able to show up in your own power. It keeps you from being able to make decisions in your life that are best for you in being able to trust yourself, and it keeps you stuck in panic and anxiety, and those are not the most useful places to be at.


When you're going through a divorce, you're trying to move toward a future that you want. You're trying to move toward a future that is intentionally thought of and decided on and created, and when you are living in self-doubt and making decisions from self-doubt, there's nothing intentional about what you're doing right. And so, when you're stuck in the emotion of regret, you are so focused on the past that any decision that you make in the present is second-guessed because of the self-doubt, because of the judgment about your own capabilities that is based on your past choices. So this regret keeps you stuck and keeps you without hope or forward movement or forward creation into a life that you truly want. And also, along that same vein, regret keeps you from fully being in the present, in the here and now. Being in the present and being in the here and now is where you can open up to actual healing.


Healing only happens in the present. There is no healing in the past. You can't heal by trying to change the past, because we don't have time machines and we're not able to go in the past and do that. We like to think we can. We like to think if I ruminate about this enough, if I think about this enough, I might be able to change the past. I know we're not consciously thinking that. I know we're not like just sitting here going oh, if I think about this thing that I did 10 years ago, maybe my life would have been different. We don't actually think we can go change the past, but because we're ruminating on it and thinking about it over and over and over again, we there is a little slice of us, a little piece of our brain that's like, but maybe if I do think about it enough, I can change it. But when we get into the present, we get into the here and now, and we remember and we recognize and we accept that we can't change that decision we made 10 years ago or two days ago or whatever right, and we get into the present. That's where we can heal, that's where we can accept, accept what's going on, accept what is accept where we're at and decide intentionally from there how we want to move forward, who we want to be, what decisions we want to make.


As our next best step and regret is continually keeping you stuck in the past of what could have been, what should have been, what might have been, how things would have been so much better, how things would have looked so different, how I would be totally different. Now, like all of that right, regret keeps you stuck there and if you want to be able to heal and move forward. You need to recognize regret for what it is Hindsight and hindsight can be a very powerful thing if we allow it to be. We don't want hindsight to keep us in self-blame. We want hindsight to offer us what it actually is, which is understanding, understanding and then stepping into compassion for ourselves, for that understanding of the decisions that we possibly made in the past, and then we step into okay, now what?


So I do think that's the next important thing when it comes to unlocking these chains of regret that are keeping us chained to the past and our past decisions that idea of being compassionate as you move through this emotion of regret. Because once you have some awareness around why you're feeling the regret, what it is that you're feeling regret over, that's when you can offer yourself some compassionate kindness. And when I say awareness, that's the same thing as understanding. Right, we kind of understand why, why we are feeling this regret. We kind of are aware that it's there and that it's keeping us stuck in the past, and then we show up with some compassionate kindness. We want to recognize the hindsight as we're going through it and then we want to remind ourselves that we're human.


Remind yourself that you are not perfect. Remind yourself that it's such a human thing to do to look to our past and want to change it and to also accept where we're at. And accepting these two things being human and not living in perfection doesn't mean that you are not worthy of a life filled with moments of joy and happiness. When you are able to let go of regret for what you can't change in the past, that's when you open yourself up to once again feeling joy, feeling happiness around the present and moving into your future. That's when you can move through that grief cloud and clear it, so you can see what you want out of life, so you can see yourself for who you are and reconnect with yourself in the ways that you want to, to move you toward a future that actually is amazing, that you're actually choosing, that you actually want to be a part of, choosing that you actually want to be a part of. Let regret be a guide to intentionality, rather than the emotion that is misleading you, keeping you stuck in the past. Let it be that healing guide to intentionality by recognizing it, being aware of it and understanding it. All right, my friends, that is what I have for you on regret.


Thank you for listening and, of course, as you know, I will be back next week. Hi friend, I'm so glad you're here and thanks for listening. I wanted to let you know that if you're wanting more, a way to make deeper, more lasting change, then working one-on-one with me as your coach may be exactly what you need. Together, we'll take everything you're learning in the podcast and implement it in your life, with weekly coaching, real life practice and practical guidance. To learn more about how to work with me one-on-one, go to karinnelsoncoaching dot com. That's wwwkarinnelsoncoaching dot com. Thanks for listening. If this podcast agreed with you in any way, please take a minute to follow and give me a rating. Wherever you listen to podcasts and for more details about how I can help you live an even better life than when you were married, make sure and check out the full show notes by clicking the link in the description.




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