Are You Paralysed By The Fear Of Future Regrets?

Edith Piaf remains an icon and her best loved song, "Non, je ne regrette rien", remains an anthem in part because of the issues that so many of us have with regret. If the emotionally vulnerable Parisian sparrow could live free from regrets then maybe the rest us can also.

Women who are just starting out on their journey of recovery from abuse are often stymied by the spectre of future regret.

Curiously, that regret isn't generally about wasting their time, love and energy on an emotional Neanderthal. Instead it's about their own perceived failures in the relationship and the fear that they might yet realise that they have given up on a good thing.

(Quite why a 'good thing' would masquerade so resolutely as a bad thing defies explanation. But any woman who is prepared to believe in the fundamental goodness of her partner, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, should never accuse herself of a lack of optimism. Sure, it may be misplaced, but it proves that she has a capacity for unlimited optimism that she can begin to turn to her own advantage.)

Future regret is a worst-case scenario in which a woman views her unhappy relationship through rose coloured blinkers and sees a yet more distorted and selective reworking of reality.

Future regret is actually an expression of present fear: fear that she will never again encounter such a wonderful human being (truly); fear that life has nothing more to offer her, nor she to offer life; fear of the void that awaits her.

Abuse breeds fear, and fear breeds paralysis.

It's powerful stuff. But where does it come from?

Abusive partners endlessly ? and in all seriousness ? tell women just how wonderful they, the abusers, are. They brainwash women into accepting a questionable worldview in which abused women have been blessed with the incredible, unrepeatable good fortune of being tolerated by a prince-among-men?

Now, suppose these women have already been subjected to a schematic vision of the world in which their alleged unworthiness is tolerated (just), by their (wonderful) parents or family members. Then, much of the groundwork has already been done, even before a prince-among-men (P-A-M) appears, croaking his endearing frog-like croak.

Given their lack of self-assurance, abused women assume that a P-A-M-free future is likely to be worse than reality Ó deux. They don't think that this is actually an incredibly tall order. Abusive men are, after all, past masters at ensuring that things are as bad as they can get. (Some will continue to do so, even after the woman ends the relationship.)

Nevertheless, it is possible for abused women to create the future they want for themselves. All the more so once they realise that present fears cannot accurately predict future reality.

In "The Sedona Method", Hale Dwoskin makes the telling observation: "Feelings only lie. They tell us we are going to get from letting go of them what we already have from holding on to them." So it is with our fears and regrets. What we fear we will regret by letting go of a situation, is simply what we have by holding on to it.

As a general principle, people who instil in you a fear of what you might live to regret are precisely those who feel they stand to lose by what you might decide. Their (unspoken) fear is that you might spread your wings and fly, leaving them behind, earth-bound. In other words, in an undeniably neat manoeuvre, they have managed to dump their fear onto you, in the guise of your alleged future regret.

Once you can see how regret is designed to hamstring you, you can start to move forward into the unknown and the future free of your old fear.

C) 2005 Annie Kaszina

Joyful Coaching

An NLP Practitioner and Women's Empowerment Coach, Annie specialises in helping women heal the trauma of the past, so they can enjoy the present and look forward to the future.

Email:annie@joyfulcoaching.com To subscribe to Annie's twice monthly ezine, or order her eBook 'The Woman You Want To Be, go: to http://www.joyfulcoaching.com

In The News:


pen paper and inkwell


cat break through


Jinxed Relationships -- Are Yours?

Do you consider yourself unlucky in love? Have your relationships... Read More

If He Insists That You Work...

Once, when asked about her life, former First Lady Barbara... Read More

What Do the Words ?I Don?t Love You Anymore? Really Mean?

Have you been blindsided by an unhappy spouse who suddenly... Read More

Why Its Good To Be Alone

Have you noticed that there's an ebb and flow to... Read More

Office Nomance

Are Office Romance's really that bad? The answer is ?..it... Read More

My Life

My sister is 45 and having an affair with an... Read More

How to Ask for a Gratifying Sex Life

So your relationship has changed over the years since you... Read More

Before Falling Truly and Madly in Love Ask Each Other 10 Pertinent Questions

Falling in love?aaahh what a wonderful experience the first flushes... Read More

The 4 Stages of a Relationship

1. The Perfect Phase is the first three months. If... Read More

For Soul Mates: Will you grow or stagnate? Divine Source through Barbara Rose

Some soul mate couples refuse to grow. They refuse to... Read More

Do You Enable?

We all have behaviors, tendencies, patterns, and the keen ability... Read More

Will They or Will They Not Cheat?

Have you ever told your partner or spouse how you... Read More

And They Didnt Even Know I was Looking: Lessons on Love from My Parents

I came from good people. I didn't always know that.You... Read More

Are You Ready to Handle an Indigo Child?

So what's new in the world of spirituality and the... Read More

Cheating Husband/Wife: 6 Keys to Know if You are Ready to Handle What You Might Find When You Spy

When you spy on your suspected cheating spouse, please make... Read More

Making Passion More Passionate

Somewhere between the first kiss and growing old together, many... Read More

Am I Doing the Right Thing?

Dear Candace,My fiancÚ and I just broke up, and I... Read More

Finding Love With Feng Shui

If true love has been eluding you, you could increase... Read More

Men Love Women Who Initiate Sex ? 4 Fun Ways to Do It

This is a sizzling hot topic for a lot of... Read More

How to Start a Conversation With a Woman

Last week I had the easiest pick up and seduction... Read More

Valentines Day Gifts Can Expose a Cheating Husband

If you have the uneasy feeling that your husband is... Read More

A Recipe For Romance

So, tonight's the night. You want to have a Romantic... Read More

How to Kiss and Make Up

Was it a hectic day for you, or did you... Read More

African Dating - Pride and Ambition

It is no secret that African culture is known for... Read More

Extramarital Affairs: When Sexual Addiction and Infidelity Meet

One kind of extramarital affair revolves around sexual addiction. The... Read More

Healing The Mid-Life Love Crisis

All I wanted was to fall in love and live... Read More

Secrets To Get To The Heart Of Your Loved One

The other day, I was home with my sweet love... Read More

Relationship Problems: Whats Your Contribution?

As the story goes, there was once a farmer and... Read More

Relationship Advice: 6 Secrets for Great Relationships

The Law of ContentYou can get into trouble in a... Read More

Ladies, Is Your Valentine The Cheating Kind?

According to statistics, 50% to 70% of men cheat on... Read More

What Keeps Couples Together

There are several things you can do, especially when your... Read More

Commonsense Approach to Domestic Violence

Domestic violence the catch phrase for the past ten years.... Read More

10 Reasons Why Married Couples Grow Apart (Part I)

When asked why their marriage is on the rocks, many... Read More