By Donna Gates, as seen on:

What happens when we say something that we shouldn’t? When we have a moment that we wish never happened? A conversation that is best forgotten?

The smallest decisions to the most pivotal events in life can live in the shadow of regret.

We can spend an entire lifetime second-guessing our choices, reliving our failures, or stuck on some illusion of what could have been—if only.

The tricky thing about regret is that it lives in the past.

And while we may carry regret around with us in the present, allowing it to form our experiences, regret always involves the past. Regret always involves that which we cannot change.

I often hear from people who are regretful of indulging in foods that they know make them feel awful.

If you are sensitive to gluten, one little bite can make life miserable.

Gluten can cause acne. It can stir up anxiety and bring in dark clouds of depression. It can activate pain around the joints. It can even affect fertility and throw off a regular menstrual cycle.

Although there are so many gluten-free flours and breads on the market (which I do not recommend), getting gluten out of the diet can sometimes be tricky. A piece of bread or a bite of pasta seems so harmless—especially when in the company of family or friends.

So we indulge. We give in to gluten and temptation just once…but then all our symptoms come back. The acne, the mood swings, the joint pain. Suddenly we remember all of the reasons why we left gluten in the first place.

And we feel regret.

Almost always, we return to these damaging foods over and over again—always with regret—until one day we learn.

We learn that gluten foods wreak havoc on our physical or emotional body. And we know that the damage simply is not worth it.

So we leave gluten behind for good.

Once we learn what we need to learn, we can finally let go of important sources of regret. We must try to be thankful for the hard lesson, the tough love, and the challenge to refine ourselves just a little bit more.

Even in the most troubling or horrifying circumstances, life events are available to us as lessons. In other words, what brings us sorrow, remorse, or repentance also brings us liberation.

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