I was contemplating the regret that I sometimes felt. Is regret helpful, or should I just ignore it? The answer that came to me said that regret is a call to reform incorrect practices. Once things have been corrected, regret will vanish.
I had some incorrect practices I wanted to reform – such as not trusting myself, seeking the approval of others, and generally being self-defeating – so there was cause for regret, and since I dislike having regret, I worked to improve myself.
I see regret as a corrective measure, something to guide us back onto our natural and true path. We haven’t done anything to feel ashamed about (shame is another topic), but we’re being alerted to the fact that what we’re doing is out of alignment with who we really are. It’s a way of figuring out how to do things better.