In the rear-view mirror objects are closer than they appear. Looking back into our past is like using a rear-view mirror, it gives us a wider field of view to see more but skews our perspective. The present is tricky like that, you have more knowledge and experience but a disproportionate memory that you can use to either minimize or maximize your past decisions. Looking back does allow us to see things more clearly but it is not an excuse to beat ourselves up. Like a rear-view mirror the perspective is helpful but not accurate.
Ruminating over long made decisions invites your past into your present. The more you question, worry and agonize over your past it will appear closer. Storytelling elaborates these effects. The more you judge yesterdays situation with today’s knowledge the more skewed your perspective will be. Like kicking yourself for buying that house when at the time it was a good idea. In the past, you didn’t know what you know now. In the past you did the best with what you had at the time.
Judging past behavior with current knowledge is illogical.
If you no longer like the home you bought that is one thing. However blaming your past self for not anticipating that you weren’t going to like it is torture. Stop persecuting your past self for making decisions that don’t seem to be working right now. In time, all of your decisions (even the failures) will end up being exactly what you need; to learn a lesson, move forward or change course. In the mean time, facilitate self-compassion and don’t fret over what you didn’t know in the past. What’s done is done. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense”