In the saying, "Have no Regrets", "Regret" manages to be ambiguous enough as to make the goal always achievable.
I'm only human, there are times in my life when I'd rather certain situations had turned out differently, but I am fatalistic enough to believe that when I made a choice, it's what I considered to be best at the time. I'm proud too. I'll happily explain why I've acted in a certain way. I don't feel like I am often bullied into a certain choice and standpoint. Similarly I don't believe I have often spent time lying to myself, or hurting myself over a situation.
Like the modern, scientific man. I have conquered regrets.
For a couple of years of my life, I chased after a girl I was very much in love with. I gave everything I had, the best of my person, to try and win her heart. I tried my best. But I do not think that I could have achieved it, had I made different choices. So, over this situation I have no regrets - even if, at the end of the day, I still had not won her heart. Then eventually, in some sense of closure, she settled down with another boy, so I chose to end my futile quest and continue my life as a normal person.
This, in some sense, became the first ghost - and I'll explain why. Due to the small pool of which boy's names are drawn, and the size of the population of the UK, her new boyfriend happened to share my first name. In most cases this would be seen as fairly inconsequential. I had already happily admitted defeat, and was in the process of moving on, but against my will I would still sometimes hear about how happy her-name and my-name were together, or about the good times her-name and my-name had had together. When hearing this, I could not help feeling little pin pricks. This fact, of name sharing, was so beyond any chance of regret (how could I regret something as important as my own name over such a trivial and bland situation?) that the ghost was there to stay. And there was nothing I could do about.
This fruitless chase was just another time in my life, where I have accumulated ghosts. There are many others, all too petty or complicated to mention.
For me, the ghosts hit in two main ways. Either in the chest, with some sorrowfulness, at inconsequential points in the day - or in bed with insomnia and a continued lingering on into dreams. I don't think I'm alone in this experience either, from what I have talked to others about. These dreams, too, cannot even be given the dignity of bad dreams. They are often simply replays of the past, insignificant in their objective nature, in their ability to traumatise. To the modern, scientific man there should be nothing scary, unusual, unfair or unjustified here.
Recently I was trying to explain to a friend, while at a party, the nature of these ghosts. I could not manage to get the words out. We were both too drunk and tired that neither of us knew what I was saying or trying to say. At one point she lent back and fell asleep for several seconds and I didn't even notice. The whole situation was pretty silly. Even so, I don't regret the experience. In soppyness we grew closer, and no harm was done overall - but, I couldn't shake the memory of this moment when I woke up the morning after.
It was then, with this meta-haunting going on, ghosts about ghosts, that I decided things had gone too far. Maybe I need to consider a change in my approach.