REFLECTIONS OF A LIFETIME....REGRETS.....I HAD A FEW
I recently came upon an article written several years ago, pertaining to the "Top Five Regrets Of The Dying"
It speaks to the lessons learned by a hospice worker over her career.
People, it seems, grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. Each experienced a variety of emotions: denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient though found their peace before they departed though.
When questioned about any regrets they had, some common themes surfaced.
Here are the top five:
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realize their life is almost over, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have had not experienced even half of their dreams.
From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn't work so hard.
This came from every male patient. They missed their children growing up, and their partner's companionship. Women also expressed this regret. But from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners.
Simplifying your lifestyle, making conscious choices along the way, and by creating more space in your life, you can become happier.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
It is not money or status that holds the true importance. Sure they wanted to get things in order for the benefit of those they love, but often, they were too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind.
SO WHY NOT let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life, choose wisely,