There is no question most of us want to look back on our lives and be glad at what we’ve achieved. So, why do we constantly put our aspirations off till tomorrow? Bronnie Ware wrote her book Top Five Regrets of The Dying with her experience as a palliative nurse. She wrote compelling information she’d gathered from all of the people she conversed with on their deathbed.
#1 “I wish I’d Had the Courage to Live a Life True to Myself, Not the Life Others Expected of Me.”
She wrote that this was the most common regret of all, that when people hear death knocking at their door they see how many of their dreams have gone unfulfilled. What an eye-opener.
#2 “I Wish I Hadn’t Worked So Hard.”
This came from most of the men, missing their wives companionship as well as missing their children’s younger years due to excessive work. It’s good to make money but you don’t want to trade all of your time for it. Time is the only real currency we have.
#3 “I Wish I’d Had the Courage to Express My Feelings.”
Lots of people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. Turns out that is never fulfilling and there is lots of lost opportunity when we aren’t open with each other. Though it may not be good to say too much, its also not good to say nothing at all. Be strategic with what you say and recognize the situation to the best of your ability.
#4 “I Wish I Had Stayed In Touch With My Friends.”
Bronnie writes, “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. Everyone misses their friends when they’re dying.”
#5 “I Wish I Had Let Myself Be Happier.”
I didn’t expect this one but Bronnie says its a very popular regret among the dying. I guess we get caught up in habits and life passes us by so quickly we don’t really stop to think about the beauty of it.
This resonates with me the most, maybe it will with you as well. Bronnie writes, “The 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 again.”
Maybe it is time to recognize that life is short and we need to dive deep, tomorrow could be the end and if we don’t be as genuine as possible it was all for naught. As difficult as it can be in the turmoils of life, maybe we should decide to be happy instead of letting our current circumstances define that for us.
The Apostle Paul wrote about this, saying, “I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day!” (1 Corinthians 15:31)
He means that every day he is made new, dying to his old ways and striving to be all he can be with the help of God. Let us do the same!
May 21, 2015
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