Found a great article on Facebook called “Regrets of the Dying” and I thought I’d share the main points and my thoughts.
Bronnie Ware, the author, worked in palliative care, taking care of those who knew they were going to die. She heard many regrets and shared the most common in her article. The regrets are her observations, the thoughts on them are my own. Read her article to hear what she had to say.
1. They wish they’d had the courage to truly be themselves.
I’ve noticed this as a common struggle as well. I find myself going back and forth between being comfortable in my skin and thinking I should change something so I fit in with those around me. It takes courage to just be you, because we are different from others. Yet, we have a need to be a part of and feel a sense of belonging, which causes me to struggle between being different and being similar.
2. They wish they hadn’t worked so hard.
I struggle with this a lot. I have a tendency to overwork/overbook myself so I am never just sitting still. I want to experience many things, but if I don’t give myself time to really enjoy them then what is the point of experiencing them? The other side of this is that I need an income, so I have to work, but it is important to me that I find a balance between how much I actually need and how much I want to work.
3. They wish they’d had the courage to express their feelings.
Holding in my emotions, no matter joy or anger, has caused me great discomfort. I cannot control the reactions of others to my emotions, but it is my freedom and choice to express myself. I do make sure to do this though, with the other person in mind. As I do not cause others to feel a certain way, they do not cause me to feel a certain way either, so it is unfair to selfishly express my emotions. If I say too much or too little, who cares, I feel how I feel and I think you should know.
4. They wish they had stayed in touch with friends.
It is all too easy to get caught up in this fast paced life and forget to reach out. We have way too many forms of communication today for this to happen. It does take thought and a little effort, but a simple text message or post card goes a long way in maintaining a friendship. Just let the other person know you care about them and are thinking about them. When you die it is not your money or job that will give you comfort, it is the love of your friends and family. “It all comes down to love and relationships in the end.”
5. They wish they had let themselves be happier.
Happiness is a choice. Fear of change and discomfort can cause us to stay in situations longer than know we should. For me, this is linked to all of the above regrets. If I continually find the courage to be true to myself, express my emotions, invest time in my relationships, and not overwork myself then I can find the courage to choose situations that cater to my happiness. Whether I die today, tomorrow, or in 50 years, I deserve to be happy now. I choose happiness. I choose to smile often.
“Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.” – Bronnie Ware