TAKING A MOMENT TO REFLECT
In the crazy maze we struggle to exist in, there’s never enough time to accomplish all the things we plan. In many cases, one gets too old or sick. Bronnie Ware, a woman who worked in palliative care for many years, gives some insight from patients who were facing their own mortality and had gone home to die, in an article I read this morning.
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. Many had unfulfilled dreams due in part to choices made along the way. It’s important to honor at least some of your dreams. From the moment you lose your health, it’s too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. There are those who missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women spoke of this regret. Men deeply regretted spending so much time on a treadmill. Simplifying your lifestyle and creating more space in your life, you become happier and open to new opportunities.
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. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
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.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. A great many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had been stuck in old patterns and habits. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content.
Life is a choice. It’s YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.