The tragic events that happened on 09/11/01 caused many people to reassess their lives. Many of them made major changes in their lives by moving to a different location, changing careers, improve and appreciate their relationships, ending relationships, and have been motivated to make other improvements in their lives.
It’s not my intent to be morbid or make you feel worse about this horrific incident, but this might be a time to reflect on our lives. HSPs are definitely capable of deep-thought!
The people who perished that day had no idea what would happen. This inspired me to write this post about regrets that these people might have had. I’m sure that we all can relate to some of these.
This is a thought-provoking article written by Bronnie Ware, a palliative care worker who has seen countless patients through their last days on earth. When Bronnie questioned her patients about regrets they had or anything or things they would do differently, she noticed many common themes that would surface again and again.
The Top 5 Regrets
- 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 that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it’s easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people haven’t honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. It’s very important to try to honor at least some of your dreams along the way. 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.
- I wish I didn’t work so hard. This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence. By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
- 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. Although people may initially resist when you change the way you are, by speaking honestly, your honesty will ultimately raise the relationship to a whole new, healthier level. If not, it will release the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
- 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 their friends 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 common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.
- 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. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.
Which items on the list resonated most with you? I definitely related to… I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings, and I wish that I had let myself be happier. Another one that I can add is…I wish that I hadn’t worried as much! If your life were to end soon, what would you regret? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.
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This Post Has 4 Comments
I wish I had left the church earlier
The only thing you can do is to move forward.
An interesting read. Thank you. I have learnt many of these important life lessons and live by a few of them – like not working so hard, choosing happiness, I still have some others to get in place like speaking my feelings, let myself be more happy it’s always a working progress but I’m glad I have this awareness. Thank you
Thank you for your comments!
There will never be a time when we do all the things that we want and need to do. Hopefully, we can continue to learn and grow.