I read an article yesterday about a Nurse who cared for terminally ill patients during the last 3 months of their lives. She listed the top five regrets that they shared and realized that we can learn a lot from them…from the clarity that they had at the end. These are the regrets and how they relate to my life…
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. They knew that due to choices they had made…most of their dreams were not realized or even attempted. Because I’m at a fork in my journey right now, the realization that I can fundamentally alter the course of my life, has been driving me a bit crazy lately. I’m trying to listen to the Universe/God and not over-analyze…but sometimes I do! When there are other people that are affected by your choice, it becomes more difficult, especially for women who are taught to be un-selfish and I believe are typically just wired that way.
They realize that they took their health for granted and that there was a freedom attached to it! This is one of the reasons I take good care of myself…exercise…eat right (most of the time)…etc.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
When I was 13 years old, I started buying all of my own clothes and funding any recreational outings by babysitting. I worked full-time for 30 years and raised a child until the last few years…at which time I quit work to take care of my ill mother and do some traveling. I’m back at a temporary full-time job and financially can’t retire any time soon. My quest is to find a job that doesn’t feel like work…to do something I’m passionate about! But…I have the travel bug! Should I become a digital nomad… somehow make money while I’m traveling or perhaps Teach English as a Second Language in a foreign country? Universe…I’m listening!
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others and some developed illnesses because of the bitterness and resentment they held in.
This hasn’t been one of my issues.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
I regularly get together with my friends…I have a couple of girlfriends that I’ve known for over 40 years. I’m open to having even more friends!
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
The realization that happiness is a choice did not arise until the end for many of the patients. People convinced themselves and others that they were content, when in reality, fear kept many of them from stepping outside of their comfort zone to reach for their dreams…to be silly…or to stop worrying and let joy take its place!
I am trying to become fearless!