Most time, we take things for granted and fail to appreciate what we have until it’s too late.
Having regrets about things we did wrong and for things we didn’t have the courage to undertake is simply part of humans’ nature. Sometimes, life gives us second chances to try and make things right, other times, we are forced to live with our regrets and feel sorry for the lost opportunities and possibilities.
Have you ever wondered what is that people like you and I regret the most?
Bronnie Ware, a nurse who has spent most of her life in palliative care and saw many of her patients leave this world just in front of her eyes shares the top five regrets of people who are aware their time has come to say that final goodbye.
In the book “The Top Five Regrets of the Dy!ng: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing” she wrote: “My patients were those who had gone home to d!e. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives. For many years I worked in palliative care…”
She then goes on to list the regrets.
1. “I Wish I had the Courage to Live a Life True to Myself and Not for Others”
During the last days of their life, many people put all their thoughts on the things they left undone. Reflecting on their past actions is common and with that comes the regret of not living the life they wanted for themselves because of the thought what others would say.
“Most people had not honored even half of their dreams and had to d!e knowing that it was due to choices they had made or not made,” Ware writes.
This should serve as a reminder that we should never give up on our goals and dreams for the sake of others.
2.“I Wish I hadn’t Worked so Hard”
The hectic schedules imposed by the job we do can often lead to failing to spend enough quality time with our family and friends. Working hard to achieve success, fame, and make money can easily lead to feeling incomplete spiritually and missing on some important events.
3.“I wish I had the Courage to express my Feelings”
Having the courage to express our feelings and be honest with others is something not many people possess. Often times, we decide to stay silent for the sake of not letting other people feel bad because of how we feel about them and their actions. However, as we don’t want them to feel uncomfortable, it is us who suffer because of the things left unspoken and the feelings left unshared.
Also, we sometimes feel ash*med to tell our family and friends how much we love them and how much they mean to us.
According to Ware, this is something a lot of people regret.
4.“I Wish I had stayed in Touch with my Friends”
As days pass by, our priorities change. However, one thing we should never allow to happen is to get distant from the people who once meant the world to us. According to Ware, she has witnessed people regret not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved.
“Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of friends until their dy!ng weeks and it was not always possible to track them down,” she wrote.
5. “I Wish I had let myself be Happier”
What most of us need to understand is that happiness is a choice.
“Fear of change had them pretending to others and to their selves that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly,” Ware wrote of many of her dy!ng patients. We should never let fear stand on our way to feel happy and do the things that make us content.
“In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take!”
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