I have received this through a social support group. Something that I believed will be meaningful to you.
“For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were thosewho had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared.I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives. People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, everyone of them.
When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently,common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:
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. When people realise that their lifeis almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how manydreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they hadmade, or not made.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed theirchildren’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 patientshad not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regrettedspending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with othersAs a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never becamewho 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 realise the full benefits of old friendsuntil 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 goldenfriendships slipby over the years. There were many deep regrets about not givingfriendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends whenthey are dying.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the endthat happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns andhabits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions,as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending toothers, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
Mother Theresa says:”It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.”
It is very important to try and honour 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 realise, until they no longer have it.
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 happierand more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly,in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip.But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical detailsof 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 is all comes down to love and relationships in the end.That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.
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.”
Have a great week ahead!
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