I have a confession to make. I’ve always said that I wanted to live my life with no regrets. Regretfully, I’ve lived too long for that to happen. I won’t get do-overs for bygone regrets, but I’m still breathing, so I know there’s still time to cut my losses.
In 2012 Bronnie Ware wrote The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, which she gathered while giving palliative care to those at the end of their long lives. I share these with you today, along with some of the ways I think we can redeem these potential regrets of tomorrow for relief today.
5. I wish I would have let myself be happier.
Always remember that happiness is a choice. So, make that choice for yourself today.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
There's no time like the present. Today, getting in touch with an old friend will get you in touch with joy.
3. I wish I would have had the courage to express my feelings.
That's difficult for many of us. However, you don't have to share your feelings out loud or even with another person. Make other choices. Talk to God. Send a message to yourself about them. Write a poem or a song. Paint or draw a picture. These are just a few.
2. I wish I wouldn't have worked so hard.
Rest is something we not only deserve, but need. When my mother saw people taking on projects that would suck the marrow out of their bones, she asked, "What are you trying to prove?" If you're working too hard, ask yourself that same question today.
1. And Ware's top regret of the dying is, "I wish I would have had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life that others expected of me."
So, if you're not living life as yourself, begin today by making a commitment to honor yourself in every way. And I suggest you do it with gratitude, gladness, and gusto. Because if you don't you are cheating others by not stepping into your own greatness!