Life. Looking back...

Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life you will regret the things you didn't do more than the ones you did.
(H.Jackson Brown Jr)

What if you could go and lie on your deathbed for a moment. Just a moment to steal that opportunity to glance back at your life....... to ponder the good and the bad and feel the pain of the regrets wash over you....

Its a sobering thought if you fast forward yourself to your closing moments of your life.

Internet obsessions aside, as far as regrets go, they dont get more insightful than this. An Australian nurse spent several years caring for the dying and she's put together a book with her observations and interactions with those on the way out of here.
There was no mention of sex or bungee jumps, these epiphanies rock your socks to the very core. They are a sober reminder of why we need to constantly check ourselves before we wreck ourselves.

Here they are, top 5 regrets from the dying...

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

- the most common regret of them all. This comes down to the choices you make in life. We often fall victim to societal and family pressures. Its a shame, cos so many dreams and aspirations fall by the wayside as one marches down the road of life...

2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.

- all the men she nursed talked about their regret spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence. We weren't put on this surface not to enjoy everyone and everything else that was put here with us. Sometimes we are so busy we bypass the most simplistic pleasures in life. Time. And people. And peoples time.

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

- people carry a lot of baggage with them on their journeys through life. Theres a lot of shit one has to wade through to keep afloat, harbouring bitterness and resentment are painful pills to swallow.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

- I think this one I can relate to a lot. I value true friendships. I think it is one of the most simple and beautiful things we have in this world. The ability as humans to connect with one another on levels that sink deeper than most emotions.

The Nurse heard too many stories about regrets of not giving friendships the time and effort that they were worthy of. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying....

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

- probably the most unexpected of the 5, but according to this nurse, its one of the most common. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. Too many get wrapped up in patterns, habits and roles, and their emotions adapted accordingly. Deep within everyone loves to laugh, to have silliness in their lives and smile from the inside out. Happiness is a state of mind.

And on that note, heres the Dali Lama with the closing ceremony....

Consider the following. We humans are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others' actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others' activities. For this reason it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.
(Dali Lama)

If you want to read the full article get a slice of it here...


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