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Top five regrets of the dying

Purpose

With age can come wisdom. Wisdom can be a valuable gift that you can gain, and that others can share. I've also heard that as folks get into their elder years, some become more open to honest communications. As one elderly person at the YMCA said to me, "We've got nothing to lose."

The results listed are immensely powerful, potentially life changing thoughts that could change your life. I'm so grateful I read this sooner rather than when it was too late. The findings compiled by Bronnie Ware can be extremely powerful to those who are striving to live a life that is honest with themselves.

Bronnie Ware, is a palliative nurse (americannursetoday.com) who has counseled thousands of people who were dying, had a blog called Regrets Of The Dying (bonnieware.com). She also wrote a book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing (amazon) about her personal story.

The list

The following is her list of the top 5 regrets from her blog (bronnieware.com):

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 realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

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

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children'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 patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending 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 others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who 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 realize the full benefits of old friends until 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 golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

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

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

Conclusion

The number 1 regret was not living a life that is true to your self.

I invite you to consider this:

Why not consider thinking now about what kind of life is true to yourself and learning how you can make that happen in your life.

How would that make you feel? The answer is found if you listen to your heart.

Always remember to think positive, and positive things will happen.

Thank YOU for reading this!

By David Morgan

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This page updated 03/06/19 02:53 PM