It is possible, if we make the right choices now, to finish life with peace of mind and without regrets. It will take loads of courage.
Bronnie Ware, a writer and songwriter, also spent several years as a palliative nurse caring for those dying in their homes. From beside their deathbeds she listened to their stories, to their hearts and to their truth. She also listened to their regrets. She wrote:
My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last 3 to 12 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.
She compiled all of her discoveries into an article called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, which gained so much momentum that it was read by more than three million people around the globe in its first year. She developed an understanding that we can learn from those nearing death and apply this knowledge as a gift in our own lives.
The top five regrets of the dying
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
It’s not surprising to see what made the list – they are all things that touch each of our lives as we often struggle to pay attention and to make time for things that we truly love, that we value — the things that matter.
Whatever stage we are at in life, there is no need for regret. Life is all about moving forward now, before our life is over — that is what True Believers do!