Folks, this blog post of mine is from another person's blog. Her name is Bronnie Ware. You can click on the link to her blog below under her name.
I'm posting her blog to my blog to share my feelings with my followers. Some years ago I made the decision to live my life as I saw fit and not how others wanted me to live my life because they had determined that they knew better than I how to live my life.
Of course this decision has caused not some small consternation with those of my friends and relative and even co-workers who, either through their own misguided interpretation of their religious beliefs that they felt a self-righteous need to lay on me because of my easy going persona or just because of their own arrogance that they "know better" (and you know who you are FORMER friends).
A friend, a good friend sent me this link. This friend is one who accepts me as I am. No, he's not gay but he is a good friend who lives his life according to the way he has determined that is best for him. He, like me, causes no harm to anyone other than their perceived loss of privacy (which really isn't), by living his life on his own terms.
One thing in life that constantly amazes me is how some people feel it is their life's mission to change and control others lives. What is it with these people? Power? Arrogance? Lack of self-esteem so they have to compensate by controlling others?
That's one thing I will never understand to my dying day, some people's need to control others and define them. As for me, I'm living my life the way I want to, harming no one, in spite of the lame arguments from those who want to control my life say I am. And you know what folks? I am supremely happy. Much happier than they are.
Here is this lady's blog posting. She is right on.
Bronnie Ware says; for many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who 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, every one 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 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.
It is very important to try and honor 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 realize, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn’t work 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.
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 happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
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.
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.
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.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of 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.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise 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. 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.
Source: This article originated from blog of author Bronnie Ware.
Based on this article, Bronnie has released a full-length book. It is a memoir of her own life and how it was transformed based on the regrets of the dying people she cared for. The book is available from her website, and major online bookstores and is called ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying – A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing’.