This post is inspired by today’s service and this great article from Collective Evolution http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/04/27/the-top-5-regrets-of-the-dying talking about the top 5 regrets of the dying. These things are so simple, something we could almost take for granted, yet we only think about them when it’s way too late. We get caught up with life, we don’t think it’s important, or we simply fear the reaction and/or consequences of our actions so instead , years later, we contend with a simple “if only I had…”
As I read the article, I though of friends and people in my family, some passed, who place themselves in society’s box and lived a life they didn’t fully enjoy. Some of these are just hard, but the more I’m going through them, the more truth I see. I’m about to leave my 20s behind in a few months, I have to thing: do I want to continue with some of my bad habits, or would I rather take a leap towards a life with less regrets?
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
I can see why this is number one. I certainly struggle with this. Sometimes I”m simply afraid to reveal and fully stand by parts of myself, my beliefs, my passions, simply because I know what my surrounding’s reaction be. Instead of weathering the storm, I go the other way, or do it on the down-low as if it were something sinful, because I don’t want to have to justify my choices. This year I want to make a conscious effort to stand by myself more. What’s the worst that can happen, right?
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
While I haven’t hit the “I’ve been working 10 days a week for the past 3 years now” phase, I certainly have a packed schedule, which wears me at sometimes and my friendships and relationships fall victim to it, because I neglect to maintain them. I have less desire to socialize, see people or commit to gatherings, and by doing this, offending people and eventually losing them. There’s only a handful of friendships who can withstand this kind of fluctuations and I most definitely treasure them. My goal will be to find the right balance between the two.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
As long as I can remember I hid my feelings as deeps as I could. Revealing them meant being vulnerable, a state I did, and still don’t enjoy. I also have a terrible fear of confrontations, so instead of speaking up, I swallow them, fume and marinate that toxic energy for Lord knows how long. Very healthy, right? I’m also excellent at holding grudges and being hurt, but I won’t really tell you. I’ll just act like a pouting kid, giving you the silent treatment, cold shoulder, be distant and overall unfriendly. Very, very mature way of handling things, but someone’s gotta play the victim, right? It wasn’t until last April that I finally decided to open up a little more, to express them a little more freely. I want to work on this and release instead of repress. I can feel the relief every time I do verbalize them, no reason why I couldn’t make this a regular affaire.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
This actually is something I’m doing pretty OK with. Not as consistent as it once used to be with everyone, but they are certainly on my radar. I do realize that I can be very unreliable myself, slacking with maintenance at times, and I do understand it hurts people, much like it hurts me when I get the same treatment. I want to make sure I don’t take anyone’s friendship for granted. Much like a plant, if I don’t water it, it will eventually die, and I wouldn’t want that.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
I have noticed, especially lately, that I’m very angry. Not quite sure why, but I’m snappy and I tend to get worked up over little things. While it’s not constant, there are definitely some mod swings. When I try to see why, a few things return, all that should not have that much influence on my life. by giving them the amount of importance I do, I make them bigger til they completely take over my mood, creating my own misery. Luckily I have also been able to catch the warning signs and pull myself out for the most part. I found meditation immensely helpful. I meditate every day and I cannot even tell you how big a difference it makes. I don’t want to settle, I don’t want to fall into a Groundhog Day kind of routine and end up with little to no joy left in my life. My goal for this year is simple: if something doesn’t fit, I won’t wear it. I won’t make excuses, I won’t justify my decision(mostly to myself.) I’ll just move on. There is no reason to waste precious months or even years doing something that makes you want to set up an immediate date with the Grim Reaper. I also want to be more in the moment. I’m always miles behind or ahead, but rarely really present. I highly recommend this method if you’re looking to miss out on things. Never fails. I will also make a conscious effort to stop feeding into my negative thoughts, making them bigger and bigger til even I believe that this is the end of the world as I know it. This will definitely take more than a minute, but I am willing to give it a try.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. If you want, leave your five in the comment section. If you’re not comfortable sharing, at least do go through them, I don’t want to have to give you the “I told you so” speech at your deathbed.