I have a dear friend who lost a baby a from medical malpractice at a midwifery center in Boulder a year ago next month. Thinking about her, spending time with her, and learning from her wisdom is a constant reminder of real perspective in my own life.
Lately I've been in my head more than I'd like to admit. I've been narrowly focused on professional pursuits. Not that there's anything wrong with this, more that all this ruminating over details that feel BIG leaves me feeling small.
But the minute I remember the upcoming memorial celebration for this baby and this family, it pulls me right outta my head.
Death has a way of doing this for us all. Sobering us right up. Forcing us to get real. Reminding us of what REALLY matters.
Surely you've heard the study of the 5 Regrets of the Dying done by Australian nurse, Bronnie Ware, before. Yet for me, no matter how many times I've heard it, touching in with these 5 common regrets serves as a barometer for how well I am really living.
Take a peek and see what might need attention in your own life...
1. I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not one that others expected of me.
This was the most commonly expressed feeling of all. When interviewees looked back on their life at the end, they could see how many dreams went unmet, and how many passions went unpursued and how many people they spent their life trying to please. It's easy to get seduced into filling our lives with "shoulds" and meeting everyone else's expectations. But what about our own?
Are you following your own dreams?
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
Both men and women expressed this sentiment. They regret not being there for more of their children's youth. They regret missing their partner's companionship.
How can we simplify our own lives so that our financial needs don't force work to be the #1 priority?
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people interviewed suppressed their feelings to keep the peace with others. Ware mentions how her patients often developed illness in direct relation to the bitterness and resentment they carried because of these unexpressed sentiments.
We cannot control how others respond to how we feel. But either way, sharing with honesty has the potential to bring a relationship to a deeper, more meaningful level. Or quite possibly, being honest will get rid of those relationships we don't want close to us anyway.
Is there someone you'd like to share your honest feelings with right now?
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
In the end, it all comes down to love and relationships. In the midst of the beautiful circus of life, it's easy to let critical friendships slip away. But when we are on our deathbeds, it will be too late to get back in touch with those who meant something to us during our lives.
Who can you call, email or text right now to tell them how much you care for them?
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Sometimes we forget that happiness is a choice and a practice. Playfulness, being silly, spending time with people who make us bust a gut are some of the most precious moments of our lives.
When was the last time you laughed uncontrollably? Who could you hang out with, or how could you make this happen?
There you go, friends. I love remembering these 5 lessons. I hope they offer you as much wisdom as they do me.
Interested in gaining even MORE perspective in life? Uncovering your own joy? Finding more playfulness and releasing negative habit patterns? Than, please....
March 16-23, 2019
Limited spaces left!!