Live your Dreams Now before it's Too Late
I’d like to tell you a story about a palliative care nurse and author called Bonnie Ware. Bonnie would take care of patients in the last three to twelve weeks of their lives. She found that people grew a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. She asked them if they had any regrets about their life they did. There were 5 main regrets, I have paraphrased and added to Bonnie's words:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
Now that is a profound thought to meditate on. I wonder how many of us have lived a life true to ourselves?
This was the most common regret of all. Most people had not honored even half of their dreams.
To live your life true to yourself takes courage, some may not always agree with our choices but then we are the ones who have to live with our choices especially on our deathbed. It is in our deepest desires of our hearts that we are connected to our life purpose.
When you are doing what you love and what brings you joy, you are on the right path of living your dreams. Your joy, your purpose and your dreams are intrinsically connected.
Bonnie said, “From the moment that you lose your health, it’s too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.”
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
Now working hard is not a bad thing in and of itself. We all want and need someone to do their job well, but if work takes the place of spending time with those who need you to be fully present in heart and mind with them, then it is not good.
Many people use work as an excuse to not deal with their problems.
Having fun is an important part of life and work, it is not a luxury, it is a necessity and laughter is the best medicine.
The editor of the Saturday Review, Norman Cousins, was diagnosed with an incurable disease. The doctors tried everything and one day against the advice of his doctors he left the hospital and for one month did what he enjoyed most, reading humorous stories and jokes, watching comedy movies and reading his favorite comic books. He did nothing but laugh and laugh each day for one whole month. He also wrote original jokes he would read to himself and laugh like crazy. He noticed every time he laughed his pain eased. At the end of the month he returned to the hospital for a check up, they found no trace of the dreaded disease, he was completely cured.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many of the patients had repressed their feelings and as a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.
They also developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried.
- Make sure you tell your loved ones that you love them and that they are important to you. We think that they know that but many times people don’t know you care that deeply for them or that they have made a difference in your life.
- If someone is making your life miserable, tell them to stop, and change the situation. You have the power and permission to create your life the way you want it to be. Try to forgive others and move on and if you can’t forgive, get help so you can let go of the anger and resentment. Holding onto these emotions only holds you back from having the life of your dreams. It keeps you stuck in a pattern of negativity that affects your ability to move forward in a positive way.
- Get out of any toxic relationships. Life is too short.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with friends.
Don’t let golden friendships slip by. At the end of our lives, It is not money or status that holds true importance for us. Everyone misses their friends at the end. It all comes down to love and relationships in the end. Clear up any guilt you have and make amends.
5. I wish I had let myself be happier
Many did not realize that happiness is a choice. They 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 themselves that they were content, when deep within, they longed to be free, 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 it would be to let go, to be more childlike, to smile often, to enjoy the miracles all around us in the magnificent world…….long before you are dying.
Sometimes when I struggle with my fears I imagine how will I feel when I am on my deathbed when I did or didn’t follow my dreams.
Begin to live your dreams now.
Don’t let any precious moment go by with regret.
Don’t sell yourselves short.
We each have our own unique wonderful, magical, adventurous journey to experience and share in this life. Your dreams don't have to be monumental, it doesn't matter what they are but that they are meaningful to you.
If you aren’t sure what that is, keep searching until you do and you will.
Start living your dreams, follow your joy, and do what you love.
In so doing you will make the world a better place not only for you but for everyone around you!
Here's a link to Bonnie's 5 Regrets of the Dying: https://bronnieware.com/blog/regrets-of-the-dying/
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