If you close your eyes for a moment, can you feel this word awaken your physical body? Can you feel it stir your spiritual connection? Can you notice it softening your mind? As the poet Mary Oliver offered, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" This quote has been a compass of direction in my own life. My appreciation of these words often times causes me to pause as I consider my motivation behind my life. Why is it most often that we falter taking the reigns of our life until a monumental catastrophe has knocked on our door?
Bronnie Ware, a palliative care provider, songwriter, and writer shared a piece in The Huffington Post about the top 5 regrets of the dying. May these observations that she gathered from her patients inspire us to seize this wild and precious life.
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 realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled."
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."
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."
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
"Often they would not truly realise 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."
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."
Reading through this list of the top 5 regrets of the dying brings tears to my eyes, humbleness to my heart and urgency to my breath. It is my hope on this Thankful Thursday that these top 5 regrets should inspire our lives towards living, our hearts towards loving, our souls towards exploring.
Life is deep. Life is impulsive. Life is planned. Life is paradoxical.
Life is wonder-filled. Life is intimate. Life is animation. Life is creation. Life is knowledge. Life is choice. Life is realization. Life is Love. Life is NOW.
May you be inspired today and always to LIVE!
May you Sweetly Seek:)