When I read this quote, it reminded me of when I first heard of Bronnie Wares book, Top 5 regrets of the dying. Her research found they were;
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
5. I wish I had let myself be happier
Bronnie found that No. 1. 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. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made”
And this quote really speaks to this for me too.
Be authentic. Be Yourself.
Sure, there can be an emotional cost in being myself. I sometimes have to disappoint others. I have to show up and feel my vulnerability. I have to practice asking for what I need and want rather than often focusing on others. Rather than people pleasing. I have to say no, when it may feel easier to say yes. And sometimes these choices are painful. But what is more painful, long term, is when I abandon myself. When I don’t respect, honour and care for myself.
When I don’t follow my dreams.
Not the dreams of my parents or friends but my dreams. What touches my heart. What brings me alive.
I spent many years being a plastic version of myself. Living behind my masks, running from my pain, from my truth, from myself. Being that swan, who looks graceful on the outside, gliding across the pond, but just under the surface her feet are madly paddling to keep her afloat. Living other people’s dreams.
And then one day I started to find the courage to live a life true to myself rather than the life I perceived others expected of me. I make mistakes, I have regrets about the ways I have handled things in my life, although I have gone back and made amends for them to the best of my ability. And then I have had to learn to forgive myself for these. But I do have a commitment to myself that I will not regret these Top 5 that Bronnie’s research speaks too. Although interestingly, as I write this and reflect I know the one I most struggle with these days is number 5. I still need a lot of practice at not worrying so much and simply allowing myself to feel the simple pleasure of life the life that is all around me. To let myself be happier.
How are you going with these 5 potential regrets?
With great warmth