“Remorse is the poison of life.”
– CHARLOTTE BRONTE
I was having a rich conversation the other night with a friend about regret. She asked me, if you died right now, what would you regret most? And honestly, I don’t think I would have many regrets. I did some stupid things in my life, but nothing horrific, and most of the stupid stuff actually made me who I am. And now at 55 years old, I like my life and I feel like I’m pretty much living according to my values. And that feels really good. The most important thing to me is my connection to people – to my sons, to my husband, to my sister and my niece, to my friends. And I feel like I work hard to keep those connections. I feel like I’ve worked hard to connect with my authentic self, and to not give myself away anymore.
And in terms of regrets for what I haven’t done yet – well I have done most of the things that I have really wanted to do in this lifetime – I have a wonderful family and two amazing children, I have a home that I love, I have travelled a lot – I feel very blessed . . . although sigh, to be honest if I was dying before my book got published, that would be a regret.
We were having the conversation after she had sent me this article in The Guardian:
The Top Five Regrets of the Dying
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 that I had let myself be happier.
The top regrets seem to reflect remorse over a life where people did not honor their authentic selves, where they let the pressure of others and of expectations rule how they lived. I think it is a good question to ask a friend, or oneself – If this were your last day of life, what would you regret? Am I living my life in line with my authentic self? Do I have the courage to truly be myself and live my life according to my highest values?
The same day that I had that conversation with my friend, another friend sent me an email with this link for THE OVERVIEW EFFECT. And although at first it seemed unrelated to the conversation about regrets, after watching it, I realized it is deeply connected. It is about unity and compassion and caring. And what greater regret could any of us have than to regret destroying our home, this beautiful planet.
What would you regret? Are you living a life true to yourself? Thank you for stopping by, I appreciate it.