I came across a thought-provoking article today (via Crikey, check it out if you want to be an informed citizen). The author worked in pallative care and asked her patients if they have any regrets on their last days. These are the most common five:
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 didn't work 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 explanation for point 5 really spoke to me.
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 themselves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed 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 to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.
Read the full article here.
Often we are so tied up in our day-to-day lives we forget to think about the important things. I'm going to bookmark this article and read it from time to time, and remind myself to live life to the fullest.