Thursday, April 26, 2012

Living Life With Regrets?

Dying without regrets
Have you ever listened to Tim McGraw's song Live Like You Were Dyin' and wondered what it meant to you? McGraw's song speaks of skydiving, mechanical bull riding and dispensing forgiveness previously denied. Living a life of optimum wellness encompasses living a life with no regrets.

Bronnie Ware, a hospice nurse for many years, discovered that people faced with death experienced many emotions, but eventually came to an acceptance and peace. When asked if there were regrets or things they would do differently, she found five common themes.

Live a Life True to Myself
The regret heard most often was wishing they were true to themselves. Not bending at the whim and expectation of others, keeps you at peace with who you really are. The extreme of this regret is a pleaser—a person that does things to make others happy. Learn to be your authentic self. Don't rush to do or be what others expect of you—or what you think others expect.

Don't Work So Hard
Don't be that person always working for fear you won't make enough money or may lose your job if you don't put in those extra hours. In this down economy, many have learned to live with less and found a new freedom with more time to enjoy family and friends. Less is more is not just a slogan its a healthy state of mind. Working long hours robs you of precious time. And at what expense?

Express My Feelings
Suppressing your feelings to keep peace is not a healthy reaction. It often leads to bitterness and resentment, which can lead to illness. Those who love you won't abandon you if you express your honest feelings. Go ahead have a good cry, get angry, be frustrated and tell a good friend what you're feeling—get it out of your system.

Stay in Touch With Friends
Don't be so caught up in your own life that you lose connection with good friends. After all, when we come to the end of life, the only thing that matters will be our relationships. Now open your address book and connect with old friends and make new ones. Get on Facebook.

Be Happier
Give yourself permission to be happy. Don't let others dictate how you feel—happiness is a choice. Are you stuck in old patterns that prevent you from choosing to be happy? Look for the positive in situations, develop patience and check your complaint meter. No one likes to be around a complainer, or negative person. And being impatient is not an attractive character trait. Choose to be happy.

All of these concepts are important to optimum wellness. So where do you start? Back to Tim McGraw's song. Although not mentioned in the list of most common regrets, I believe denying forgiveness is a damaging emotion that can eat you alive. I've seen the damage it can do. Are there people you have not been able to forgive? Time to grant grace and lift the weight off your shoulders.

If you find any issue overwhelming, seek help from a licensed therapist or your pastor. If you live your life with these principles, you should arrive at the end of life with little regrets.

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

What do you want to change before you die?


  1. Thank you Chris for the great list. Live a life true to myself, staying in touch with friends and also family since I'm working oversea, and being happier are definitely top of my list. And I totally agree with you on the forgiveness part, not being able to forgive someone is doesn't do much except slowly eating us away.

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, BK.