Have you cried yourself to sleep thinking about the one you let get away. Have you ever kicked yourself hard for not saying what you felt when you had the window but the window is now caulked and sealed?
Does something from your past seem so close you can still smell it but yet so far out of reach that you can barely make it through another day? Welcome to the land of regrets. It’s as highly populated at Manhattan.
Hospice workers have the privilege of hearing last wishes and final regrets. When polled about what patients tell them that they regret during their passing hours, five regrets came up over and over again.
Top 5 Regrets in Life
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Pulling the Plug on the Top 5 Regrets in Life
Are you not living a life true to yourself? To your own self be true because life is a choice. It is your life. Choose consciously and choose wisely. Remember that it is never to late to begin living the life you yearn for.
Are you working too much? My own experience with workaholism is it was my way of hiding from my life and needs until I was woman enough to slow down and address what was missing. Each of us has vices, crutches or ways of running, numbing, hiding and staying masked from something that needs attention in our lives.
Are you using your work as a reason not to be home with your spouse? Are you using work to feed your ego because you want to be the highest earner or top in sales? Workaholics work because they have nothing else to take its place. Their work addiction is a recurring obsession, and typically joyless, according to Morley Glicken.
If your life is out of balance because of your work, keep asking yourself why until you or you and your counselor arrive at the real reason. May I suggest reading or listening to the 4-Hours Work Week by Timothy Ferriss and Getting Things Done by David Allen. There are ways to cut hours while getting more done and spending time with people who increase your joy and purpose.
Are you not expressing your feelings? We all know of couples that get in fights only to drudge up years of past hurts in an effort to win the fight. Any marriage counselor will cry foul saying focus on the problem at hand instead of throwing the kitchen sink at your significant other. If you swallow your feelings, bury hurts, remain quiet instead of sharing your worries, fears, and concerns, you are making yourself a walking time bomb and more susceptible to depression, which is anger turned inward.
I’m not recommending becoming a ranting, venting bitch either. We all have that friend who complains constantly about her work, husband, or relative whenever we see her, but does she ever express these concerns with the person deemed guilty? Probably not or the repetitive complaints would not still be flowing.
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. After my 2009 midlife crisis, I returned to Kansas City to start over and found I had a handful of friends who welcomed me back into their lives and others I had neglected so that I had to “backfill” and find new companions. Friends are the very foundation of life. If you don’t put family and friends first above of else, you’ll have some very lonely years ahead of you. Nurture your friendships and be forever grateful and most of all, fully present, for them.
I wish that I had let myself be happier. In the 1990s show Ally McBeal, Calista Flockhart said a tweetable line before Twitter hit the scene, “I feel happy….I’m just not equipped.” In other words, she was her worst enemy and prevented her own happiness. Are you your happiness roadblock? Get out of the way and take put the “open” sign out for happiness.
I used to gift this great little book, How to Be Happy Dammit, to my clients and invite you to read it too. Here’s a quick excerpt.
You also know that sometimes you can get so outrageously busy that you could pass by a troll standing on the street corner waving a million bucks at you . . . and you might not even notice. Meaning . . . Life Lesson #22: It doesn’t matter how fast you get there if you’re heading in the wrong direction.”
Are you choosing to be happy? To speak your mind? To live the life you want vs. the one you told you should want? Get after it Mona. Life is too short for regrets.
”It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age.” ~ Margaret Mead
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Category: Health & Happiness