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12/07/2011 04:57 AM

The five regrets...

Posts: 241
Senior Member

The five regrets

by Paulo Coelho on June 23, 2011

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here 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.

When people realize 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 to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn't work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize 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 their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.


12/07/2011 06:14 AM
Posts: 2314
Senior Member

I so love this article and I can relate. I remember when I first got sick/injured after a really bad car accident in which I could have died. and all I wanted were my friends. And all we really do have our our memories so we must endeavor to make new and good ones. And treasure the good people in our lives.

"Cause In the end...the love we equal to the love...we make" ~Paul McCartney

(love this song) Wink

12/09/2011 01:18 AM
Posts: 243

I can say that till this year,I was trapped by regrets numbers 1-3. Then I decided to do what i wanted,and now though i'm already 52,it still makes a world of a difference. I even get far less rashes than i used to which were probably caused by pent up feelings and emotional compromise. Great Post !

12/31/2011 02:50 PM
JustJulie62Posts: 925

Wow, I just found your post - thank you so much for sharing. I want to show this to my husband, who at 57, is having a hard time with his existence because he is so focused on "what or who he should be" based on other people's expectations. He wants to throw in the towel, and i keep picking it up and throwing it back at him.

There isn't that much time left - and it is never too late to change (especially your thinking).


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