Life became more difficult to bear as I aged due to collecting an ever growing quantity of regrets. Over time qualms collected were thrown on my conscience pile. Little by little that burden became heavier and heavier. Eventually it was a single huge regret that broke the back of my resistance less than five years ago. Then all my smaller regrets began to surface buoyed by the repentance I was attempting to make for what I considered the great wrong I had done. As the smaller misgivings have been taken out, examined and some sort of peace attempted with them I made a discovery that many were not that small at all. In hurting others, ultimately I hurt myself as much or more.
Some of my regrets at random:
- A friend and I got 200 bait crickets and let them lose in our basketball coach’s new car when we were 16. We were upset at him because he got mad at our team and made us practice way too hard late one night after a game.
- Telling my eight or nine year-old son who was behaving badly that he was not acting like a human being and taking him outside saying he could come back into the house until he decided to act human.
- Not making car payments when I was eighteen and my car getting repossessed. I caught up payments and got the car back. A year later the same thing happened again and I lost the car for good.
- Sleeping with a woman when I was 19. Then the next morning hurting her when let her know I was engaged.
- Not staying in better touch with my three half sisters and completely losing track and now having no idea where my sister Kelly is.
- Throwing a sandwich in a guy’s face that I worked with, even though he lost his temper and spit on me.
- Not going to more of my son’s hockey games when he was growing up.
- Refusing to accept that I suffered from depression for so many years and the damage to me and those around me that self-chosen blindness caused.
- Getting into a verbal tiff with my ex-mother-in-law in the car and her getting out and walking when we all were in Lake Tahoe.
- Not being truthful when my 2nd ex-wife told me she would stand by me no matter what if I would just tell her the truth.
- Losing track of a good friend and former roommate/co-worker fromJackson,Mississippi named Bruce Owen.
- Stealing a camera from K-Mart on a dare when I was 17.
- Not flying home for my favorite Uncle Jimmy’s funeral.
- Hurting a woman whose initials are RW so badly she will not even speak to me.
- Not showing more appreciation for my first wife who always took such good care of me.
- Letting my personal life affect me to the point that I got fired from a company I was employed by for 18 years.
- Realizing what I felt about Desi Kershaw long after I had lost track of her.
- When home visiting, driving by the nursing home where my grandfather was living and not going to see him before he died two months later.
- For falling out of touch with my half sister Lisa and not finding out she even had cancer until after her funeral.
- For telling my Father off about his drinking and drugging then not speaking to him at all for the year and a half before he died at an AA meeting.
- Allowing sexual compulsiveness to take me into darker behaviors and today having that knowledge even thought the behavior is long behind me now.
- Having no idea where my 1st cousin Vickie is now for over 20 years even though we were best friends growing up.
Bronnie Ware is women who once lived on the street and went on to become a nurse for the dying. She has written about the top five regrets that terminally ill patients express during the last three to twelve weeks of their life. http://www.inspirationandchai.com/Regrets-of-the-Dying.html
Here are the Top Five regrets she heard and has written about:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. This was the most common regret of all.
- I wish I didn’t work so hard. This came from every male patient that I nursed.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others.
- 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.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice.
While all five points touch me, I am especially moved by the fifth. It is in that spirit that I come here each day to share of myself without walls and allow the world to see me as I am, warts, mistakes and all. For the admission of my random regrets today I am a little healthier mentally and my psyche has been lightened. Contained within me is much gratitude for each of you for sharing my path of learning to live life better and more happily.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness. Bronnie Ware