“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
That is number one on Bronnie Ware’s list of ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying’. Bronnie Ware has worked as a nurse in palliative care in Australia. She writes:
”This was the most common regret of all. When people realise 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 not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”
My heart shivered, and I felt a big lump in my chest – I don’t ever want to be one of those people. Never. Ever.
Then I started to wonder, isn’t everyone really busy living their lives the best way they possibly can? But if so, why are people dying regretting they didn’t live life to the fullest?
As I pondered the question over the week I suddenly realized that even I, the dream-go-getter, put my dreams on hold. That shocked me. Last week’s nirvana was in that instant temporarily lost, and fear took once again a hold of my life.
As the number one regret continued to be the headline for my week I became aware of how often, actually on a daily basis, I put off things for later. I found myself putting off things that at the core were key in my life, things and actions I dream about, things I live for. Things, projects, and events I truly desire. Really important stuff that would make me happy. After some analysis I realized that it had to do with TIME. It was either something that was more time sensitive that came along and took over in priority, or the one thing I actually could do today somehow didn’t seem super important to do right now. But the problem was, that the same thing happened the day after that, and the day after that…
It knocked me off my feet when I realized that I could actually live my whole life and never put that action plan in motion. The fact, that I too was putting off a lot of things in my life, profoundly puzzled me. That I too could become one of those people. I instantly knew that I had to make an important decision – RIGHT NOW – to become more conscious about these little or bigger things. I knew that I had to make sure that I take the action needed, every single day, or every week or every month depending on the project, to reach that dream. There was no turning back from this awakening. And there was no time to waste.
So why do we put off things for later? Time isn’t the only factor. If you dig deep in your soul, what’s hindering you? If we genuinely want something, we go after it, no matter what. Deep down there is no such thing as I don’t have the time (or whatever other reason we try and tell ourselves). What we do in that moment is to blame our lack of action on others or factors we think we can’t control. And that is a lie. It’s up to each and every one of us to take responsibility for our own actions, for what we want in life. For what we do, and what we don’t do. We can’t blame it on anyone else. It’s no one else’s fault but our own that we one day might end up regretting what we didn’t do or whom we didn’t become.
We might feel that we don’t have the financial means to go about our dreams, or that our life situation might make it harder for us to aim that high. But NONE of those reasons are at the core the REAL ones.
The truthful answer to us regretting not going after our dreams or being our true selves is plain and simple – FEAR.
It doesn’t matter how big or small the actions are that we need to take to go after our dreams, the reasons why we don’t, usually boils down to fear and/or lack of love. Either we don’t love ourselves enough to put ourselves first, or we don’t think we’re worthy of the love, reward or success. We lack actions for our dreams because we let the fears run our lives. Fear of abandonment, fear of what others will think, fear of lack etc. From a young age we start to become controlled by our fears. Though they are never based on real facts, our fears are based on ideas we have been taught, that we have learned to believe by the world around us. It is time to free ourselves from them. Because they hinder us, they stand in our way, they drain us of energy and of our valuable time. And I know, if I don’t let go of them, I am sure I will regret it when dying.
The Bead Movement have had and continues to have such a powerful way of shaking me up, and knocking me out of balance by unravelling my truths and falsehoods one step at a time. It is a continuous shedding of skin in an ever-process of becoming the best me. Last week’s attained Nirvana needed some fierce action of looking myself in the eye. I re-attained my ball of zen-centeredness, and went out into the world and set some awesome action in motion. It not only felt amazing, I also got great feedback by doing it. Because I do believe that when we act from our heart, we are not only serving ourselves with our dreams, but we are also serving something bigger.
Love, JohannaTags: Bronnie Ware, courage, dreams, fears, goals, heart, inspiration, inspirational, Johanna Ginstmark, love, motivational, regrets, soul, spiritual, The bead movement, time