Rules #3e: Karma-Free Life: Top 12 Regrets of the Dying
This Way to the Great Egress
The wheels continue to spin until you have learned all that life has to teach you. Yet, you can step out... by listening to the dying.
You can begin to live a karma free life by paying attention to this wisdom:
1- "I wish I had taken better care of myself."
When you are young, you expect that your body-mind will always function normally to support your desires. Yet those who deprive themselves of food, water, sleep and then swim in a sea of chemical toxins when young will pay for that when old. Those who blast their ears with loud noise will lose their hearing. Those who squint away their eyesight on the PC will impair their vision. Those who eat junk will experience digestive problems. Those who skimp on sleep risk high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. Those who hate their life will get cancer.
2- "I wish I had cherished my family more."
Family are those who care if you are happy or sad, sick or well, and will help you when you are troubled. Family are those you can call at 3am and they will respond with compassion and understanding. Family are in your life daily or weekly whether by phone, email, or in person. Family may or may not be biologically related to you. Relatives by choice not "chance" can be your biggest allies - cherish them.
3- "I wish I had let myself be more joyful."
Those who live the longest usually have found what makes them happy and allowed themselves to put more time, energy, money, and attention into their joyful activities. What makes you happy is strictly up to you. I love tennis because it makes me happy... and each year I make sure I see more of it.
4- "I wish I had not listened to the disinformation from others."
Most people share information with you that they believe to true. Yet this information is actually their opinion based on their experience of life... and may not be true. For example, I came from a family who believed that a "regular" job working for a big company was the best path to success. They also believed going into business was too risky and doomed to failure. For many years, I let that disinformation hold me back from pursuing this line of work... which I regret.
5- "I wish I had not been trapped by the expectations of others."
Most people get trapped by the agendas, expections, and needs of others. If you are spending too much time doing what you do not like to do because others have asked it of you, seriously consider backing out of that unpleasant committment. Just as others have the right to do what they want to do, so do you. If you cannot enjoy doing what others expect of you, this is your heart telling you to stop doing it.
6- "I wish I had not worked so hard at what did not serve me."
When an employer tells you that to succeed, you have to work around the clock and to put that job before family, friends, and your health... it is time for a new job. Do you want to work to live (do what you need to do so that you can enjoy your life)? Or do you want to live to work (working when you should be having a life)? The most successful people create a life in balance. Remember that works ends and when it is gone, no one will care that you have nothing else in your life.
7- "I wish I had taken a chance when it came my way."
"Those who say they never got a chance never took one" - it is true. Life is always full of opportunities and it is always sending them your way. It is up to you to act on them. Those who take chances will not always succeed in the way they wished... yet when things go wrong that often is life pointing them in the "right" direction. Take the case of Lucille Ball who was fired as a screen actress. Lucy turned to comedy and created the "I Love Lucy" franchise (one of the most successful and long lasting in television history). So look for chances and take one!
8- "I wish I had the courage to live the life of my dreams."
"Of the saddest words of tongue or pen are these: it might have been." So many people think and talk about a "some day" in the distant future. In that "some day", they will travel to a foreign land, they will devote more time to favorite pursuits, they will do something that requires more time, energy, and money than they usually manifest. Yet some day never comes because "life" gets in the way and then old age limits their days. So if there is something you really want to do - if you want to live a life true to your dreams - then do it now... it is all you have!
9- "I wish I had been kinder and more understanding."
"If there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again." (William Penn) Saying kind words, praising others, offering a helping hand, sharing useful information, being a positive role model for others, and so on is the best way to be kind. Seeing things from another's point of view, considering that others mean you well, imagining how you would like to be treated in their place, being willing to forgive, and so on is the best way to be understanding. Remember that "to understand all is to forgive all." (George Washington)
10- "I wish I had NOT quit [fill in the blank]."
"Never give up... for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn." (Harriet Beecher Stowe) The only way to fail in the physical world is to quit."Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On!' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." (Calvin Coolidge) So hang in there and expect success!
11- "I wish I had the courage to express my true feelings."
Approval, security, and control are the main reasons why most people are reluctant to express their true feelings. They fear that if they speak up that others will not like them (the approval aspect). They fear that if they speak up that others may-will withdraw their financial-emotional support (the security aspect). They fear that if they speak up that others will change the relationship dynamic in an unfavorable way (the control aspect). Yet, your true feelings are telling you that something better in the relationship is possible... if only you will express yourself.
12- "I wish I had said-done [fill in the blank] when I could."
"The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone." (Harriet Beecher Stowe) No one ever wonders about what those "words left unsaid" and those "deeds left undone" are. Such things usually have been tugging at mind and heart for a long time. Most find that when they say the words and do the deeds, the result is usually much better than they expected. Yet, if not, all who do so find a release that only comes from making things right.
Lessons from My Actual Loss
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Past & Now Forward Holistic Counseling,