“I WISH I HAD HAD THE COURAGE TO LIVE A LIFE TRUE TO MYSELF, NOT THE LIFE OTHERS EXPECTED OF ME.”
Life sometimes can be viewed as a journey lived under the glare of expectation. It may be seen as a long path of actions made under pressure from our parents, our school teachers, our peers and from society itself. This is because we have internalised from a young age what others expect of us. The consequence of this is that many of us will reach the end of our lives feeling unfulfilled and with a sense of regret. We will have oppressed our true self and ignored our inner dreams and goals. We won’t have dared to live the life we really wanted to live. We must be honest and true to ourselves and try to honour our dreams. Don’t let others dictate what we should do. This is our life, it mustn’t be dictated by others looking in. If it is; it is a life not truly lived.
“I WISH I HADN’T WORKED SO HARD.”
This is a very common regret. Too much time spent at work at the expense of our relationships with our loved ones; our partners and our children. Many of us will recognise this statement. We will quietly feel guilty because we know that this is us. We suffer from this foolish behaviour. And for what? More money? More recognition at work? To “please” the boss? Time can’t be rewound. Our children will grow up and leave the “nest”. Our partner will drift away to create their own sense of worth as they tire of waiting to spend time with us. The wake up call may come too late. By the time we realise our folly, we may see that we have a home devoid of happiness and warmth. We might claim that we gave them lovely presents or wonderful 2 week holidays, but the most precious thing we can and should give, is ourselves.
“I WISH I HAD HAD THE COURAGE TO EXPRESS MY FEELINGS.”
Many of us “keep quiet” or “hide our true feelings” because it appears easier. We don’t want to upset people and it’s safer to stay schtum. It is risk averse too. Just go with the flow and everything will be alright. The problem with repressing our emotions is that we are building up trouble for the future. It will invariably lead to bitterness and anger within. There will be a constant level of stress within us as we lead an untrue life. We deserve the best for ourselves and honesty through expression is positive. It will create a positive relationship with those close to us.
“I WISH I HAD STAYED IN TOUCH WITH MY FRIENDS.”
Our friendships are worth more than their weight in gold. We share so many experiences with them as we all grow up together and share fun and exciting times. Stories are recounted of happy memories and fun times. When we look back at the end of our lives, some of our best memories are of good times spent with good friends. Friends know us deep down. They will support us in times of need. They won’t judge us in a bad moment; they will be a shoulder to lean on. In good times, they will laugh with us, encourage us and challenge us. They can last a lifetime and they should last a lifetime. We must make the effort to keep in touch as our lives grow and we create our families.
“I WISH I HAD LET MYSELF BE HAPPIER.”
Happiness is a state of mind: we can choose to be happy, by being ourselves, spending time with close ones, enjoying every little joyful moments. Happiness is not dependent on materialistic achievements or special encounters (“I’ll be able to relax and be happy once I get that promotion”, “I will find happiness once I meet the man/woman of my dream”…). Happiness is a choice and it is within ourselves. Yet, many people realise once it’s too late, that they had happiness at their fingertips but let it slip.