The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying

I came home from work last night and stumbled upon the perfect book at the perfect time (thank you synchronicity for reminding me that the universe has my back).

“The Top Five Regrets of the Dying” by Bronnie Ware.

Why was this so perfect? Well, I’ve managed to do it again. I’ve managed to fall into a lifestyle that looks and sounds good, and yet, something is missing. Isn’t it funny how easily we can lie to ourselves about how happy we are? We get so good at telling the story that even we believe it. And why wouldn’t I? This was the story I had been asking for! This was the story I thought I wanted!

But I’ve come to realize that I can have the coolest job in the world planning a hip yoga festival in LA (or my idea of cool anyway), and still get weirdly anxious working in an office behind a computer (or maybe it’s not weird at all). I get stir-crazy.

This has happened before. I tried the 8-5 and felt trapped. When I wasn’t at work, I was thinking about work. Why’d I think it would be different this time? Well, for one thing, I’m now working on a project I’m passionate about and that helps. But, to be brutally honest, I fell into society’s trap.

I’m 28 now, so I decided. “It’s time to get serious.” I had to get to work building a career- a “legitimate one.” And as I play by society’s rule, I fill the void with daydreams of the life I’d rather be living.

The life I’ve dreamed of since I was 18. A life of freedom. A life of creativity. A life of culture. A life of adventure.

Wasn’t I supposed to get over this by now, 10 years later? A desire to travel and roam free and meet people and places that astonish me and open my mind.

Why the hell would I? It sounds fucking amazing.

But, I fell into the trap of getting “serious” and “realistic.” I turned my back on myself. I told myself to put away my silly dreams and “grow up” (a term I despise!). How could I do that to myself? Well, I didn’t realize I was doing it. The pressure was silent, convincing, even packaged in a cute yoga outfit!

But I’m not mad ay myself. The odds were stacked against me. Fear screams at us every corner we turn. It’s no wonder why our already delicate dreams run off into hiding.

And as I read the top five regrets of the dying, I realize I’m not alone:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to me, not the life others expected of me
  2.  I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
  5. I wish I had let myself be happier

It sounds like a lot of us give in and squash our inner child at some point. We also squash our heart and soul.

But, our dreams are in their somewhere, waiting patiently, praying for us to find them. And you’d be surprised, they’re not that hard to find.

They’re the elaborate daydreams we fall deeply into and swiftly out of. They’re the stories we tell our friends with wide eyes and beaming excitement. They’re the life someone else is living that we watch in astonishment. They’re the pictures we gaze in awe in magazines; the blog posts that make our hearts sing.

They’re the ENERGY.

THE energy.

The unmistakable, heart-opening energy you feel in your core. When do you feel that energy?

As the dying say, it simply comes down to LETTING ourselves do it, feel it, express it, BE it instead of holding it inside or watching from the sidelines. Why not experience it firsthand and know it in our bones?

Well, it’s a risky move. What will society think? What will our parents think? How will we survive? What about stability? What about building something?

I say- what about building your dreams? What about truly being alive?

What about lying on your deathbed and thinking, “Why the fuck did I wait until now to get it?”

3 thoughts on “The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying

  1. Thanks for the reminder, Jamie. I’ve been scolding myself for socializing with friends, family and neighbors while neglecting ongoing projects. That ends now!
    All the best 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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