A while ago, we published a well-known article by Bonnie Ware about the regrets people felt on their deathbed:
This article touched many people, myself included, but for different reasons than most. The article always makes me think about the regrets I heard from the spirits of people who had passed away. Because life doesn’t just end with death and our life on earth is but an episode in the life of our soul. Hearing the regrets of my deceased family members strengthened my resolve to stop making excuses and follow my heart and soul and pursue my dreams without compromise. These messages from beyond the veil made me sad at first, but I soon realised that they were a great gift which motivated me to turn my whole life around and I will be forever grateful for that. Some of the voices that express themselves in this article belong to deceased members of my family, others come from other spirits that felt the need to express themselves throughout the years. If there is one thing I learned from what they shared, it is that life is happening NOW and that it makes no sense to put it off to a later date.
- “I wasted my life being sad, angry, jealous, bitter. I clung to my unhappiness and I refused to forgive, I was unable to let go and because of that I missed out on a lot of beautiful things.”
– We are not always responsible for what happens to us, we are, however, responsible for the way we react to different events and we decide how they affect us. If we hold on to the tragedies of life, if we are unwilling to mourn and let go, if we wallow in suffering, we cut ourselves off from life. The emotions that throw us off balance such as sadness and anger, lead us away from our center, cloud our vision and literally prevent us from seeing the beauty in life.
- “I didn’t evolve during the course of my life“
– We live to learn, to evolve. Life presents us with multiple opportunities for growth, expansion and to purify our memories. It is important to cease these opportunities when they present themselves to us and not flee them or block an opportunity to move past old behavioural patterns.
- “I was unable to live in the present moment. I got blinded by the illusions of life. I spent my life pursuing a career, financial objectives, prestige, recognition and accumulating possessions. Because of this I never enjoyed the happy moments when they were there.”
“I never took the time to slow down, to breathe, to contemplate life. I was always doing something, always busy and I ended up with very little time to just be. I would have liked to have taken the time more to just be present.“
– When we always set new goals for ourselves, when we are always pursuing greater and bigger achievements, we create chronic insatisfaction, we are unable to live in the present moment because we always project ourselves forward into some vague future scenario, which means we are never actually in the present moment.
- « I never managed to open my heart. I was wrong and I did myself great injustice by keeping my heart closed. »
– This regret came back often, expressed in different ways: some people felt that they didn’t love their family or their friends enough or regretted being unable to show them their love, others were unable to receive love and many were afraid of giving or receiving love. Some closed their hearts to certain groups of the population (racism, nationalism, misogynie…), unable to open their hearts to all of creation. The connection to the heart is what is most important in life. If there is one thing that counts in life, it is learning how to love and how to be loved.
- “I limited myself. And I let myself be limited. People told me I would not be able to do what I would have liked to do and I believed them. I forgot that I was an unlimited being and I let myself be convinced that my capacities were limited. As a result of that, I didn’t pursue my dreams, I didn’t even try. I already gave up long before my final hour.”
– For the human spirit, it is essential to have hopes and dreams. When we don’t give any importance to our dreams, we cut off an important part of ourselves and our inner flame, which is nourished by our hopes and our imagination, will start to die out.
- “I wasn’t grateful enough. I acted like a victim for the larger part of my life and I never realised how lucky I was to be alive. I didn’t fully appreciate the miracle of my body and I didn’t appreciate my physical beauty or the beauty that surrounded me: the beauty of the earth, the trees, the flowers, the people, the sky… I was oblivious to the richness of life. I guess you could say I lost my capacity to marvel.”
“I regret not having taken better care of my body and not appreciating it.”
“I didn’t enjoy myself often enough. I didn’t laugh often enough, I took myself too seriously, I forgot how to be happy.”
– We don’t always appreciate our life, we act like it’s a punishment to be alive, to be present on this earth. To live a happy life, it is essential to keep our capacity to marvel alive. The ability to feel gratitude exponentially multiplies our happiness. The more grateful we feel, the more we will attract and create circumstances and events that we will feel grateful for.
- “I would have liked to be braver. I would have liked to worry less about what other people thought of me and speak out when I felt like it. I didn’t satisfy my curiosity. I would have liked to know more about life and its mysteries, but I told myself I had more important things to do. I regret not having followed my instinct, my wish to explore and discover and to have contented myself with what other people told me.”
“I would have loved to see more of the earth, go back to the places I knew in other lifetimes, that would’ve been very beneficial for me.”
“I closed my mind. I was a prisoner my whole life, imprisoned by my own thoughts and beliefs. My own warden. I would’ve loved to be more free. I now think freedom is essential in life.”
“I regret not having trusted myself. I always valued other people’s opinions above my own, I spent my whole life listening to other people and admiring others, I was always trying to please until I didn’t even recognise myself anymore. In the end, I was displeased by myself.”
– Often people limit themselves or comply with what they think are their obligations or other people’s expectations of them. Until they realise that their life doesn’t correspond to who they are or reflect their values. Free will, freedom of choice and authenticity are essential for healthy self-esteem and to feel proud of who we are and of our walk of life.
- “I was unaware of the effect of my actions on others. I didn’t even take them into account when I did what I did. I acted out of unhappiness and I can now see the damage I caused all around me. I was never aware of the hurt my actions caused.“
– We are not always aware of the effect of our actions on others. Selfishly, we think that our actions only affect ourselves, but every single one of our actions, words and even thoughts affects other people. After death however, the deceased clearly see and feel the effect of their negativity on other people and it makes them sad to see the suffering they caused. Let’s be more conscious of our actions and words while we’re alive and let’s use them to heal, soften, help, elevate and not to attack, destroy, diminish. The pain we cause to another person leaves marks on our own hearts, not on the other person’s heart.
Image from the movie “What dreams may come” 1998 starring Robin Williams