This morning I went to read the Daily Word, which is what I use for my morning meditation.
Today’s reading started off with a quote from the author of the book, “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying,” Bonnie Ware. She tells us that a common regret of those near the end of their lives is; “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
This really threw me for a loop, because I have lived a life as true to myself as possible, and yet I sometimes find myself deeply regretting it.
The word discontent came to mind.
Well dang. This person regrets not being true to themselves and I regret being true to myself. Is there any hope? Are we going to have regrets no matter what we do?
How often do we wish we had something else? How often do we wish we were somewhere else? How often do we look back on our lives and question our decisions?
It is true. I have spoken with many people nearing the end of their lives who told me this exact same thing. “I should have…,” and “If I had it to do over again I would do it differently.”
Me? I really like it when I am feeling content.
When feeling content, we have self-confidence and a sureness about us. It feels good. But as I mentioned earlier, I am not always content.
Not long ago while talking with someone, I was really raking myself over the coals. “I never did this and I never did that, and now I don’t have this, and I should have done things differently, and something is wrong with me.”
At some point my friend piped up and said, “Look man, the past is the past. It is what it is. The question is, “What are you going to do now?”
True, things are different when you are on your death-bed than they are earlier in life. Most of us are most likely not on our death-bed. We still have time.
And the thing about regret and discontent is that it all seems to stem from the past. The thing about being content is that it seems to stem from NOW.
It makes a lot of sense to not want to have any regrets when your time comes. This is your life and you are only going to do this once. This is not a dress rehearsal. Every moment that passes is one moment closer.
So I have decided to look back on my life and own it. I was right. Say that to yourself, “I WAS RIGHT!” Say to yourself, “I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN RIGHT!” (Really try it, you might be surprised at how good it feels.)
Even if you made obvious mistakes, even if you made what turned out to be bad decisions, whatever… it isn’t as if you weren’t doing your best. How do you know until you try?
And let’s spend some time in the moment. In the now. This present moment. Most likely you have more than you need at this moment. I do.
So let’s feel content.