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Will we have regrets after we leave our bodies? While there are still lots of things I would like to do in this life, I have a hard time thinking I’ll regret something once I’m gone. I will say, however, that this gives me the extra nudge to work on a few things I’ve set aside and to set up a legal will after reading some of your responses 🙂
I feel that my kind heart always eventually forgives people that trespass against me. I have forgiven my ex husband and we remain friends and stay in touch. I have done a lot of soul searching over many years and understand why my parents were not always perfect. A lot of their friction was passed on from their families struggles. I have made peace with that. My sister and I became close after my Mother died but we are so different that it causes both of us stress so we love each other at a distance. Most of my other siblings do not live close by. One passion of mine is to travel and I started again in 2015. I have been to Ireland twice and hope to go to Scotland this year with my guy friend. Sometimes I wonder if I am missing out on not remarrying but I always come back to the conclusion of loving my independence and being grateful for living with my son and his Fiance. We own a house together. We all get along so well so at my early 60’s why would I want to change anything!. As far as a will, I do not have much to pass on other then family heirlooms at this point which are already in our home. My father has passed a long many items to us already.
Waking up to who I really am. I thought I had a pretty good sense of what this is, but in writing a book at present, I am in awe as to what is flowing out/through me.
One thing I learned in the 12 step programs is to make amends, and I have remained (mostly) faithful to doing it. So my regrets in that regard are much fewer than before.
I have a personal situation with a close family member. I don’t want to be too explicit here because I don’t want to violate their privacy, so I will talk in the most vague terms possible. I would like to address both my living situation and their living situation, as well as how frequently we see each other. I want to have a closer relationship. I have found that this person is very evasive about the topic, at least as it pertains to their own limitations. In the past, I have been less direct about it. However, in the past year, I have tried being more direct. Yet I am still met with evasion.
In answer to this question, I don’t know that I have a single statement or action that I would regret per se because I believe that I have made good faith efforts to address the situation. Granted, I have been working within my own comfort zone to some degree, but I do believe that I have extended myself.
At the moment, I think that the best course of action would be continuing to be honest and direct while practicing acceptance, knowing that this person is giving me answers without saying anything.
Not to be flip, but if I’m dead none of the undone things matter to me anymore. I’m rewriting this in my head to ask what I might want to prioritize in my life given that life itself is uncertain and not guaranteed.
I’ve prepared a document for my husband and children with a lot of things about my end of life wishes. I do need to update my will and I’m especially conscious of that because my ex-husband didn’t do a good job of that and my daughters are still wrestling with the aftermath. One thing I’ve been meaning to do that I think might actually be pretty enjoyable is to write my obituary, or at least a draft of it that my husband or children could work from. That would be a celebration of my life and it would tell them what things in my life were most important to me.
My friend Frank said he did not want any regrets when he died…Frank was a brilliant physician, he was a man I met and worked with when I was in Somalia. We remained friends until his untimely death from a brain tumor. I wonder if Frank had any regrets…I hope not. For me…this question and most that are posed on this site give me pause…to make changes in my life. I would regret that I have not completely stopped drinking. Not many know that I struggle with this problem….thus my support is limited. So today is a good day…it is the first day of whatever is left of the rest of my life… I am going to make this something that I do not regret. This is the time to take action and do what I say I am going to do…no more excuses!! Thank you all once again!!!
Good for you. Like the word of the day…… possibilities!
I read a small book of prose in the 1970’s called “For Every Pile of S–t That Falls my Way, I Shall Make a Daisy Grow.” It was that book that introduced me to the term “The Shackles of Should.” I identified immediately and I’m happy to report it helped me to stop “shoulding” myself. I do not know a soul that doesn’t have regrets but the past is the past and I can’t change it. Maybe there are times when we tell ourselves “I wish I had done it differently” but I know I can’t change what is done. The only thing I can think of that this question might mean is “Do I owe someone an apology or an explanation of some sort? If I shared that with them now would it be helpful to the situation or is it too late?”
Thank you for your post, dear Carol. Yes, you are completely right, thank you for your questioning! So kind, and so helpful. Thanks a lot.
Thank you for that insight!
That when it came to what to do next in where to follow my heart´s commitment to serve the chosen path, I would regret not to have expressed an unconditional “Yes” to the once chosen path and follow my intention, like taking the bike until hopefully arriving at the intended destination. I would regret to have been stuck in a kind of ambivalence, doubt, and hubris, but also fear of not being able to reach it without having developed other needed qualities of the heart also which would have invited needed support, so both feeling inferior and superior, and so I painfully have to admit that I might not have qualified for doing so. If I might tend to this now, I will accept what is meant to be. Reply here, writing the journal, working on authenticity and integrity, trying to be of service for others. Thank you, dear Grateful Team, for all your offered work and space.
Something that I have thought about in the past was acceptance of myself and others such as my parents who were troubled and not good at parenting. Anger and sadness often was deep down inside and affected my by contributing to depression and anxiety. Since then I have forgiven those who harmed me or who were not present. Ive accepted myself for who I am. Ive let God re enter my life. As I get older I am learning to accept my health limitations and try to experience every day as a joyous thing to be grateful for . There are still difficult days for me but I’m a lot better off. Perhaps the only thing that I would like to do is to reach out more to others and not always expect that they will do the same to me.
Make better choices for my body. Exercise more and cut down on the fast food.
Are you saying that because you think making those choices would mean you wouldn’t die soon? I read this as asking what we would prioritize given the uncertainty of life.
I read it as I’m making poor choices that do more harm to my body than good so making different healthier choices is better for my body.
If this question was posed to me a about a year ago I would answer sobering up one more time from my addiction to alcohol. Since June “09” , after a 17 year period of sobriety I gave myself permission to drink again. Until February 17, 2022 I was in a cycle of sobering and relapsing. This go round I have done and explored things very differently than any other time since Jan of “92” when I first quit alcohol. I am currently at my longest period of abstinence since June “09” except for a court ordered period from Jan “18” to May “20”. I am tending to my addiction now during this reflection and along with daily practices, bi-weekly addiction therapy and zoom meetings with Life Ring. a peer group of sober people from many walks of life and sober from any substance, supporting each other. I thank all the good people who reflect in this spot daily and those good people who keep it running. All of you are part of my support.
Joseph, you continue to be an inspiration to me. I continue to have a problem with alcohol. Stopping and starting again…you ALWAYS give me strength to say “not today”…I admire your courage and your strength in making your sobriety a reality. I have never been in trouble or lost a job or go to work after drinking…Thankfully!! I am just one of those evening “relax” drinkers…and I tell myself it has to stop. So tonight dear Joseph, I am going to bed sober and I will wake up sober…a promise to myself.
This site and all who come here are a source of strength and inspiration – all good and kind people. I am so very grateful for all of you and those who make this place possible. Wishing you all a good day. Peace.
We are thankful that you are doing well and here with others. You are inspiring about overcoming problems.
Addiction is difficult but I’m happy to see that you are looking after yourself and on the way of total sobriety. You have a great support network around you and here. Ive been sober for 10 years .. you can do it!
Happy National Farmers Day Joseph! 🚜
If I die before my will gets officially updated I will regret not getting it done sooner. Since my last update I have aquired two granddaughters and would now like to include them. I can’t think of any other possible regrets. My loved ones know how much I love them, I make sure of that, so for me there is nothing more I need to do or say. I am at peace.
Updating my will was the first thing I thought of too, Butterfly. I keep meaning to get around to it but something else always gets moved up the list. I don’t know how many years I’ve said “this is the year to update the will,” but this really is the year to update the will.
We just had those will and grandchildren thoughts too. Our neighbor lawyer said some families do it. We do have them in it if something happens to their parents but other than that we have left it up to their parents. One child has one child and the other three. They are my husband’s kids but we have been married 46 years.
There are several things that I would have liked to do before I leave the planet, but I have had to come to terms with what I can and cannot do, partly due to my age, and lately, with my new reality of living with the challenges of Ankylosing Spondylitis. I am, however, satisfied with what I have accomplished, personally, professionally, and experienced spiritually.
With that said, and with awareness of a number of people who faithfully frequent this site who struggle mightily and far worse than me with their own life challenges, today’s question, however unintended, contains that “hidden should,” that conjures up guilt, which may be unhelpful to some readers. I think today’s question could have been constructed with greater tenderness.
How would you word it? Something like what would I still like to do before I die? That simple?
Yes, I think that would do it, Rabbit. It is probably just me, but sometimes I feel that some of the questions are constructed in such a way that the question itself is pointing at one very distinct type of answer. And when I sense this, I oftentimes respond from another angle, not to be contrary, but to explore an alternate route that for me, brings me to an answer that is true to myself.
Should of, could of, would of thinking can most definitely conjure up some guilt. Also a bit of judgement. Thanks Kevin.
I spend way too much time “should having” myself and it accomplishes nothing. I have been told that I spend too much time self judging but haven’t found a way to stop it. It least I can name it when it happens.
Indeed. Thank you, Kevin.
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