May Allah make us breathe our last as Muslims !
"Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion." 3:185
Published: July 16, 2012 - 12:30PM
At the end of our days, each and every one of us will be forced to stop and face up to the life we have lived. In this moment of reflection, many will ask, "Is there anything I would do differently?"
This question is the subject of The Top Five Regrets of Dying by Australian palliative care nurse and singer, Bronnie Ware.
Initially written as a blog, Ware self-published the book at the end of last year. By the beginning of this year, the sharply meaningful messages had ricocheted around the world and, by March, Hay House publishers had picked it up, released it internationally and had it translated into 25 languages (and counting).
It shares Ware's experience of being with people as they prepared to die. "People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality," she wrote.
"I learnt never to underestimate someone's capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them."
As she sat "around having a yarn" with her patients, she would ask about their regrets and whether they would do anything differently. Despite vastly different stories and circumstances, common themes began to emerge. The book shares the most common five, listed below.
It's not hard to see why it has resonated so strongly with so many, why people post it on their Facebook pages, email it to loved ones and talk about it with friends.
It is about taking the road less travelled to pursue dreams - one that requires courage and conviction.
It is the path Bronnie Ware has taken.
An aspiring musician, she spent eight years as a live-in palliative care nurse. Not having to pay rent gave her the financial freedom to pursue her musical ambitions on the side, part of the reason she took the job.
But, as she spent time with the people she was caring for, she became deeply affected by their insight. While not all her patients had regrets, it was the regrets that had the most profound impact on her personally. They give her the strength to make hard decisions when she needs to, she says.
"I know how profound it is to be [at the end] and regret and not be able to do anything about it," she says.
This knowledge has driven her to become a mum for the first time at 45, release two albums and relocate back to the area she grew up in order to be close to her aging mother.
"I never thought I'd settle back there," she says. "But, I wanted my child to know her grandmother and I knew I'd regret it if I didn't."
The message to live authentically and without regrets has also affected many of the books readers.
People from around the world contact Ware to tell their tales. They say they now have the strength to retire, to take time for holidays, to make peace with long-term friends or to quit their jobs.
Such decisions are rarely easy. But they are the ones most likely to make a difference in how we answer that final question.
For Ware, of course, it was on the road of struggle that she stumbled upon the stories that inspired her work and have now lead to her creative success. When it comes her time to reflect, it seems unlikely that Ware will want to do anything differently.
The top five regrets, in Ware's words are:
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
2. I wish I didn't work so hard
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, RRP $17.95 is available through Hay House Australia.
What would be your greatest regret or what have you done to ensure you don't have them?
This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/l...716-224y2.html
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