Tag Archives: choice

Good advice from a sage – Choose happiness

This nifty little article came into my mailbox this morning and I want to share it with you.  I invite you to take what you need from it. I hope it makes a difference in the way you now live your life:

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.
People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learned 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 , e very one of them.
When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

Top 5 regrets of dying from a man who has seen many die

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 realize 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 have had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

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.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

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.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
Often they would not truly realize 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.
It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize 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.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.

 

Three is a crowd

Dear globalcounselor,

I have been going out with my boyfriend for 3 years. He seems to like me and we get along fairly well. My problem is my boyfriend likes to tag his best friend along on our dates. His friend is always sharing my time with my boyfriend and my boyfriend gets upset when I tell him three is a crowd.  When I tell him I think he spends too much time with his boyfriend, he tells me that he knew him way before he knew me and until he gets a girlfriend, he does not feel right about leaving him out.  Last week I met with his boyfriend secretly and told him that I think he should say no the next time my boyfriend invites him out with us. I told him that it’s not that I do not like him but sometimes I want to be alone with my boyfriend.  I also told him (which was a mistake) that my boyfriend  felt sorry for him that’s why he invites him. He told my boyfriend what we talked about and said he did not want anyone to pity him (that’s what my boyfriend told me). My boyfriend was upset with me and said I was trying to come between him and his friend.  I told him (a mistake) that he would have to choose between having a girlfriend or a boyfriend.  It is a week and I still have not heard from him and he refuses to take my phone calls. How can I win him back?

Mistake

Dear mistake:

Why would you want to win back a person who does not want you? You deserve better, don’t you think so? I think you did the right this by putting your feelings on the line. Perhaps you should have dealt with your boyfriend instead of meeting secretly with his friend. You may have put your boyfriend in an embarrassing position and you made yourself out as manipulative person.  I can understand your frustration. Indeed three is a crowd. Your boyfriend must be an extremely kind person or there is something else going on. He is either afraid to be alone with you or had an unusual allegiance to his friend.  This is unusual behaviour.  Having an extra person around for some event is okay but all the time can be a bit much.  In either case, I think you had better move on. He is not serious about a relationship with you.

Obama vs Clinton – the Choice is Yours

Dear global counselor:

I am an 18-year-old white university student in Pennsylvania and I have told my folks that I am supporting Barack Obama because I think he is the hope of America. He is the change that can make our country a better place. I don’t care about experience because I do not feel that it is important. How does one get experience? You have to give them a chance to do the job and it’s not like Mr. Obama does not have any experience. He has enough to be the president.

My folks are trying to force me to support Hilary Clinton. I have no problem with her but I do not think she will be able to bring the energy and excitement that Mr. Obama can. For a young person like me he is it. I think my parents’ objection to my choice is because of Mr. Obama’s race. They do not say it but I do not think they can stand the thought of a Black man running the United States of America. They still have that racist view that Blacks are not smart enough.  They keep saying Ms Clinton is experienced, she is bright and she has a good support in her husband, Bill Clinton, the former President.  I am frustrated with my folks and wish they could have a more open mind and see through their own discriminatory actions and beliefs.  How can I get my folks to change their minds?

Disappointed

 

Dear Disappointed

Voting is a highly personal and individual act. There is no rule that says all members of a family should vote en bloc. It’s different