Friday, December 17, 2010

Thank you M.H.

My favorite day this September

The first time I visited my doctor in Columbus I had to fill out a large packet of questionnaires.  He's a physician who approaches health care with a much more holistic point of view.  Traditional and complimentary alternative therapies work hand in hand at his practice.  

There were the usual forms ubiquitous to all physician's offices for medical history and the like.  There were also forms that asked questions such as "Outside of family, loved ones, and work, what is your passion in life?"  And also, "If it was your very last day on Earth, what would you have to have done in order to feel like you had lived a truly good life?"  That last question really got me thinking.  What kind of regrets would I have at the end of my life?  What could I do at present to prevent those regrets from following me into my last days?

My friend recently shared a link on her blog that reminded me of that question.    

From Inspiration and Chai, "Regrets of the Dying"  (Yes, heavy stuff, but oh so significant and poignant and important .)

"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...  When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again."

The post goes on to list the 5 most common.  This is the one that I want to always remember.

"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.

It is very important to try and honour 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 realise, until they no longer have it."

Yup, courage.  Change is scary.  But often times, change is necessary in order to make the kind of life that you want to live.  I have a feeling that it's totally worth it.

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