In a post read by more than 3 million people Bronnie Ware summarizes “The top 5 regrets of the dying”. She worked in palliative care for a while. Her patients were those who had gone home to die and counted their remaining time in weeks.
In her post she says, “People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth.” She adds that though her patients went through a range of emotions ranging from denial to anger to remorse, all of them found acceptance before their passing.
In talking to her patients she found that a common theme arose when it came to the question of the regrets they had and what they would have done differently:
- I wish I’d Had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I didn’t work so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
When we study the 5 regrets a common theme emerges: All 5 regrets are associated with the ego. If we live our life only for our ego, an entire lifetime may slip by without having a life that nourishes our soul.
Working hard towards achieving ego-centered goals is seen as pointless. Not allowing the ego to create walls between our loved ones is important. Sidelining the ego so that we can be true to the innermost voice of the soul is also seen as essential to live a full life.
Regrets arise when we miss what is truly important for the superficial. In the end we have to leave behind our ego and all that we accumulate. What is truly important is the feeling of love that permeates our life and the connections of love we create. The only accomplishments that matter are those that we measure in terms of what we have done for others.
Yoga is the science of consciousness. The journey of yoga is a journey into deeper consciousness. The techniques of yoga are designed to lessen the grip of ego so that deeper consciousness can be accessed. When you undertake the journey into yoga not only does it reduce stress and improve health, it also makes life more meaningful.
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