In my many years in hospice ministry, we seldom hear from people who are dying that they regret not working enough. It’s usually regrets about time lost working and away from loved ones. Maybe they regret alienating people close to them or losing themselves somewhere along the way. It is always something deeper and more human.
What about you? Have you ever stopped to check your bearings? Take a few minutes today and sit down in a quiet place. Close your eyes and start breathing to your lower abdomen. Take a minute to settle in and relax.
Now from here, start to think about yourself in the future, lying on your deathbed, thinking back about the years you’ve lived. What are you grateful for? What brought you the most joy? Think about this and feel the feelings. Sit with them.
Now go the other way. What regrets do you have? Where do you feel like you wasted your time and your life force? Was it worth it? How did you go down that road, and what could have been avoided? Where did you get stuck and pulled off your life’s path? Is it painful? Sit with it.
Spend some time here and get clear about what you’re witnessing. Allow the emotions to sweep over you. Let them sink in.
Now it’s time to rewire. Pick up a pen and pad.
If your future self were speaking to your current self from her deathbed, what advice would she be giving you?
- What would she have you steer clear of?
- What would she ask that you lean into?
- Where should you spend your energy?
- Where does she think you’re wasting your time?
Allow this dialogue to come through. Feel it and listen.
What does your future self think about where you are now and how you’re spending your precious time? Could you be doing things differently? Maybe making some better decisions? Maybe it’ll take a while to get out of the mess that you’re in, but what are the next few steps you need to take to move into a better direction?
Promise your future self that you won’t waste your life. Promise that you’ll shift and change the way you roll so you can eradicate those painful regrets. Commit to making these changes and decide what your logical step would be. Take this step today.
From time to time, close your eyes and go back to this scene. Are you on track? Looking back from your deathbed, are you making changes and moving in the right direction? Can you see a smile on your future self’s face as that reality becomes manifest? Great. If not, then make adjustments.
This exercise will help you stay on track and invest your time in the right people, activities, dreams and possibilities.