The 5 Regrets of the Dying: Part 4

In the last 3 posts we’ve talked about the 3 biggest regrets of the dying in order to avoid having those regrets in our life.  Those three were living based on the expectations of others, working too much, and not appreciating what you have.

We now move to Regret #4, and this next one is a biggie.  It’s also the one that for most people will be the most difficult to avoid.  Because this is the one that will require the most courage and selflessness.

Here it is.

People regret clinging to offenses and not finding forgiveness.

At the end of your life, when clarity and perspective are both keenest, those things that were such big issues just don’t seem to matter any more.

He didn’t call on Christmas.

She insulted me in front of my friends.

He broke my favorite____________.

Friends are precious things.  Good ones are more rare than any jewel.

Family is precious.  When all have abandoned you, family will be there.

To throw these things away because of an offense is a tragedy.

The issue is pride.  We want to be right.  We want to be compensated.  We want them to move first.

After all, it was them that offended us!

But what profit is there in bitterness?  It only robs us of joy and peace and in the end, fills us with regret.

Be the bigger person.  Be the first mover.

The first to apologize is the bravest.  The first to forgive is the strongest.  And the first to forget is the happiest.

What relationship have you allowed to die because of something that in the grand scheme is trivial?

Resolve today to reach out to them.  Do your best to patch it up.  Don’t cling to the need for an apology.  Don’t go in to grind your axe.  Just forget it!  Let it go!  And start over.

It won’t be long before you’re laughing again and thinking to yourself, “Man I’ve missed this!  How come it took me so long?”

If you’re brave enough, leave a comment below with a relationship you’re going to repair.  Then come back in a few days and share with us how it’s going.  We’ll cheer each other on!

Read Part 5

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Diana MacGeorge

    Wow you hit the nail on the head for me this morning. Was just talking about my son and not understanding why on something….you are right with God by letting it go..so instead of allowing this feeling to go further. I will pray about it and let it go. Thanks for the reminder!

    • You’re a wise and strong woman Diana.

  • GlassOrchid

    Thanks for your point of view on this important matter. After many years I worked on forgiveness and it took me a whole year of focusing on it everyday, but now I know that it was the best thing I could do for myself. I learned that I was the one in misery until I was willing to surrender my ill feelings. I had to forgive myself first, then ask for forgiveness and finally forgive the other person. Today I am so thankful and grateful and blessed.

    • Glass – Thanks for sharing that. Forgiveness frees us. You’re now liberated to have the next chapter of your life play out unencumbered by that bitter root.

  • This is a big one. I normally don’t like it when people use intimidation to motivate you to do things. That’s an experience I’ve had with someone in our business. While I can’t change what happened I’ve chosen to release that person and focus on the main goal at hand. Thanks for sharing

    • Good for you! As long as you aren’t holding onto the hurt and allowing bitterness to take root. You don’t want to be a slave to those emotions. You’re a winner Sija!

  • Ruth Escamilla

    My relationship with my oldest brother has been heavy on my heart lately. It seems like things aren’t like they used to be and I’m not sure why. I don’t know if it’s something he is going through or if it’s something I did. A part of me wants to give him his space and shower him with compassion and another part of me wants to call him and demand an explanation. I feel stuck but I know deep down that somethings got to change. I really don’t want to accept how things are. I know have to do something.

    • @ruthescamilla:disqus – Thanks so much for sharing. I would suggest there is a middle ground between the two options you mention. That would be having a conversation where you share how much you care about him and how valuable the relationship is to you. In that same conversation, own anything that may be your responsibility in the distance that’s grown between you. Approach him with a clear motivation of restoration.

      Try that and let me know how it goes.