This is yet another post made from Bronnie Ware's wonderful book "The Top Five Regrets of the Dying - A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing". It will be the last post I make with this book, because it should already be enough to see how wonderful it is, and you should already have ordered it, and I don't want to spoil you too much :-)

It is a pity that being who you truly are requires so much courage. But it does. It takes enormous courage at times. Being who you are, whoever that is, sometimes cannot even be articulated at first, not even to yourself. All you know is there is a yearning within that is not being fullfilled by the life you are currently living. Having to explain this to others, who have not walked in your shoes, may just leave you questioning yourself even further.

But as the wise man Buddha said more than two millenia ago, "The mind knows no answer. The heart knows no questions". It is the heart that guides you to joy, not the mind. Overcoming the mind and letting go of other's expectations allows you to hear your own heart. Having the courage to then follow it is where true happiness lies.

This last sentence is very insightful.

In the meantime, keep on cultivating the heart while mastering the mind. As the heart grows, life bring more joy and peace your way. A happy life wants you as much as you want it.

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In the end what matters to people is how much happiness they have brought to those they love and how much time they spent doing things they themselves loved. Trying to ensure those they left behind don't end up with the same regrets also became critical for many people. None of the life reviews I witnessed from their deathbeds were spent on thoughts of wishing they had bought or owned more, not even one. Instead, what most occupies the thoughts of dying people are how they lived their lives, what they did, and if they had made a positive difference to those they left behind, whether that was family, community or whoever.

The things you often think you need are sometimes the things that keep you trapped in an unfullfilled life. Simplicity is the key to changing this, that and letting go of the need for validation through ownership or through other's expectations of you.

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When we accept that there will always be learning and that some of this will bring suffering and some will bring happiness, we reach a place of better equanimity. From this perspective happiness becomes a more conscious choice and the waves are no longer so tumultuous. Some that may have once left you crushed and wounded may now be ridden with the skills that come from experience and wisdom.

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Of course, your perspective makes a huge difference to happiness, as beautiful Lenny showed. Despite the losses in his life, he focused on the gifts he had received and saw his life as a good one. The same view you look at everyday, the same life, can become something brand new by focusing on its gifts rather than the negative aspects. Perspective is your own choice and the best way to shift this perspective is through gratitude, by acknowledging and appreciating the positive.

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The peace each of these dear people found before their passing is available now, without having to wait until your final hours. You have the choice to change your life, to be courageous and to live a life true to your heart, one that will see you pass without regret.

Kindness and forgiveness are a great starting point. Not just to others, but to yourself as well. Forgiving yourself is also such a necessary component for this process. Without it, you continue to add fertilizer to the existing bad seeds in your mind by being hard on yourself, as I once did too. But self-forgiveness and kindness weakens the strenght of these seeds. Healthier ones replace them and grow stronger, in time overshadowing the old seeds until there is nothing left to sustain their growth.

The bravery needed to change your life is easier to find when you are kind on yourself. Good things take time too, so patience is also required. Every single one of us is an amazing person with a potential limited only by our own thinking. We are all amazing.

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It is time to realise your own worth and to realise the worth of others. Lay your judgements down. Be kind on yourself and be kind on others. As no one as ever truly walked in another's shoes, seen through another's eyes, or felt through another's heart for their whole life, no one knows just how much each other has suffered either. A little bit of empathy goes a long way.

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Life is over so quickly. It is possible to reach the end with no regrets. It takes some bravery to live it right, to honor the life you are here to live but the choice is yours. So will be the rewards. Appreciate the time you have left by valuing all of the gifts in your life and that includes especially, your own, amazing self.