What I have really noticed has been from people I see who die very soon after I have talked to them. They have taught me more than anything I could teach myself.
What they have taught me is that, at the time when they know they are not going to be here in this solid-looking body, a lot of them have huge regrets about how they lived this life while they could have lived it.
Of all the things that I’ve noticed, this is 100 times stronger than anything else that comes up. All these other things are really nothing compared to this incredible need to say I should not have lived my life the way that I have lived it. Then the details vary. The details don’t matter. Different people have different regrets over different things. But it is always regrets about how life was lived which comes back to this business of being rigid.
Without their even being able to say it,
they have perceived their lives as being rigid with definitions;
and they regret it because they didn’t feel alive here.
They were here, but they didn’t live here. That’s why poets say it’s better to be alive 5 minutes in fire than 100 years in ice. It’s about self-imposed limitations and regrets.
Within these regrets the number one thing is their fear of allowing themselves to change in this life. They fear that it is not right or not safe for anything to change. They want everything to be as it was before.
This tremendous fear of changing
adds to the problem of being totally rigid.
Some examples of these regrets are: I didn’t speak to my son or daughter for the last 20 years. I was totally unkind to this person or that person. I should have told this person I’m sorry. I should have taken a trip to visit Kyoto in Japan because I always wanted to do it. But I never went. Instead of every day in my life going to work in this miserable job, I wish that I had had the strength to make a change even though I would have made less money. I could have done something else to let something blossom within me. And on and on and on.
Most of these regrets are about not giving enough love.
Not loving others and not giving love to themselves, they were never in change of their lives enough to give love to themselves.
So while we’re alive we can do a few things. I’m not talking about absolute things, and I don’t want these things to be confused with absolute things. This is just about things that I’ve learned for this life here. Maybe you don’t want to hear them. Maybe you have better ideas. I’m just sharing with you what I have found that has been worthwhile for me.
It has to be perfectly clear that I’m not perfect in what I’m saying. Where I’m perfect is in the absolute just as you are. But I’m not perfect here in the relative. I make many mistakes. But I have noticed that I’m getting better, and I’m allowing myself to get better. I’ve also noticed I don’t pay so much attention to whether I’m getting better or not getting better. I’m not keeping a ledger!
Somehow or another I catch myself more often every day in these things. But I’ve also noticed there are many times I don’t catch myself. When I don’t catch myself, I don’t punish myself by saying that since I didn’t catch myself I have now failed forever. I used to do that.
Just because I didn’t catch myself today and I got myself tangled up in a great miserydoes this mean that everything else that is good about me is forgotten? Of course not! But I had to go through all these things.