Bronnie Ware writes:
#5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness."
I have had a lot of happy times in my life. Also some very unhappy ones. Some, for long periods at a time. I agree, this was all by choice. I have chosen the life I have led; even the unhappy parts. I still believe the choices were born from a sense of obligation, mixed with a decades long notion that I could AND WOULD change the circumstances surrounding my unhappiness. All I had to do was "fix" the person I felt was responsible.
I am only 50 years old, and hopefully very far from dying. I did not print this series as a reflection of the end of my life. I printed it because I hope I still have a lot of life to live. And one day, when the time does come, I don't want regret. I want people to be able to say "Mary lived her life the way she wanted to!"