Regrets.  We all have them.  We regret something we did.  We regret something we didn’t do.  We regret choices. We regret relationships.  We regret staying too long in something. We regret not giving the second chance.  We regret hurting another person.

In Bronnie Ware’s Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing, she shares with her readers (myself included) the 5 biggest regrets of the dying.  Can you imagine? Getting to the end of your earthly, physical life, and lamenting things that you didn’t do.  I would bet that all of us can relate to this because, as we live right now, we probably have some kind of regret.  But, what is a regret?

When I look back at the origin of the word, it comes from the French, regreter, meaning to “long after, bewail, lament.”  These are words that we would associated with dying.  We bewail or lament the death of a loved one. But a regret?  What are we actually lamenting or bewailing?

Bronnie’s book lists 5 regrets.  I would imagine there are many more.  And they are not regrets for things. They are regrets for the way one has lived or has not lived.  Regrets of the dying are about life and living!

I have a quote in my office from Norman Cousins:

“Death is not the greatest loss in life.

The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”

For me, this speaks to my understanding of what a regret is!  The dream that goes unfulfilled because of fear. Not being true to oneself.  Giving over power to someone else that doesn’t deserve it. Making excuses for why one is living the life they are living.  Staying stuck in a job out of fear or obligation.

The greatest loss is when we see something else for ourselves and then we let that vision, that image die because of fear, obligation, lack of confidence, comfort, paralysis, or excuses.  “That will never come true.” “That is too risky.” “I won’t be able to do it.” “My life is good just as it is.”

When we let that deeply desired career die inside of us.  When we settle in a relationship for something less than what we truly desire.  When we give the direction of our life over to someone else because we lack the confidence to venture forth.  When we let the fear of risking paralyze us and hold us hostage. Regrets.

So, what is the opposite of living a life of regrets?  Living a life where these things do not die inside of us while we are living!  Living life with a sense of purpose, direction, joy, fulfillment! Paying attention to what goes on inside of us when we feel ourselves at a crossroads in life.  Not giving into fear. Not giving our power or choices over to someone or something else, especially where it involves our integrity and authenticity! Live a life where our deepest desires are given the chance to be expressed, created and developed!  They are given life!

Regrets are about the parts of us, the parts of our lives that were never given the chance to even experience life!  They were born in us, but died in us long before they saw the light of day. Don’t let this happen. Might these parts of us that are yearning for life be divinely inspired?  Might they come from God? Might they be a call to our highest, truest selves? It would be devastatingly sad to die and never live the life we were meant to live. That would be my greatest regret.  What’s yours?

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C.O.R.E. Fitness

One of my lenten practices has been a focus on my physical health, my vitality.  I want to be in better shape.  I want more energy.  I just want to feel healthier.  Of course, there are many ways to do this.  From committing to the gym and exercise on a routine basis, to monitoring what I ingest.  All of it is involved.

One practice I’m trying to incorporate daily is working on my core.  I am attempting to do a plank everyday for at least 1 minute.  I am trying to increase that time as I go through lent, trying to get to 3 minutes before the end of lent.  I’m also committing to sit ups daily.  Core exercises have many benefits.  They help with balance and stability.  They help strengthen back muscles.  They help with lifting and bending.  There are so many pluses to a good core.

However, I am also trying to focus on my C.O.R.E. - Center Of Relevancy and Energy.  That’s the place in me where I reside.  Where my true self is.  Where my gifts, talents, strengths and potential are.  That C.O.R.E. is essential to my well being too.  It helps me find balance in my life when it gets out of whack.  It gives me strength when I need it most.  It helps me lift up myself and others when life throws a big pile of poo on us!

It’s the very center of my being that gives me purpose.  It’s where I find my relevancy, my why.  It’s where I get energy for the day and tasks that lie ahead of me.

My C.O.R.E. connects me to my God, my spiritual center, my higher power.  It is the place that centers me when life is throwing me off center.  The “plank” that I do for this C.O.R.E. is an exercise that I hold for longer than a minute.  In fact, I try to hold it for at least 20 minutes.  It’s my daily prayer and meditation practice.  It’s the practice where I focus solely on me and my connection to something bigger than myself - God.  I hold it, sometimes painfully and shaking, so that I can become stronger in my true essence.  I hold it so that I can be reminded (yet, again) of my life purpose.  I hold it so that I can be a healthy presence in a world so in need of healing.

How are you working your C.O.R.E. today?  And what is being strengthened in you as you work your C.O.R.E.?  What is your relevancy?

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