Thursday, March 29, 2012

Life Do Overs

Life's Do Overs
I was thinking about 2012 and all the anticipation its brought to so many people. After reflecting on all the reasons that it's held us enthralled one simple thought rang out. 2012 offers a chance to really start anew with a blank slate. The more I thought about that blank slate, it seemed that like kids or casual golfers, we're looking down the barrel of a real-life Do-Over. Healers Network Blank Logo 

Life is so full of promise and opportunity, especially when you're young. Goals get set and each one seems achievable. You're invincible! You can do anything and conquer any challenge. Then something happens along the way. John Lennon called it life. He said, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." He said that in a song lyric written just before he died.

But what about us? What about the goals and invicibility? As we get older, go off to college, get a job, assume more and more responsibility, perhaps get married and have children, the goals go dormant. All the promises and ideas we had sort of go into limbo. Most of the time, even the dreams get put aside. Every so often we're reminded of them, but usually it takes a crisis - health, job loss, death in the family, or even age - to revive the old thoughts or ideals of our youth. As the crisis unfolds we finally take time to look back on the life journey and wonder how the choices of the past took us to this point.

But what if we took a moment at this stage in life to reflect on what's important now? Is what we're doing now different from what was important in our youth? Can the dreams be re-captured?  What if the dreams aren't lost but were merely shelved? We often ask "God" to help us out of the crisis and usually make promises that go for naught.  But, what if there was a chance to "do over" our life? 

Recently, I read an article about a hospice care-giver who spent most of her time with patients in the final stages of their lives. She noticed most people grow the most when faced with their own mortality. So she undertook a project of asking herHealers Network Blank Logopatients what were the five things they most regretted in life or would have done differently. The patients, knowing they were in the final hours of their lives, wished they had done many things before it was too late.

Their Life Do-Over wishes were more than a list. The Do-Overs were really a philosophy of living. They spoke of being true, having courage, nurturing friendships, and expressing joy.  Their top five said:

1) I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself instead of the life others expected of me.
2) I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
3) I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.
4) I wish I had stayed in touch with my old friends.
5) I wish I had let myself be happier. 

2012 opens the gateway to the new world prophecies. We have a clean slate and can write anything on it. We have more than the hospice patients. We have the dreams, the memories, the friendships and the awareness. And, better yet, we have the time. It's not too late for us! 
Jo Mooy - April 2012

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