Friday, 21 July 2017

No Regrets



One Regret

One regret that I am determined not to have
When I am lying upon my
death bed

is that we did not kiss
enough.
Shams-ud-din Muhammad Hafiz (1320-1389)


The words of Hafiz, written nearly 700 years resonate as much today as ever. If I were to change but one word it would be kiss for the word love. One regret that I am determined not to have, When I am lying upon my death bed is that we did not love enough.
What is it to love?
Where does it start?

I believe it starts with self. As Tim Cummins, the Verbal Surgeon says, 

“You can only love other people as much as you love yourself. So, love yourself first.”

I know it is a cliché to say that all you need is love, but it lays the way to making sure that when we are lying there, in the last moments we can look back and know that we lived a good life.
To live a life of love is to embrace all you are, warts and all. To accept yourself for who you are, we are after all, all perfectly imperfect. If we look at ourselves with acceptance we can learn to love the funny expression of life that we are. To embrace all our randomness and to love who we are. To do this we can start listening to what we truly want. I am not talking fancy cars and money, lots of stuff. Stuff very rarely leads to happiness. Only 7% of people say they are truly happy and guess what? They are not wealthy. The things we buy and fill our lives with are distractions, they stop us looking to much within, directing always our focus outward. The novelty will wear off is a saying most are familiar with, it is that saying that is the mantra of materialistic pleasure. The happiness we feel when we buy the new tv does wear off. The happiness we find when we start to listen to our inner voice and really search for what makes us happy is infinite.

As human beings we are not as advanced as our technology. We certainly do not need it for happiness. Our basic needs have not changed since the time we first emerged as Homo Sapiens. We need food, shelter, water. After that we seem to like sex, but we really are not so far removed from our distant selves.
If we live a life from a place of love we not only listen to our inner voice, valuing those things we truly need, the things that bring us true joy. These tend to be experiences, community and service. Experience enriches our lives, it fulfils the adventurer within us all, through experience we learn about who we are in relationship to the rest of reality. Community nourishes us, it fulfils the sense of belonging that as human social beings we crave. Service is the actions we take to help others of our community. Actions that will bring you happiness and fulfilment more than anything else. A lasting sense of joy is achieved when we do things for those around us. Try looking for a little act of random kindness that you can do every day and you will feel good, and that feeling will last if you do it every day.

Living with love means we do not give into fear, fear stops us from becoming the true expression of ourselves, it holds us back from grabbing those opportunities that enrich existence. When fear comes knocking at our door we will talk ourselves out of things, we will limit ourselves with self-imposed walls. If you find yourself experiencing hesitation, take a deep breath and just do it.
You see if you live a life with love you will spend your last moments content, happy with how your life has been, you will have loved yourself deeply, in turn you will have loved others passionately. Life will have been one big love affair and you will have embraced every opportunity, giving yourself permission to experience all that your journey has to offer. To lie there, on your death bed and say,” I have loved!” is to move beyond this life time complete, with no regrets.

Find that part of you that you can start to love, let that love expand and live a life with love. For yourself, for others and for the life you have, it is such a blessed gift. How can you not allow love to be. Your final kiss will be with life, and your time will have been good.

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