I’m continuing the theme of writing based on one’s own voice rather than seeking to please others or to sell something to someone. Today’s insight comes from what may seem to be an unusual place: a book on death and dying. Bronnie Ware spent many years providing palliative care for persons who were dying, and in the process discovered life changing truths. The first of these I would like to share with you today and the rest over the next several posts.
Regret Number One: I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
In recovery work the most common issue is one of codependency: the desire to please others or to seek affirmation from others. I struggle with codependency and the roots go deep for most of us. It is natural to look to parents and other caregivers to provide guidance early in life. Culture and authority figures begin to impose expectations on how to dress, speak, and act, even going as far as the profession one should choose. Instruction is very necessary for the young child, and yet at some point the child must learn to take on life for herself. The lesson to be learned from the dying is that living a life true to one’s own values is critical to life satisfaction. To actually do this requires courage and support.
A question for today: What would it look like to be in touch with your authentic self and base your life on this foundation?
Thanks for reading and I welcome your comments.