Here is the fourth regret of the dying as reported by Bronnie Ware in her book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.
I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends
I have been blogging about regrets for several posts and this one has special resonance. As children it is wonderful to discover friendship. Think for a moment of your first experience of friendship? Write a paragraph about this in order to not lose the thought.
I remember the uniqueness of being accepted by someone who did not have to like me. This person was not a family member and so did not have to spend time with me. The amazing thing was they wanted to spend the time. Finding a kindred spirit, a person who sees life as I do, gave resonance to communication that provided a basis for friendship.
Friendships takes work however and this is where the regret enters. Busyness postpones friendship! Unbalanced priorities take a toll on more than just me. My relationships suffer as well.
Who is a Friend?
Answer this question: “How are you?”
Did the word “Fine” come to mind?”
If you answer “Fine” to a person who asks this of you, the odds are that they are not a friend, but simply an acquaintance. The difference may seem minor, but in truth, it is very important.
Who can you talk with when you have a crisis? A child dies tragically; the diagnosis is not what you expected to hear; a partner has betrayed you. Acquaintances will not do in these situations. Only a friend can provide the listening ear needed.
Now, think of the regret. “I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends” sounds like a person facing an end of life crisis alone. This thought to me is tragic. The urgent task is to build and maintain a friendship network before you need it.
What these regrets are teaching me and hopefully I am able to express to you, is that the best and most satisfying life I can lead is to be authentic, balanced, and value my primary relationships. This will require re-prioritizing life in order to make time for friends.
Action step for today: Who do you need to call, write, or contact in order to renew or maintain your friendship?
Write about this process and let me know!
I like the theme of friendship and will be blogging more on this in the near future. By the way- I meet with my best friend every Tuesday morning. We’ve been meeting for years and this is a vital part of my life. Thanks for being my friend Bill!