It might have been...
Several years ago I was handed a suitcase of old papers by the widow of a well known local magician, the hope was that I could find something to share with the magical community so as to "leave something" to remember him by.
Among the tattered and sepia papers in the case were ideas of routines, comedic sketches and magical effects. These were shared with members of the local magic community in a special publication.
Within the pages of one of the note books I found the following poem...
Of all the sad, sad words that pass men’s lips,
The saddest of them all is these — “It might have been”
It might have been — It might have been
Four little words, yet what do they mean?
They tell us of misery, ruin and loss,
Of the fortune that’s gone on the turn or the toss
Of a card or a coin
They tell of the dear ones gone pass recall
A memory now though she once was his all.
It might have been.
Of shame and repentance and who knows but you
In the depths your heart holds memories too…
Memories, memories, shattered cracked dreams
Things that once had been secure in your grasp.
Now well, they might have been
They pass ever before us in ghastly array,
Their skeleton chains rattle by day,
And worse in the night they come back to torment us,
To mock and to say,
“We’re the ghosts of your promises your hopes and your dreams
We’re the things that you worked for,
Your plans and your schemes.
We’re far away from you
There’s a gulf in between,
We’re gone now for ever,
But once might have been”.
I came across an article about Bronnie Ware – an Australian nurse and counsellor – worked in palliative care; taking care of terminally ill people, most of whom had less than 12 weeks to live. And a lot of her work involved providing counselling and relief from the physical and mental stresses that come naturally when a human being comes face to face with their mortality. During her conversations she would talk about regrets and might have been's...
It is from the lips of the dying then, that the living can take advice for here are the top five regrets reported by Bronnie Ware:
1) I wish I pursued my dreams and aspirations, and not the life others expected of me
The lesson - if you know what really makes you happy, do it!
2) I wish I didn’t work so hard
The lesson - simplifying your lifestyle; making better choices, so you may not need all that money you're chasing
3) I wish I had the courage to express my feelings and speak my mind
The lesson - speak your mind, express your true feelings so reduce the build up stores of bitterness that cause distress
4) I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
The lesson - stay connected, really connected
5) I wish I had let myself be happier
The lesson - happiness is, perhaps a choice.? Work towards letting go of past hurts, pains and negativity whilst be empowered by pasts successes, loves and joys. We can't change our pasts, but we can change the way we react to it.
Dr Alan B Jones
Director Inspire NLP
Coach, Trainer, Author