December 4

LOVE MONTH: DAY 4: “The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.”― Ted Hughes

There is a fact that has come into my experience over and over again. The dying people I have either known or worked with have all told me this exact truth.

They have never once expressed that they wish they had worked harder or left more money for their loved ones. They HAVE, every single one of them, talked to me about their desire to have spent more time with their loved ones, lived a bit more fully in each precious moment, instead of racing around to DO and HAVE more; and been completely alive in every experience they were present to. Most of the time they talk about having their priorities all wrong. That life should not be about work and money and having things versus spending good time with friends and loved ones before they were gone. That they regret only the times they missed out on with others and that they spent too little of their life loving the natural world that they always figured they would “get to” someday, some far off future day that never came.

Loving others is not shown in dollars. It is not about buying the most toys or the biggest home or the newest and shiniest car. While we work our lives away to have those things, life is slipping past us and going on without us being present to it. That is what I have learned from those who have died and their teachings to me. Also from the experience of missing them and wishing for another moment or hour to make things better or right with that person.

Regret has nothing to do with love. When we have fulfilled our purpose in loving someone and being totally with them, we have no regrets about how we were with that person. We KNOW we were loving toward them as much as possible. There is nothing to regret. We may miss them, but that too is part of loving them. And, as Mr. Hughes states, “nothing else really counts at all.”

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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