My Father’s Last Lesson: Live a Life with No Regrets
“Each minute we spend worrying about the future and regretting the past is a minute we miss in our appointment with life – a missed opportunity to engage life and to see that each moment gives us the chance to change for the better, to experience peace and joy.” ~ Nhat Hanh
I remember this precious moment so clearly. Nearly two years ago to the day I was again in Los Angeles to visit my father who was unwell. I was flying back and forth every month from London. Little did I know and fully comprehend just how rapid was the state of his decline. It was the last time I’d have some remnants of a conversation with him, the last time I’d see him laugh together with my son, and the last trip I’d ever see my father walk, without a wheelchair, outside of hospital or hospice.
We knew the tumours were growing aggressively beyond anything we could have ever imagined but still every trip was so very painful to see him in this way. It was this very visit that was the defining and life-changing moment for my family and me. It was this time that my father, without any words, gifted me the lesson to truly live a life of no regrets.
Which brings me to “Why?” After already moving my life ten years prior, 5,400 miles across the ocean from Los Angeles, and overcoming all the challenges to create a new and happy life, “Why did I move country again?”
Sure London life was great. We established firm roots, owning a home with a small garden (luxury) with both kids in the highly coveted (and highly wait-listed) French school. We had friends we’d known for years who were our family and whose children grew up with ours since being in diapers (aka nappies).
But the truth is, in the end none of us really know how much time we have on this earth. Every moment is sacred.
If there’s something even remotely on our radar – a dream, a wish- we must do our best to seize the day and take action.
Nearly 50 years passed and my father never did return to visit his native country of the Philippines. He had his reasons, but when the desire was there more than ever, by then it was too late.
Witnessing my father physically shut down and begin to leave us I vowed I would do my best to be fully present, to live a life of no regrets, no fear and instead in love – love for his life and his legacy…love for life.
So just coming back from this LA trip , my conversation with my husband was very different and took a completely different turn. Every winter my husband would get what I’d call his London “winter blues” when he’d talk about moving somewhere warm. But this time without a fight I said, “Yes. Okay, let’s do it. Let’s move”.
From that day on we set in motion our move down South. Because honestly, what’s the worst that could happen? We have each other, our health and our happiness. We’ll enjoy each other and enjoy the sun. And we could always move back…if that’s what we desired as a family.
Because in the end life is much more painful looking back to what could have been.
Now we’re living a life beyond anything we could have ever imagined. We have more time for ourselves and our days as a family are full of connection, love, happiness and most importantly, no regrets.
As a Los Angeles native it’s always been a dream of mine to live again close to the ocean. After ten beautiful years in London, sometimes I feel like I’m back in LA, living between the mountains and the sea. Even as I’m writing this blog we’re on our ski holidays, just less than two hours away from home.
I tell you all this not to brag but because I know it’s possible for you too. No matter what you’re going through at this moment, amongst the chaos, the stress and the pain you too can start to learn and take each opportunity as a chance to grow and experience more peace and joy.
You too can thrive not just survive.
You too can live a life of no regrets.
“How?” Be present.
Being present is most important gift you can give to yourself and to your loved ones. In being truly present it will allow you to more quickly adapt and thrive in new, challenging and even painful experiences. By first making connection with yourself you’ll be better equipped to live in a more natural state of flow and grace as each moment unfolds.
It’s through becoming present and aware that you can move through this chaotic world, through your stress and your pain, with more grace, more ease and truly live a life of no regrets.
I’ve dedicated my life in service to help make this world a better place as a coach guiding people to also FIND and FEEL peace, love and joy in their lives. If you have regrets about something or just can’t move past your pain then let’s talk. Click here to schedule a complimentary call with me. I would be honoured to guide you on your journey.
As always I’d love connecting with you and hear how you’re becoming present and living a happy life of no regrets. Head over to the comments section below to share.
With love and gratitude,