Remember the book: Who Stole My Cheese?
Well, I have a better story. It’s called “Who Stole My Life?”
It’s a real page turner. It goes like this…
You are the main character. You just turned 70. You’ve spent a lifetime working a job (or several) you were pretty good at, but which were unfulfilling to you.
You gave most of yourself to them anyway, because that is what was expected of you. You didn’t want to let other people down because they needed you to spend your life doing what you were doing.
Even though you were unhappy and unfulfilled doing these jobs, you sucked it up and fulfilled the “obligation”.
Now you are nearing the end-stage of your life.
You’re looking back at how fast time went by.
You’re looking at photographs of yourself in your 30s, 40s, 50s. Amazing… It feels like just yesterday!
Except now, you’re body is tired, you have trouble remembering things, you just don’t have the same stamina. You are getting old.
You look at those photos of yourself in your younger middle age and think: “I was so young then! I could have done anything! The whole world was mine for the taking!”
And then you begin to cry.
You feel a deep, painful regret about how you spent your time and energy here.
Your entire being swells with an intense feeling of remorse. You are literally overcome with grief as you recognize that you didn’t express your human purpose in your life as you were meant to.
Your chance to experience the world and give away the gifts you were born with were stolen away by time and all the distractions it brought forth, keeping you from truly being you.
As your body convulses with grief, you start apologizing. “I’m so sorry”, you cry, over and over. You are apologizing to yourself, as you openly – perhaps for the first time – recognize the deep betrayal of your soul that has taken place.
“I am so, so sorry”, you admit, out loud.
But it is too late. What is done is done. You can’t change how life happened. You can only see it through from this moment on, as a seventy or eighty or ninety year old, looking back. And guess what you think about most?
What you wish you’d done differently with your life.
How silly you were to waste so much valuable time on things that held no meaning for you.
How you wish you could turn back the clock and do it right. Be yourself. Give your gifts. Feel rich inside.
You wish you could die as a happy, fulfilled person, someone who could look back on their lives with pride and satisfaction.
You see these other older people sometimes at bingo and bridge – and you wonder why they look so regal, like royalty even.
You instantly know it’s because when they look back at their lives, it’s always with a smile, remembering how they fulfilled their destiny here with grace and fortitude. How they challenged themselves to listen to their souls, even when it was hard to hear it through the noise of all the naysayers (like you) telling them how silly they were being.
But now, you can see that they lived a life worth living. They spent their time well. They did what they came here to do.
If only you’d made different choices and discovered your own true gifts and strengths, then found a way to give them to the world, you’d be just like them.
But you didn’t, and so you’re not.
Don’t let this happen to you.