learning from our regrets

st. igatius’ spiritual exercises engage our imaginations to the love of God and living in the Spirit. on retreat, one of the exercises is to imagine that you are on your deathbed. ignatius asks the retreatant, if you were on your deathbed looking back on your life, what decisions do you wish you had made?

i was thinking about this ignatian question when i saw this article on the five biggest regrets from those who were dying. ( https://getpocket.com/explore/item/the-5-most-common-regrets-of-the-dying-and-what-we-can-learn-from-them?utm_source=pocket-newtab )

i copied and pasted the top five:


I Wish I’d Lived a Life True to Myself, Not the Life Others Expected of Me

I Wish I Hadn’t Worked so Hard

I Wish I’d Had the Courage to Express My Feelings

I Wish I Had Stayed in Touch With My Friends

I Wish I Had Allowed Myself to Be Happier


is regret primarily about what we did not do? what about the things we had done? ignatius’ question implies it; the results of the article point to it too.

could these regrets be re-worked? i regret living my life as others expected of me; i regret working so hard; i regret keeping my feelings to myself; i regret neglecting my friends; i regret doing things that did not make me happy.

could our thanksgiving reflections have a foundation in these themes?


  1. DC says:

    This is one of his questions of two if discernment does not bring us an answer. You wrote this well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. frarthurcmf says:

      thanks for the affirmation don! have a graced thanksgiving time


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