For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.
People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.
When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
The German photographer Ralf Brunner made a deeply moving photo-documentary depicting the last 4 years of a heroin addict life with AIDS. He shows us the depression and feeling of a situation none of us would want to be in. Extremely disturbing at some points, but it really shows depth of emotion in every photograph. You can look at one and feel depressed, sad, lonely and feel the unbearable pain suffered by this man.
Life sucks. (37 years old). Most days, I consider killing myself for being such a waste of human existence. Ashamed of being a male human. Feelings of inadequacy.
Like I can’t believe I was the fastest sperm that came out of my father’s balls. Unable to attract a woman (despite no physical defects) in an age where casual sex is not just the norm, it is like breathing air. It feels like I wish I had some sort of disease or crippling physical defect that would at least give me an excuse for not having done it.
It has affected my confidence and self esteem (from work, to relationships with friends and family) and basically shattered me in ways not many would understand. The longer time passed (I am talking about my early 20′s), the more anti-social, afraid to just interact in the society I became. Women could sense the awkwardness, the shyness, they could sniff it out. Like I had a tattoo on my forehead that said “VIRGIN”
In my later 20′s, I became extremely bitter, full of hatred for myself, women, successful normal men.
In my 30′s, it became less about the sex and more about the not having any intimacy of any kind. Not knowing what it feels like to kiss a girl, make out, cuddle, anything.
So far I have refused to pay for it as then I think of it as being unable to naturally get a woman. It would still make me a freak. I have no issue with people paying for it, but usually people who pay for it, have already attracted women normally without it, and just want physical sex without effort of dating and etc…. So it is not the same.
The Effects Of War Does Not Begin And End On The Battlefield…The Story of Scott Ostrom: Ex-Marine with PTSD
In an attempt to calm a panic attack in his Boulder apartment, Scott Ostrom cups his hand over his mouth. After his honorable discharge from the Marines, Ostrom has struggled with daily life, from finding employment to maintaining healthy relationships.
Scott Ostrom counts the stitches in his wrist a few days after he attempted suicide. He believes that every combat vet struggling with PTSD has a contingency plan. "Every one of us has a suicide plan. We all know how to kill, and we all have a plan to kill ourselves."
Take A Break From The Grind To Remember That There Is A Big, Beautiful World Out There Waiting To Be Explored!
Writer and reporter, Richard Deitsch asked his Twitter followers to share photos that capture important moments in people’s lives. Here are some of the most memorable shares.
We have all read about people who are successful briefly. They win a gold medal, make a fortune, or star in one great movie and then disappear.…These examples do not inspire me!
My focus and fascination is with people who seem to do well in many areas of life, and do it over and over through a lifetime. In entertainment, I think of Paul Newman and Bill Cosby. In business, I think of Ben and Jerry (the ice cream moguls)…As a Naval Officer, husband, businessman, politician and now as a mediator and philanthropist on the world stage, Jimmy Carter has had a remarkable life. We all know examples of people who go from one success to another.
These are the people who inspire me! I’ve studied them, and I’ve noticed they have the following traits in common:
They work hard! Yes, they play hard, too! They get up early, they rarely complain, they expect performance from others, but they expect extraordinary performance from themselves. Repeated, high-level success starts with a recognition that hard work pays off.
They are incredibly curious and eager to learn. They study, ask questions and read—constantly! An interesting point, however: While most of them did well in school, the difference is that they apply or take advantage of what they learn. Repeated success is not about memorizing facts, it’s about being able to take information and create, build, or apply it in new and important ways. Successful people want to learn everything about everything!
They network. They know lots of people, and they know lots of different kinds of people. They listen to friends, neighbors, co- workers and bartenders. They don’t have to be "the life of the party," in fact many are quiet, even shy, but they value people and they value relationships. Successful people have a Rolodex full of people who value their friendship and return their calls.
They work on themselves and never quit! While the "over-night wonders" become arrogant and quickly disappear, really successful people work on their personality, their leadership skills, management skills, and every other detail of life. When a relationship or business deal goes sour, they assume they can learn from it and they expect to do better next time. Successful people don’t tolerate flaws; they fix them!
We are the first intelligent animals to know that death is inevitable and that will happen to us some day. It’s a scary thought. However, death may actually be the most beautiful thing we have. Right now we believe that we have one consciousness, but we don’t. Our consciousness is incredibly complicated. The brain has multiple neuronal groups, each responsible for a small part of our whole conscious. And each of those neuronal groups are made up of billions of individual neurons. When our consciousness is being expressed, it’s actually expressed through the firing of electric current through groups of neurons, so it’s always different every fraction of the second. We are actually continuously re birthing and dying in our minds, but our brain makes it seem as though it’s one continuous entity. It’s beautiful. We are merely constructs of the mind, and the mind is constructs of biology. Biology is a construct of incredibly complex chemistry down to the molecular level, and each molecule is a construct of the most fundamental physics that govern our universe, all gaining mass through the Higgs field that runs through the entire universe.
If you really think about it, our consciousness is based on physics, therefore it is physics. And since the universe is based on physics, then basically we are the universe. Each of us is just the universe expressing itself in different forms. And we are living during a very brief moment in time where humanity is discovering this truth, and has the scientific evidence to back this fact up (the Buddhists were right all along.)
You, yourself, are the product of billions of years of evolution. You budded off your mother, who budded off hers, who budded off hers… going all the way up to the first life form that existed on this planet. All the people that exist today are part of that line of organisms that never died, all those organisms that evolved through natural selection. Each of us can be traced back to that very first life form. I honestly feel amazed every time I think about this. And honestly, we all should. Evolution is a beautiful thing. And the most amazing thing about it is that it’s our work of art… Because we are the universe. We created ourselves. When we are studying atoms, we’re only atoms studying itself. We should stand in awe at our creation and look ahead at what we can continue to create in this brief moment of time that we have in this form. It’s amazing how we are wired to appreciate ourself, an infinitesimal beauty. It’s a gift that we are giving to ourself to admire.
And the most amazing thing is that we gave ourself the gift of what we perceive as consciousness, so that we can spend time appreciating our own existence.