Many experiences shape our worldview, but certain life events leave an indelible mark on our perspective. In an online forum, women were asked to share a single event that significantly impacted their worldview. From heart-wrenching tragedies to moments of profound realization, their stories offer a glimpse into the transformative power of a single life event.
1. Getting Divorced
Getting divorced can be a difficult and painful experience, but it can also be transformative. A recently divorced woman shares it's been a difficult and life-changing experience. She had to navigate through her family relationships, learn how to manage her finances, house, and single parenting in one fell swoop. The divorce also caused her to lose her social life and rely on people she didn't want to.
However, it wasn't all doom and gloom. She learned a lot from the experience and found freedom and courage to make decisions that were in the best interest of herself and her children. She became a better mother and recognized the importance of love and giving acts of love. She learned from her mistakes and won't make the same ones again.
Ultimately, the divorce taught her to value the blessings in her life. What struck me the most was how she shared that she had to learn how to find grace for the woman her husband cheated on her with and who became her son's stepmom.
2. Having a Near-Death Experience
A few people shared that they had near-death experiences that transformed their views of life. Unsurprisingly, when things get tough, they can now put things into perspective. Conscious experience is all we have and all we have ever had, and when you almost lose it in an instant, you're reminded that life is fleeting, not forever. Many share that nearly dying caused them to feel more gratitude for the simpler things in life and stay focused on what matters.
3. The Pandemic
The pandemic has highlighted the government's and individuals' inadequacies in managing crises. Misinformation spread during the pandemic made it clear that we can't rely on either the government or ourselves. We thought we were in the same boat, but in reality, we were all in the same storm, weathering it in different vessels.
Some of us were struggling in kayaks, some were holding on to plank woods, while others were fortunate enough to be in private yachts. Some even say the pandemic changed their view on Universal Basic Income because they witnessed people collect their free money and choose not to return to work for as long as possible.
Another person says, “The isolation from friends and family is still impacting relationships today. And the world, as a whole, just seems so much more emotionally charged now.”
4. Hitting Rock Bottom
Hitting rock bottom can be a turning point in someone's life. It can serve as a wake-up call and force individuals to confront their problems and make necessary changes. While walking home from the bus stop on a cold, rainy day, a passing car hit a puddle and sprayed this down-on-their-luck individual with a painful mixture of ice, dirt, and water that made them realize how low they had sunk.
After a long shift of surviving their Target stocking job, they were already feeling angry and frustrated because their janky car had died earlier that week, and they couldn't afford to fix it. Now, they were walking three miles home in the rain. Sitting on the ground and crying for 30 minutes, they felt like a loser for living in their mom's basement, working a dead-end job for minimum wage.
But that moment of despair was also a turning point. It was the catalyst that pushed them to enroll in college and change their life for the better. It made them realize they needed to stop feeling sorry for themselves and start working towards a brighter future.
5. Meeting My Significant Other
We hear a lot about how partners can change people for the worst but rarely about their potential to change us for the better. One smitten individual claims they were a less thoughtful and ethical person before meeting their partner, who has only taught them to be more compassionate. Choosing a partner is one of the most important things you will ever do.
If you're going to embark on a life-long journey together, you'll want to make sure it's with the right person. Thankfully, many women shared their partner's positive influence on their lives. You are the company you keep, so who you choose to spend your life with should not be taken lightly.
6. Cutting off Toxic People
You may think you're keeping the peace by tolerating toxic, disagreeable, and petty people, but you're just robbing yourself of peace. Tolerating people who cross your boundaries will only cause you to lose respect for yourself. A woman who finally cut off all the toxic people in her life at once experienced drastic improvements in her mental and physical health. That's how emotionally draining toxic people can be – if they don't make you feel sick emotionally, you'll make yourself physically ill from all of the stress.
7. Having a Child
It should be no surprise that women would view life differently after having a child. For some, maternal instincts kick in right away, and they suddenly feel so many things in life that used to feel so important suddenly seem silly and meaningless. One mother says she now views everything differently through the lens of motherhood, and everything now makes her cry.
8. Getting Diagnosed With a Life-Threatening Condition
Several people commented about receiving serious medical diagnoses like cancer and how the sudden realization that you're “on the clock” can feel paralyzing, especially when you don't have the money or energy to “live like you're dying.” We often have this glorification of stories where people find out they're dying and suddenly have a lust for life, knocking everything off their bucket list. Tragically, countless people read their fates but don't have the opportunity to take on all of life's adventures.
9. Losing a Spouse
This one hit me like a ton of bricks. A grieving widow says that it wasn't until she lost her husband that she understood true suffering. “It changed my whole life to the point that I am not the same person anymore. The things I used to fret and worry about just don't worry me anymore,” she said. She adds, “Life is too short. It fundamentally changed me to my core.” Cherish your loved ones because you never know when it's the end of your road together.
That fateful date of September 11, 2001, changed everything for us all. Society as we knew it transformed, leaving an everlasting wound in our historical memory. Culturally, we became angry and less trusting. On an individual level, there's a particular connection that New Yorkers who were in the area during 9/11 have with one another.
Much like the comradery soldiers who go off to war feel for each other, the shared trauma has caused deep sentimentality and pride associated with New York City and America in general. Post 9/11, air travel and security measures were tightened up worldwide. Now everyone hates going to the airport because it takes forever to get through security procedures from monotone TSA agents who hate their lives.
11. Losing a Parent
Losing a parent can be a traumatic and life-changing experience. It can force individuals to confront their mortality and make them appreciate their time with loved ones. Some individuals also shared that losing a parent made them realize the importance of family and strengthened their relationships with siblings.
No one ever wants to lose a parent, but it can have a profoundly different effect on you depending on the age you are when it happens. It's confusing to be a child with a limited or non-existent understanding of death for one of their primary caregivers to disappear from their life suddenly. These events can have lifelong impacts on their attachment style, so it's important that they have support systems.
It can also be really difficult losing a parent just as you become one. One woman speaks of her experience grieving her father's death as she brought her own child into this world. She wishes more than anything that her kids were able to know him.
12. Losing My Religion
Losing one's religion can be a transformative experience that alters one's worldview. It can lead to a greater sense of freedom, self-awareness, and a desire to explore new beliefs and philosophies. Some individuals also shared that losing their religion led to a greater appreciation for the diversity of human thought and experience.
However, it can also leave people feeling like they have a huge void that they need to fill. Humans naturally gravitate towards religiosity, even in the absence of organized religion, often leading to people creating religions out of ideologies or idols.
This thread inspired this post.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.