14 Experiences That Forever Change the Way We See the World

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Many experiences shape our worldview, but certain life events leave an indelible mark on our perspective. From heart-wrenching tragedies to moments of profound realization, single life events can change the trajectory of our lives. 

1. Losing a Partner

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Whether you went through a rough breakup or your parent passed away, the loss of someone you love so unconditionally can alter the way you see the world.

2. Losing a Sibling

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Losing a sibling is a different kind of loss. For some, it can feel like losing a piece of yourself or being one of the only people who know exactly what your life was like. No wonder it is so devastating.

3. Losing a Parent

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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 people find that losing a parent makes them realize the importance of family, leading them to strengthen their relationships with siblings.

4. Having a Near-Death Experience

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A near-death experience can transform your views of life. 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. Nearly dying causes you to feel more grateful for life's simpler things and stay focused on what matters.

5. Meeting A Significant Other

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We hear a lot about how partners can change people for the worse but rarely about their potential to change us for the better. Choosing a partner is one of the most important things you will ever do.

6. Getting Divorced

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Getting divorced can be a difficult and painful experience, but it can also be transformative. All you can hope is that after your separation from your spouse, you grow to become a better and stronger person than you were before. 

7. The Pandemic

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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.

8. Hitting Rock Bottom

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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. Moments of despair can be the catalysts that push us forward once we stop feeling sorry for ourselves and begin to work towards a brighter future. 

9. Cutting off Toxic People

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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. If toxic people don't make you feel sick emotionally, you'll make yourself physically ill from the stress of dealing with them. 

10. Getting Diagnosed With a Life-Threatening Condition

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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 love for life, knocking everything off their bucket list. Tragically, countless people face their fates without the opportunity to take on all of life's adventures.

11. Losing a Spouse

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Losing a spouse is just as transformative as finding one. If you're losing the person you married, chances are you're also losing your best friend. Cherish your loved ones because you never know when it's the end of your road together.

12. 9/11

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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. Everyone hates going to the airport because it takes forever to get through security procedures from monotone TSA agents who hate their lives.

13. Losing A Religion

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Losing one's religion can be a transformative experience that alters one's worldview. It can lead to greater freedom, self-awareness, and a desire to explore new beliefs and philosophies. 

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.

14. Having a Child

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It should be no surprise that women view life differently after having a child. For some, maternal instincts kick in right away, and they suddenly feel so many things that used to feel so important suddenly seem silly and meaningless.

Author: Jaimee Marshall

Title: Freelance Writer

Expertise: Politics, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Pop Culture


Jaimee Marshall is a culture writer, avid movie buff, and political junkie. She spends the bulk of her time watching and critiquing films, writing political op-eds, and dabbling in philosophy. She has a Communication Studies degree from West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where she flirted with several different majors before deciding to pursue writing. As a result, she has a diverse educational background, having studied economics, political science, psychology, business admin, rhetoric, and debate.