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How to Live a Life Without Regrets

Most of us want to live a life we’re proud of. A life where we feel we make the right decisions. Sometimes we fuck up, simply because we didn’t have enough information. At other times, it’s because we’re scared. Scared of failure. Scared of rejection. Scared of getting hurt. Scared of humiliation. Scared of…something…

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Want to know a secret? As a kid I was so scared I didn’t speak unless spoken to. Today, most people don’t realize this. If I try to tell them, some plain don’t believe me. Yet, the fear still haunts me sometimes. The fear that if I open up, I get rejected for who I am. That there’s something wrong inside of me. That the bullies were right.

Of course, I’ve proven this to be true many times over. I chose to surround myself with people who would reenforce my belief. Because I didn’t state up front who I am, because I was scared, I attracted the wrong people and/or expressed myself in the wrong way.

The thing is, if you never open up, you may never be rejected for who you are, but nor will you be loved for who you are. To meet the right people, you need to be yourself; living from your heart.

So what are you sacrificing by not living your truth?

What Regret Feels Like

I “met” a guy named Dave when I wrote an article about him for an online dating site. It was an article about men in uniform. He was a sailor with a blog. A blog where he shared the pains of PTSD after being in the Australian Navy. He was a man who was hailed a hero. He’d saved lives. Yet, he also lived with darkness.

As I read his blog, I was swept away by it. I was touched. So I wrote him a comment, because I thought he deserved it. He put himself out there. Something I strived to do with my blog. Because I didn’t want anyone to feel as weird and awkward as I did as a kid, I’d started a blog. To share it all. To help others find themselves. To find myself. To dare to be open, so if only on my blog. On my blog, I never had problems expressing myself. On my blog I could reveal all, because I wasn’t scared. Well, sometimes I was, but not like in real life.

And I really admired that Dave put himself out there. That he spoke about what depression is like. That he made it less “weird.” He was a hero for fuck’s sake and he was hot, too.

So, anyway, Dave read my comment, which led to him reading my blog, which led to him looking me up on LinkedIn and messaging me. We became online buddies.

Over the years, I always held a place in my heart for the stranger in Australia. He was a man I was curious about, he was a man I admired and a man I felt a level of kinship with. He’d been through war. I’d been through a township in South Africa. Friends would kindly point out that I had PTSD from my life experiences. But I put myself back together every time I broke. I won the battle with my mind time and time again.

This week, I commented on one of Dave’s status updates on Facebook. He was working on his memoir. He shared a piece about losing his baby to cot death many years ago. As I read it, I thought to myself that I’d interview him for Vigyaa. I wasn’t sure about what, but the man had enough life experience that I we would find one angle or another. It kept popping up in my mind. That I would finally get to speak to him. I was planning to reach out to him in a couple of days.

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Today I found out that Dave killed himself this week. And I got furious. I got furious because I knew full well that I never explored that connection properly. Never explored the kinship I felt. And now I’m never gonna have a chance to speak — actually speak — to the man I felt a connection with.

It’s made me realize all those times I spoke half-truths. When I said “I like you” instead of “I love you.” When I said “it’s OK,” instead of “you hurt me.” When I hinted instead of expressed myself clearly. When I didn’t open my door, because I was scared.

We have so many different connections with people. Beautiful connections. Yet, we don’t always express what we feel. Nor do we always explore the connections we want to explore. Because we’re scared, or busy, or some other such thing. But to me, human relationships are the most beautiful relationships of all. So what are we missing if we don’t explore them?

How to Overcome Fear

As a child, I was scared people wouldn’t love me, so I shut my door to protect myself. Then I tried to make myself lovable. Perfect. And opened my door half-way. Now I’ve realized you can’t make people love you. But you can open yourself up to them. Open the door. Let them in. While you love yourself. And if there is a genuine connection, you will find it. If there is not, it’s not rejection — it’s simply not a fit.

Human relationships are messy. If you’re zen, grounded, happy and love yourself, you’ll be able to handle them. You get involved in the right way with people. You can open your door to the world, because you know that you are whole. That you don’t expect someone else to heal you, or fear being caught up in their drama, or being rejected by their broken egos.

I used to be scared of what happened if I expressed my truth; my feelings. In the past couple of months, I’ve become scared of what happens when I don’t.

I don’t know what frightens you. What you’re dodging. If so just a little bit. Whether it be the sharks in the ocean, or the idea of failing a test. Whatever it is that is holding you back from doing what you want to do. The best way to overcome that fear? Realize what you’re missing out on. Do you actually want to wake up one day, knowing you no longer have the opportunity to do something?

That’s what hit me today. I can no longer speak to someone, because they’re gone.

We didn’t speak much over the years, but ever so often I’d get to hear I was amazing. I thought he was pretty amazing too. That he inspired me. I just didn’t say it. Because I was scared. I was scared he had PTSD and that I’d get caught up and…I know what depression feels like. I didn’t want to go there. The truth is, I didn’t have to go there. I could keep my door open without getting caught up. I just didn’t know that then.

Thank you Dave. Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for your blog. Thank you for all the messages saying I’m a beautiful person. Thank you. May you have found peace my friend. 

These are the blogs that made us friends his and mine:Dave Stafford and Confessions of a Dizzy Blonde 



Related Articles

It's really hot outside right now - and sometimes the question is, what are we going to do now to offer the kids something despite the heat? We have some tips for you, maybe you can use them with your little ones.


Water fun in the pool


We have a pool in the garden, but it is not very big, about 3 meters in diameter, in our eyes absolutely sufficient for a fun or quiet cooling. Surely you can not swim in it, but in order to "dive" for an object, or "water dances" or just to relax, it is definitely enough.


One should not forget that also in the water to the sun protection must be thought. That means, as in the outdoor swimming pool: do not forget to apply creams. In the best case, the pool is in the shade or is protected by a larger parasol. Ours is in the sun - we hold the children in strong heat and sun to regular water breaks, so that they can then stay in the shade. Sometimes they do not see it directly, but with some persuasion and an ice cream or drinking break, it works.


Water fun without pool


If you're hoping for a big jackpot, you also need to know that it can only be broken with the highest stakes. Only when you risk a high stakes, you can even with a direct hit the jackpot free games Super Hot Fruits. This also applies to progressive jackpots. Depending on how much money you have, you can choose according to the machine to budget.


Not everyone is in possession of a pool, has no garden or simply lacks the money for the purchase. Alternatively - as with us earlier - a small pool of water or an old bathtub can be set up and filled or even just a bucket of water, where it quickly sets the fun, namely, if you use small syringes and injected each other wet.

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Or fills bombs and plays catching, at some point they are sure to break and depending on how cold the water is, in some the screaming is certainly great.


Do you have gradients on the property? Then try a waterslide. A tarpaulin is laid out, at best a slightly longer one, filling a bucket of water and sliding down with or without a butt-end slide. Or build a shower or a sprinkler, where you can also refresh yourself wonderfully. However, this is more likely if you can take the water from a well or rainwater collection tank. Tap water is too expensive.


To eat and drink


You should always encourage the children to drink. Of course, they only do it when they are thirsty, and then it is already too late. There is then already a lack of fluid in the body. For example, 10-year-olds should drink around 1.2 liters a day. In case of heat, sports or illness this need increases. Outdoors, the glasses or cups should always be capped, as there is a risk that bees or wasps will fly in. The safest are lockable plastic water bottles.


Our favorite drinks are:


  • water diluted with water
  • Springs of any kind
  • sometimes cold tea (fruit tea, slightly sweetened)
  • water


To eat at noon in such a heat often nothing hot, but rather fruit, pudding and cold dishes, cereals with fruit, yogurt, milk and other things, which falls into our hands.


What you can do with children when it's really hot


Summer is finally here, and that's right! In the meantime, if it's too hot outside for you, we have collected a lot of ideas for "cool" activities with big and small children - whether at home or on vacation.


If the outside temperature is more than 30 degrees Celsius and the sun is burning, you should do the same to the inhabitants of southern countries: stay inside during the day. Unfortunately, it is rarely as pleasantly cool in Central European apartments as in a Moroccan riad or Spanish patio.

Our hot-tip game tip: Turn on the fan and spray each other with a water atomizer - the wind adds a great deal of "glorious cool" factor and the spray is so fine that the floor does not get really wet (and slippery).


Funny for smaller children are also soap bubbles, tissue paper snippets or light cloths that can fly in the vortex of the fan; the elderly may try to keep folded aircraft in the air with the help of the fan.

 

Summer Idea Number one: bathing, splashing and swimming


On the beach and the sea you have to do without - or at least wait until it finally goes on vacation? Well, it would be too hot for your little ones anyway.

Even on the smallest balcony fits a wash basin for prattling. With watering can, pots and scooping tools, little children are busy for hours. And if it is too hot even there, just sit in the bathtub with your child.

 

Tip for shower-only users: An inflatable paddling pool can be squeezed into the lowest bath.

 

Do you have a yard or garden, where the temperatures are reasonably bearable, then you can declare this area to the water playground (a meadow in the park is of course also). A garden hose with spray attachment, a few water guns from the toy store (which should be sold out, Amazon often provides the very next day) and self-filled depth charges are the basic equipment for a day full of "Aqua Fun".

Your imagination knows no bounds: homemade glitter-glibber , bodypainting with finger paints or ice cube massage - you'll probably find more "cool stuff".

 

On the way in the city it gets really unbearable on hot days - the children sweat and nölen, playgrounds lie in the sun and on the slide one burns up the A ... In many cities public fountains offer a splendid refreshment.

 

Experience report thoroughly before you let your offspring climb into these facilities:


How is the soil under water - overgrown with slippery algae, sharp-edged or with tripping hazards?

What is the water quality? (if it is not drinking water, infants should not bathe here)

How strong are the fountains, is there a risk of injury or are the facilities even endangered by playing children? (You have the duty of supervision! If your children break something while you are supervising them, the liability insurance does not cover the damage.)

Are there signs or prohibitions for the use of the fountain? Where many tourists are traveling, bathing children are often not so welcome.

Is the fountain in the shade? When playing in the sun, while they are pleasantly wet, children do not notice the heat and get a quick sunburn or sunstroke.


 

For reasons you should not let your kids play naked in such actions; instead of a bathing suit or bikini, T-shirts and shorts get better, which you then exchange for dry ones. After all, you use the fountain quite by accident and not specifically as an outdoor pool, right?

 

By the way, much cooler than bathing lakes are brooks - if you come to one (in the city area many small watercourses are unfortunately completely embedded in concrete or laid underground), then enjoy the ice-cold foot bath.


 

If you really want to take a good bath, the early morning hours or the time just before the closing time are ideal for a visit to the outdoor pool. If you jump into the pool first, you will enjoy cool temperatures, more space and shade on the sunbathing lawn; the soil is not yet so heated and the ozone pollution of the air is still low.


After work or a kindergarten visit you are best left with a visit to the outdoor pool, even if you really want to swim. At 6 pm, most of the outdoor guests are slowly packing up, the area is empty and you can enjoy the water until the end.

Tip: pack a light picnic and have dinner in the bathroom. Then you can put your clean, well-fed and well-made children directly to bed at home.

 


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