WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I DIED

I APOLOGIZE FOR LEAVING YOU GUYS WONDERING, BUT I MADE IT THROUGH THE OPEN HEART SURGERY! WELL, KIND OF. THERE WAS ACTUALLY A MOMENT COMING OUT OF IT THAT DID NOT GO SO WELL. ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS THAT WILL STICK WITH ME FOR QUITE SOME TIME.

I AM CURRENTLY WORKING ON A BOOK THAT WILL DETAIL MY ENTIRE JOURNEY THROUGH THIS MEDICAL ADVENTURE, BUT I’M GOING TO SHARE THE PIVOTAL MOMENT WITH YOU HERE. THAT WOULD BE THE MOMENT I ALMOST DIDN’T MAKE IT BACK.

WHILE HAVING MY HEART SLICED AND DICED, I OBVIOUSLY HAD TO BE ON A BREATHING TUBE. THE FIRST THING I REMEMBER POST SURGERY WAS A NURSE SCREAMING “YOU HAVE TO BREATHE NEIL!” I REMEMBER DOING SO WITH A TUBE STUCK DOWN MY THROAT WAS QUITE DIFFICULT. THIS VOICE CAME FROM MY RIGHT SIDE. FROM MY LEFT SIDE I HEARD A FEMALE VOICE SAY “JUST RELAX” THIS SEEMED MORE UP MY ALLEY.

AS SOON AS I STARTED TO RELAX THINGS WENT BLACK AND I FELT RELAXED. THIS WAS PROMPTLY INTERRUPTED BY THE NURSE ON MY RIGHT SCREAMING “WE NEED YOU TO BREATHE” IN WHICH CASE I COULD FEEL THE DISCOMFORT OF THE TUBE IN MY THROAT. THIS WENT BACK AND FORTH FOR SOME UNDETERMINED AMOUNT OF TIME. FINALLY, THE NURSE ON THE RIGHT SAID “WE NEED YOU TO BREATHE DEEP IF YOU WANT THIS TUBE OUT!” NOW SHE WAS SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE.

I RECALL SUCKING ON AS THE TUBE SLID OUT. I THEN RECALL THE NURSE YELLING THEY NEEDED NARCAN. FADE TO BLACK.

I WOKE UP MOMENTS LATER BEING WHEELED DOWN A HALLWAY. “WHERE ARE WE GOING?” I ASKED. I WAS INFORMED I WAS GOING TO ICU TO RECOVER. THAT WAS PART TRUE. ICU – YES. RECOVERY- DIDN’T FEEL LIKE IT. THE NARCAN THEY GAVE ME TO BRING ME BACK IN THE OPERATING ROOM, SHUT DOWN THE RECEPTORS TO OPOIDS IN MY BRAIN. GOOD FOR AN ADDICT, NOT SO GOOD FOR SOMEONE JUST OUT OF HEART SURGERY.

THE EVENING OF MY SURGERY I LAID IN BED WITH 2, 12″ TUBES IN MY CHEST, WIRES COMING OUT OF MY CHEST, A CATHETER (WHICH IS ALWAYS HUMBLING) AND NO PAIN MEDICINE. OH, THEY TRIED GIVING ME SOME WHICH CAUSED ME TO GET SICK ON 4 SEPARATE OCCASIONS. CONSIDERING IN THE 48 HOURS LEADING UP TO THAT I HAD JUST CONSUMED WATER, THIS COULD HAVE BEEN A LOT WORSE. PLUS, GETTING SICK WITH TUBES IN YOUR CHEST AND JUST BEING STITCHED UP IS A WHOLE DIFFERENT ADVENTURE.

TALKING TO THE RESPIRATORY NURSE A FEW DAYS LATER, SHE INFORMED ME SHE WAS THE VOICE I HEARD YELLING ON MY RIGHT SIDE TO BREATHE AND THE ONE WHO REMOVED MY BREATHING TUBE. I THEN ASKED WHO WAS THE VOICE ON MY LEFT TELLING ME TO RELAX. I WAS INFORMED THERE WAS NO VOICE. YET, I RECALL HEARING IT CLEAR AS CAN BE. WHO THAT WAS WE WILL NEVER KNOW.

WHAT I WILL LEAVE FROM THIS EXPERIENCE IS THAT IF I CAN MAKE IT THROUGH OPEN HEART SURGERY WITHOUT PAIN PILLS, I CAN PRETTY MUCH DO ANYTHING. THANKS TO THE BRILLIANT WORK OF THE DOCTORS AND NURSES, I AM SO HERE AND EAGER TO BRING YOU EVERYTHING I CAN!

BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, I’LL BE DEAD

Yes, you read that right. As I am typing these words, it is a little over 12 hours until my heart will cease to beat. You see, I am to undergo open-heart surgery. I have an aneurysm on the aorta in my heart and it needs to be repaired. Kind of a replace that pipe with this one sort of thing. In order to do that, they will need to cut open my rib cage, stop my heart and do a little slicing and dicing. I will be hooked up to machines to keep things moving I am told. However, for a brief period of time, everything will be shut down. That’s right folks, the store will be temporarily closed.

It is my sincerest desire that they will be able to jump start me and get the whole machinery up and running again. Making me a sort of modern day Lazarus, if you will. There are things about this whole procedure that make me a tad unsettled, but even more that have me intrigued. In the brief moments my life will have expired, will I see anything? A light? A guy with horns and a pitchfork? Maybe Buddha will come and give me some sage advice? Maybe Bob Marley will come and jam for me? That would actually be kind of cool. Does this mean I technically have 2 birthdays now? The one I came into this world on, July 29th and now the one I came back on, January 11th? I never was a big fan of winter, so perhaps having a birthday might give me a little something to look forward to.

Being that this may be the last collection of wisdom I am able to share with all of you, I wanted to distill what I think would be important. Ironically, the first thing that popped in my mind was a line I always heard a game show host use – “Be kind to yourself and each other.” In my mind, that is what it all boils down to. When we learn to love ourselves, we can afford more compassion and understanding for others. I think it is very important to make this a lifetime project and to start that project today. Whether you are 8 or 80, we all can learn about how to love ourselves and be kind to one another. In the very unlikely chance that I do not make it through this, I am determined to haunt those I care about. Not in the usual way. No, I would be the ghost that would whisper “You can do it!” when someone is feeling down on themselves. The little mysterious voice that lets everyone know that someone believes in them.

As I wrote those words, it occurred to me that we can, and should be, that voice while we are alive as well. The simple words, “I believe in you.” can make almost anyone’s heart soar. Much like the lessons we learned on appreciating each other last week, letting someone know you believe in them can change their world and all it will cost you is a breath and a second of your time.

When you are faced with a situation such as having heart surgery, it certainly causes you a moment of reflection. I looked back on my life and there was a lot of things that I shook my head at. I am sure we all have those. “Why did I say that?” “Why did I treat that person so harshly?” we all know those thoughts. What I did notice that gave me a great deal of peace, is that I worked on getting better every day. Sure, I might have done a lot wrong up to this point. I might continue to do some wrong in the future. What is true is that every day I tried to correct the mistakes I had made that day and to become a better version of myself. Not only did this benefit the world and those around me, but in a moment where you are quite honestly looking in the eyes of death, that is something that gives your soul some peace. With that thought in mind, I implore all of you to work on getting a little bit better every day. The world will thank you. Those around you will thank you. Most importantly, your soul will thank you.

As far as what will happen when they cut me open. What will I see? What has this whole journey been like? I am currently writing a book about the entire thing and it should be available in April of 2022 if everything goes according to plan. In regards to improving yourself and becoming the best version of you, that can be found in my 2 books, A Happy Life for Busy People and Living the Dream. Both of which you can find on the link below this post. I hope to see you all on the other side. Remember I believe in you and to love yourself and each other!

CLICK HERE TO GAIN ACCESS TO MY BOOKS

HAPPY? FIRST DAY OF WINTER?

In my corner of the world, today marks the first day of winter. Temperatures are below freezing, there is the least amount of sunlight. Things that are really not conducive to a smiley, happy type outlook. I am not the biggest fan of winter. Things at dying all around me. I go to work when it is dark and when I leave work it is dark.

This year, however, I am working to change my outlook. Winter presents one of the biggest challenges for me. I suffer from a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is where the lack of sunshine messes up your hormones and brain chemicals. This leads to things like fatigue, irritability and depression. These are not good qualities if you are a motivational author, speaker and blog writer.

Today not only marks the first day of winter, but three weeks to the day until I have open heart surgery. To be technical, for a small amount of time, I will be deceased during this procedure. That is to say, my heart will stop beating. God willing, after said time I will wake up again and begin to heal to be better than ever. It reminds me of winter turning into spring. Things die and then they are reborn.

So, I have decided, and I encourage you to do the same, to ‘put to death’ certain things in your life. Are there any negative habits you would like to rid yourself of? Toxic relationships you know you should really distance yourself from? Use this day, the first day of winter, the shortest day of the year, to kill off what doesn’t serve you in your own life. It will be a struggle, much like winter can be for me, but by spring we can be reborn with a healthy, more positive and rewarding life!

IT IS A GOOD DAY TO DIE

You would not expect such a line on a positive blog, but let me explain. This line is attributed to the Sioux Chief Crazy Horse. It may have been actually said by a different man, Low Dog first, but the idea is the same. The idea behind it is that we must live life so that if we were to meet an untimely demise, we would pass on with no regrets. I always understood the idea behind this phrase intellectually, but it has only been the last few years that I have really felt it in my spirit.

In about a month, I will be having open-heart surgery. Although the doctor is fairly confident, it still has a good amount of risk. Facing death is one of the best ways to give life a truer sense of meaning. Knowing there is a chance that death could be around the corner, can intensify your experience of life. Everything becomes more precious. Colors are more vibrant, times with friends become precious moments. You feel compelled to make sure everyone you care about that knows exactly how you feel. You live life with a overwhelming feeling of gratitude. This feeling is not only for all that we have, but even the challenges in life and for our life in general.

I feel fortunate to have been blessed to learn this lesson. There was a few ways in which this came to be so powerful for me. I would like to share them with you. Why? Because this is the way we should live. The sad and somewhat scary truth is that any day we have may be our last. When we discovered my heart issue, I was feeling on top of the world, yet without surgery, I was a walking timebomb. My heart stands the chance of literally exploding any day. As you can imagine, the prognosis after that would happen would not be good. There are many situations, most that are beyond our control, that could severely shorten our life expectancy. We should live our life accordingly.

It doesn’t have to take facing a serious health challenge or even realizing one could arise tomorrow to motivate us to live life to the fullest. I am going to give you two more ways in which this philosophy was driven home to me. The first is actually a very positive one. I can describe in one word the miraculous event that made me want to live life as the best possible version of myself and appreciate every breath that I take. That one word? Margie. Meeting a woman who genuinely cares so deeply for me and works so hard to be the best person she can be leaves me feeling thankful she chose me to share her life with. (Or did I chose her? The debate rages on.) Having someone who loves you, whether that is a parent, a child, a dog or, like in my case, the most beautiful woman on the planet, really fires up a desire inside of you to give them the best of everything. The surest way to have the best relationship you can is to work on becoming the best person you can. You may want to read that last line several times.

The most recent lesson of living your life in such a manner that it would be “a good day to die” is legacy. Years ago, I did a video for my YouTube channel (Neil Panosian) about writing your own eulogy. The purpose of that is to really focus on the kind of person you would like to be remembered as. This ties in with the love I have for my lady. I believe the worst feeling to have when you are facing death or the death of someone you care greatly for is not loss, but regret. When they ask people who were facing their earthly demise what they regretted about their lives the most, it was not the mistakes or the crazy things they had done. No, what a person who knows their time is drawing short regrets is things they have not done and have not tried. It is also realizing that the little things are the big things. I would love to treat Margie to everything her heart desires. I want to make all of her dreams come true. If I knew I only had a little time left, I would want to know I made her life, and every life I came in contact with a little better for my being here. I also would want to treasure some of the little things more. I would want to sit across the table from her sipping a cup of great coffee and letting her beautiful smile melt my heart. I would want to lay in bed next to her and wrap my arms around her and feel close to the woman I love so much.

Never knowing when a moment will be the last has us savoring it so much. Finding out I needed this dangerous surgery really gave us a stark reminder of that fact. Finding such an amazing woman had me knowing it all along. I encourage you to take a step back from your busy life to realize how fragile and precious it is. Those we love may not be here tomorrow and we may not be either. That is why we must enjoy every day, every moment and every breath. We must appreciate them for the priceless gifts that they are. We must live our lives so full that it would be a good day to die.

In my life I have been surrounded by great friends and family. I have had the opportunity to use the gifts that the creator has given me to bring joy to others. I have the privilege of loving what I believe to be the most beautiful woman I have ever known. My heart has known the great love that she has returned to me. There is certainly a lot more I wish and desire to accomplish and share, but my life has been good and if I were to leave this world today, it would be a good day to die.

DO YOU HAVE 6?

Although rather morbid sounding, this statement rings true. Compliments are difficult to both give and receive for many adults. We have 6 people to carry us physically in death, why can’t we have 6 people to carry us emotionally and spiritually in life? Can you imagine what that might be like? 6 people checking in on you, 6 people to encourage you on a daily basis.

Maybe this wouldn’t happen from every person on every day. How different would your life be if one of these 6 people popped in to encourage or check on you? If you have 6 of them, that would be roughly one a day. We will give them Sundays off. How much more valued would you feel? Would you have more confidence and a feeling of support when trying new things? What other benefits could this add?

The million dollar question would then be, “Neil, how do I find these 6 people?” Surely you could go up and ask people, “Hey do you want to call and check on or encourage me once a week?”At the risk of sounding a little desperate, it may also leave you wondering how genuine the compliments and concern may be.

So, if you can’t just ask them, what the heck do you do? I have two solutions. The first should be obvious. As the cliche¬† goes, if you can’t find a good friend, be one. By picking a few friends and just checking in on them once a week, eventually chances are they will return the favor. Noticing how good it felt to them, they will want to do the same for someone else.

Secondly, you can get a group of trusted friends together and explain this idea to them. If everyone sends an encouraging word, or makes it a point to check in on each other, the whole group will benefit extraordinarily.

To be honest, in this world of a million ways to communicate, I am rather surprised this is not a thing. We can slip an encouraging word in an email. We can check in with someone on Facebook messenger. We can even send an encouraging or silly picture to a friend via text. Gather your posse and make it a point to carry each other through life emotionally and spiritually before we have to carry each other in death physically.

LESSONS LEARNED

I have often spoke of lessons I have come to appreciate only in reflection years after they have taken place. This story is about one of those lessons. I recall the odd habit my grandfather had of reading the obituaries. Not just glancing at them, but reading them. When I pressed him as to why he did what I considered an odd habit. His reply was that as he grew older, that was the only time he heard about or from friends. “Some people only make the paper when they die.” This is lesson number one. Don’t make the only time you make it into the paper be when you die. This is not to say we should try to chase fame and fortune for the sake of being famous. It also doesn’t mean we should try to appear in the police blotter, a part of the paper we should really try to avoid. The point here is to try and make an impact while you are living. You don’t have to change the world, just change some lives. Be a positive difference for the people you encounter. Make an impact in your community. Support local businesses, get to know your neighbors.

The other thought that occurred to me was how little we keep in touch. Especially as we grow older, this becomes more important. Although, at any age we never know when someone we love can leave us. Send more greeting cards. Pick up the phone just to say “Hello”. Send an email to let someone know you are thinking of them and how much they mean to you. If those sort of sentiments make you uncomfortable, realize they can’t see you behind a keyboard. One of the positives of modern technology. Keep in touch with people. Create memories that will last a lifetime, and maybe even beyond!

He also mentioned something else I would like to share with you. He said with a wry smile that every time he didn’t see his name in the ‘obits’, as he called them, was a day he was grateful to be alive. It was also a sign that your work wasn’t done he reminded me. How sad is it that many of us spend our days noting what is wrong with our lives instead of appreciating that we have one? It seems all to often that the only time we stop to appreciate life is after we lose someone close to us. It is my belief that we need a reminder everyday to appreciate the life we have, even with all of its imperfections. Perhaps reading about all of those poor souls who wouldn’t be getting up that day was his way of reminding himself to be grateful for not being among them.

This habit of looking at the notices of people who have passed away is a good reminder of our own mortality. We should do our best to think of what we want to be remembered for. Do we want to be remembered as a good family person? Will we be remembered as a pillar of our community? Will they say that we always were eager to lend a helping hand? Are we living that life right now? If not, how can we do the things we know that we should be doing? What will our legacy be?

Even something that may seem as morose as reading the obituaries, can be a source of both motivation and inspiration. We do not have to wait until we lose someone we love to realize the value of our lives. We don’t have to wait to make an impact until we pass away. It is never too early or too late to start thinking about and working on what our legacy will be. Listen to the stories of your elders, they hold hidden wisdom you may only realize years later.

A QUICK TUESDAY REMINDER

A quick reminder

As we return from a long holiday weekend here in the United States, and as we settle into our week, let us take a second to remind ourselves of something very important.

Often when speaking at seminars and book signings, people ask me why being happy is so important. They feel focusing on health, finances and a host of other issues more pressing. My counter to that argument is that happiness is not mutually exclusive to those issues. In fact, happiness greatly affects your health, your finances and every other area of your life.

Today, however, we are going to focus on an even more pressing reason to be happy – time. We really never know how much of it we have left. If 2020 taught us anything it is that life is uncertain and can often be shorter than we think. If today were your last day, how would you feel if you sacrificed your happiness for some political argument? Would you really let the boss upset your whole day if you knew you might only have a few left?

It is my sincere hope that all of you reading this have plenty of time with those you love. Sad part is, we have over 68,000 in over 150 countries who follow this site. The odds that one of us could be facing some serious crisis in the near future is pretty good. Don’t waste a second of your precious time my friends! If you find yourself getting upset by something that probably doesn’t matter a great deal, just say to yourself “not today my friend!” May you have a day filled with joy!

IT IS A SPECIAL OCCASION FOR YOU

You may be finding yourself thinking, “How does Neil know what is a special occasion in my life?” You may even think that today is just an ordinary day, that there is no special occasion. The odds of it being your birthday are about 1 in 365 best I can figure. Still, today is a very important day for you. Why? The reasons are all around us. When you think of the odds that allow you to be exactly who you are, they are more than staggering. From the moment of conception to all the experiences that have brought you to this point, they are all worth celebrating.

While it is true that a good amount of things that we encounter in life do not work out how we had hoped and imagined, they have all played a part in making us the amazing people we are today. Even the hardest lessons have given us some of our greatest gifts. If we face a particular health challenge, we can better relate and counsel those who face the same situation. If we have lost our job we face the prospect of finding a new, and often better suited job. If our hearts were broken, we have a chance to begin again with a wiser outlook as to the kind of person that would better help us grow both ourselves and our love. Even what I think is the worst pain, the pain of losing someone we love, can teach us the value of life and those we share it with.

This may sound like some new age inspirational speech, and it some ways I guess it is, but let us look how it relates to our life today. If you do not think today is a special occasion, ask yourself how it would feel if you knew you would not have a tomorrow. Now ask yourself how sure you can be that you do have a tomorrow coming? Can you be 100% sure? How about 90%? There is a great deal of factors that could sway that number in one direction or another. How dangerous your job is, the safety of the area you live in, and your current health status. Even if those are all in the positive, you still face unexpected dangers we may never consider. Car accidents, random violent strangers or a sudden unexpected health crisis. So much for the new age inspirational speech. While I am not trying to focus on the negative that may happen in life, it does not change the reality that they are possibilities. Tomorrow is not promised for any of us. Today may be the special occasion we never knew we were having.

If today were your last day with sight, how much time would you take to sit in nature and enjoy the scenery? How long would you gaze lovingly at the face of the person you love? What song would you listen to if you knew you may wake up without your sense of hearing? The risk is not only ours either. People in our lives that we care deeply for share those same inherent risks. Think about that for a minute. Today may be that last time your spouse may be able to see your smile, would you deny that to them just because they forgot to put the milk away? It may be the last time they are able to hear you say “I Love you” wouldn’t you want them to be able to hear that one more time? It may very well be the last time you can share a moment with someone. Would you not want them to know in their heart how much they mean to you and how much you love them? In my own romantic relationship, I tell Margie everyday, “There are two things I am going to tell you everyday. I need you to know how beautiful you are and how much I love you.” To this day, I don’t think a single day has went by in which I didn’t remind and show her those two things. Tomorrow, either her or I could be gone and I would not have the chance to tell her.

This may beginning to sound a bit morbid to some of you, but it is true just the same. This is not saying we should live our lives in a state of fear that something may go wrong, but with the knowledge that it might. Often, things are only appreciated after they are gone. We complain about that job until we lose it. We complain about our spouse until they are gone. We take for granted someone in our life until they pass away. Moments can sometimes become special because they were the last. The last time you said “I Love you” to someone you care about. The last time you got to see a friend’s smile. I think we should take Mr. Einstein’s advice above and live life as if everything were a miracle. You never know when moments will be last ones, so treat each one as if it were. Live, love and laugh like there were no tomorrow.

DOES IT CONTROL YOU OR MOTIVATE YOU?

Today’s post will be the first in a series about controlling what we can. I am going to offer you two personal examples of this particular decision and how it impacted parties involved. I hope you will be able to take what we talk about here and apply it to your own life. If you do, I promise you can change something that used to be an anchor in your life, something that would weigh you down and hold you back, into one of the strongest forms of motivation to propel you forward.

Our first story starts many years ago at a funeral for a family member of mine. After a formal service and before the wake there was some walking around and polite “Nice to see you.” “Sorry for you loss.” type remarks. I ran into one of my family members who was upset and distraught. They were sobbing uncontrollably and asking the rhetorical question “why them?” They went on to further state that their life would never be the same and they could never be fully happy again. This person saying all of these things was quite young and it would have been a sorry state if they allowed this to be true.

Moments later, I ran into another family member. This person was the exact same relationship to the deceased and roughly the same age. Their take on the situation was much different. “Boy this sure makes you think, doesn’t it?” the young man said. You could tell he was upset, yet looking at this from a different angle. He went on to say how sometimes it really takes a funeral to make you feel alive. After a quizzical look from me, he explained. He said it served as a great reminder how important it is to not only make sure you tell those you care for that you love them, but to live your own life in a compassionate and meaningful way. Knowing that life ends is one of the best ways to make sure you really start living.

Two people, same situation, two entirely different viewpoints. Both people were equally close to the person who passed, yet looked at their passing in entirely different ways. One could only see the loss and end that had occurred. The other saw the motivation to really start loving and living. Death, my friends, can either be a merciless jailor or the greatest motivator. When we lose someone we love, that can be hard enough. We only compound that pain when it paralyzes us. If, however, we can find some type of positive, even if it is only that we must love those we have in our life while they are here, then the pain has at least served a purpose.

Please do not misunderstand what I am saying. There is no right way to grieve. To feel loss and pain when we lose someone we love so dearly is natural. It is my sincere hope that I may offer you something that will put your pain and feeling of loss to work for you. That may not lessen the hurt you are feeling, then again it might, but it may very well keep you from being paralyzed by despair.

The second example comes from a conversation I had with a dear friend of mine. The topic of discussion was mistakes we had made in the past and how we could still kick ourselves for some of the stupid things we had done. This can be especially true when it comes to relationships. When a relationship ends we feel a host of emotions – sadness, anger, loss, maybe even relief depending on what side of the equation you are on. One common feeling after a relationship comes to an end is regret. Again, this can take many forms. You may regret that you did not speak your feelings better. You may regret the way you treated the person or the way you let them treat you. You could regret not being more romantic. You could even end up regret wasting so many of your years with such a jerk.

I know many people who continue to beat themselves up with this regret years after the other half of the relationship has moved on. “I really regret not being more loving to her.” or “I really regret staying with him when he was such a jerk.” These people stew over this. They still get upset and usually it becomes contagious, as the person they are talking to regrets being in that conversation. They relive the pain, the hurt, the anger and the frustration. This not only does not serve them, but prevents them from moving on to a new and healthy relationship.

I have many regrets in my life, as we all do. Not just in relationships, but who I was as a man. There are even times when I catch myself pondering why I did so many stupid things in my life. Why did I sacrifice my character and integrity by not living up to my own standards. What I do is use this as fuel. My relationship now is one that I am extremely proud of. I am with what I do believe is the most beautiful woman on the planet. She deserves the best version of me. When there are times I feel like shirking my responsibilities as a man or as her man, I think of the pain of regret I feel for all of the time I let myself and others down. I want to give her the best man I can be, and I use this regret for motivation. I recall times that I was unhealthy, unfriendly, careless, not compassionate and other ways I failed to live up to my own standards. There is nothing I can do about those situations. They are done and over with. The jobs have been lost, the feelings have been hurt and the years of good health are gone. What I can do is use the pain of that regret to make sure I work as hard and as good as I can. Make sure to care for other’s feelings and treat my body as the temple and expression of the divine that it is.

We all have death and regret in our lives. Pain is unavoidable. What is up to us is whether we let that pain be our jailor or our motivator. Regret and loss suck. There is no nicer way to put it. As long as they have to be a part of our life, why not put them to work for us.