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The nasty part of self-actualization is when you have to face your good old "Jesus" moment. I have spent years angry at the fact that upon my wife's death, we still had several unresolved issues. Frankly, we were probably heading for a divorce. We had just gotten so sick of each others shit. Not to mention that she had a peanut gallery of support, and it was only me.

She died in 2016 of some illness that I will consider COVID-19 like. She had all the symptoms that people are experiencing now. In fact, she was on an EKMO machine, breathing machines, her lungs collapsed and she had 4 heart attacks during a 42 day stint with her illness, that came out of nowhere. Literally within hours of her hospital visit, they placed her in a ICU.

I started my journey down a path to self-actualization, then. I did not know it but my journey was beginning. After a long stint with depression and low self-esteem issues, I finally decided to get myself up off the canvas and fight more rounds. I was now a single father and I had to learn how to do things like hair (still not good at that one), cooking (I am an excellent cook), and I needed to get healthier (years of drinking, smoking and bad fun, can take a toll on you, so now I work out regularly.

I started looking at my new hobbies and talents as a way of reaching the "new" I was looking for. My workouts got crazy and I started seeing a physical change, which shortly became the mental change that I was looking for. A 2019 article in , titled, How Physical Exercise Benefits Mental Health, states, "Exercise can alleviate many of the symptoms of depression, such as fatigue, tension, anger, and reduced vigor." I saw how my anger was being alleviated via every push-up, sit-up, burpee, or pool lap. Oddly enough, it was a pain that felt great, when complete. Not that I am a glutton for punishment but I used it to exercise my physical, as well as exercise the demons from my mind.

Another article in listed 13 characteristics that people who are searching for self-actualization posses. The author, Crystal Raypole, had this article medically reviewed, and I fit many of these traits and qualities. That feels so good. I know that I am not all the way there, but at least I am much better off than was. Self Actualization is tantamount to



  • Live independently. They don’t structure their lives around the opinions of others. They may not seem swayed by social feedback. They also have an appreciation for solitude and don’t always need company.

  • Have a sense for reality and truth. They may seem more grounded and in touch with actual possibilities and have an easier time detecting falseness from other people.

  • Are comfortable with the unknown. They don’t mind not knowing what the future holds.

  • Have compassion, kindness, and acceptance. This goes both for themselves and for others they encounter.

  • Have a good-natured sense of humor. They can laugh at themselves when they make mistakes and help others see humor in challenging situations.

  • Enjoy meaningful friendships. They tend to build long-lasting relationships with a few people instead of casual friendships with many people.

  • Have a sense of spontaneity. They live more naturally, rather than in a rigid way, and aren’t afraid to follow what happens in the moment instead of sticking to routine.

  • Are creative. Creativity doesn’t just refer to artistic abilities. Some self-actualized people might have a knack for looking at problems in new ways or thinking along different lines than other people do. They may simply lack inhibition, another characteristic of a spontaneous nature.

  • Enjoy peak experiences. A peak experience describes a moment of euphoria, wonder, and joy, often characterized by a sense of feeling connected to the universe. They might seem like eye-opening moments, where deeper meanings suddenly become clear. They aren’t necessarily spiritual, though.

  • Focus on things bigger than themselves. They tend to see the big picture instead of only considering their own lives, and may dedicate their lives to a mission, cause, or deeper purpose.

  • Stop and smell the roses. They appreciate each positive or joyful moment — a sunrise, a partner’s kiss, a child’s laugh — as if it were the first, no matter how many times they’ve already experienced it.

  • Have a sense of justice. They have compassion and care for all people, and work to prevent acts of injustice or unethical behavior.

  • Possess Gemeinschaftsgefühl, or “social feeling.” This word, coined by Alfred Adler, describes an interest and concern for the general well-being of other humans.

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