LIFE AND DEATH

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For those of you who know me well, you’ll know that I have a love of low-budget indie videogames, especially those with unique pixel-art graphics, in-depth, thought-provoking storylines and innovative gameplay.

Most recently I played a game called A Mortician’s Tale. This had good reviews because it was addressing the idea of death and requires you to carry out the tasks of a mortician who prepares the deceased for funerals, cremations, and burials. It’s design is very cute and pretty, presenting the job as one of practicality and respect. I liked the way that it subtly draws you in to some of the politics and controversies of the industry as you read emails from your boss who is under pressure to sell her business to a corporation, more interested in profit than the sacred nature of death and care for the environment when it comes to burials.

The game also poses questions of life and death which reminded me of the way I think about my own life holistically. So many times, when having to make a big decision, I ask myself whether I would regret this when I am on my deathbed. It sounds morbid but I really find it helps to keep life in perspective and ensures that I am living purposefully.

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At the end of my life, I want to look back with fondness, that I did my best to live a life of love, compassion, creativity, exploration and more. And as a bonus, I would like to feel that I was inspiring to others, so that even when I am gone, my positive energy lives on in the people that I met and touched. This is immortality.

I recently finished reading Viktor Frankls ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ in which he promotes his theory of logotherapy which is based on the premise that the primary motivational force of an individual is to find meaning and purpose in their life.

The basic principles are:

  • Life has meaning under all circumstances, even the most miserable ones.

  • Our main motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life.

  • We have freedom to find meaning in what we do, and what we experience, or at least in the stance we take when faced with a situation of unchangeable suffering.

This resonates with me a lot, particularly in my own journey of trying to find meaning in my life after the trauma of growing up gay in a straight world and even after coming out, reconciling my sensitive, spiritual nature with a London gay community that is overwhelmed with hedonism, self-loathing, superficiality and narcissism.

Frankl was a survivor of Auschwitz and the book explores his observations and reflections on the psychology of the prisoners and wardens during his time there and how even the most inhumane environments can provide deep answers to life’s big questions.

One of his key challenges to suicidal of despairing feelings to treat your life in the same way as you would when you watch a movie. More often than not, you don’t turn off a movie when tragedy hits the main character. You wait until the end to see how things turn out. Sometimes things turn out well, sometimes they don’t, but usually there is a lesson to be learned and sometimes this is a result of the character refusing to be a victim of what life has presented to them, but courageously challenging the situation.

That is what I love about Coaching. The client comes to me with an issue and has difficulty in seeing a way out. But I see the potential in everyone to find meaning in what is happening and use this as a way to slowly explore the options of how improvements can be sought out, including considerations of the limitations. It is all about raising the consciousness of the individual, who they are and what they want, and empowering them to take positive responsibility for their lives.

Fancy giving it a go? Get in touch!

Take care for now.

Oliver

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