Suicide, forgiveness, and truth

In the aftermath of last week’s celebrity deaths by suicide…

It’s said that there are almost 45,000 suicides a year in the United States (2016 statistics).

That rate is up 25% from 1999. Quite a sobering growth rate.

Kate Spade, Tony Bourdain, and about 865 additional deaths by suicide last week in the United States alone.

I feel connected to those whose names I know and whose names I don’t; I’ve had my own dark moments of thinking — of believing! — that checking out would be the best way to get away from my tormented painful thinking about painful disappointments and failures.

Here are some of the wise words that I’ve found helpful as I’ve mourned Tony and Kate and all the others whose names are unknown to me…

“If the only thing people learned was not to be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world.” — Sydney Banks, theosopher and writer.

  • When you don’t remember that the only source of emotional pain in your life is coming from the person you see in the mirror, then you’re stuck believing that there is a horde of people, things, and circumstances in the world that have the power to take away your well-being and your ability to forgive yourself for your human flaws and frailties.
  • Conversely, when you remember that it’s not anything outside of you that owns your state of okayness, you’re re-connected to that wisdom and healing energy that’s baked into your operating system (OS), a wisdom that can carry you through anything that life brings your way.

“Light, the power of your spiritual nature, is always shining behind the darkness you create innocently with your thinking. A moment of insight, a new thought, can completely change the course of history.” — Linda Pettit, counseling psychologist.

  • Innocence. Really. Sit with this idea: Your thoughts — even the darkest ones — do not come from some evil or hopeless place inside you. When you understand that your thoughts are ephemeral and changeable (this ability also baked into your beautiful human OS), you can see when your thinking comes from the pain of believing that what happens outside of you is the cause of your pain. And you can lighten up, let those painful thoughts go, and reboot back into your lighthearted, joyful, resilience.

“Suicidal thoughts are friends, the last alarm system that tells you that you’re innocently misusing the beautiful gift of Thought in a way that is creating so much pain, that makes life feel unbearable. Somebody who’s having active thoughts of taking their life has the same connection to the mental well-being they are formed of as the person who’s not.” — Bill Pettit, psychiatrist.

How do you remember your well-being, let alone reconnect to it?

The act of settling down and remembering/reconnecting can feel challenging, even impossible. Especially when those alarm bells are going off, when one more second of life feels unbearable, when suicide seems like a good idea.

When well-being, resilience, and the sense of being safe and guided feel like they’re out of reach, it’s difficult to feel like you have agency, that you’re capable of feeling grounded, creative, and lighthearted.

Yet! If you think honestly for a minute, you can likely remember…

…that even during your darkest, most stressful moments, you experienced a moment (or more) when you laughed, felt joy, or even eager excitement.

Those moments are powerful reminders of your resilience and inner guidance. I look for and make note of these reminders (as I still have moments of losing and then reconnecting to that inner peace and well-being). As I pay more attention to them, these moments magically seem to increase. Funny how that works!
Resilience Roundup

Join us in a free 5-day deep dive into resilience.

Please join me and Sharon Rosen (my partner in taking a gentle look at all things resilient and transformational) in the 5-day free Resilience Roundup on Facebook. 

We’ve created this Resilience Roundup 5-day challenge — and the Reclaim Resilience Summer 2018 program that follows — as safe and nurturing circles in which you can see and deeply understand that your ease, sense of grace, and peace of mind are completely independent of what’s going on inside of you.

It’s simple to join.

When you click over, you’ll be invited to join our private Resilience Roundup Facebook group.

There are three questions you’ll be asked right after you click + Join Group…. Don’t skip that part; the moments you spend answering them are there for you to get in touch with what we’ll be exploring….

The Challenge begins Monday, June 18th and goes for five days. You can join the fun until midnight Pacific on Monday the 18th. We’re doing this during the bright light of Solstice week in the north.

Here’s what you’ll get in the Resilience Roundup 5-Day Challenge:

  • A different topic area each day. Each day we’ll post a topic area (which will have its own #hashtag) that invites you to look at how resilience has been present or not in this particular area of your life. We’ll ask you to look at when you’ve felt carried and held, as well as at the times when you’ve felt like resilience and inner guidance were out of reach, as if they have completely left the building.
  • Your challenge is to interact with the topic. In the Facebook group, take a few minutes to post something you’ve gone through or learned: written words, a short video (max 90 seconds), an inspirational quote, a piece of art you’ve created, or…. Remember to use the #hashtag of the day in your post.
  • There’s a prize! Complete all five assignments by Saturday, June 23rd, at midnight Pacific, and you will receive a 25% discount to Reclaim Resilience Summer 2018 (which starts just two days later, on Monday, June 25th — details here). Your price will be $275 instead of $350. Sweet!

Credit due: Here are some of the moving and illuminating articles/recordings that have helped me look at suicide, thinking, and resilience this week, in case you’d like to go deeper. Carla Royal’s post. Dr. Bill Pettit’s interview. Dr. Linda Pettit’s post. (I freely admit to a little gently paraphrasing.)

Questions? Comments? Got a good joke?

Join the conversation below.

See you on the 18th in the Resilience Roundup. And on the 25th in Reclaim Resilience Summer 2018.


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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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