With the recent passing of a great icon, Robin Williams, many of us are taking a closer look at the issue of suicide.   If you have known of someone, perhaps a friend or family member, who has committed suicide this recent incident could stir up many difficult memories and unresolved feelings.

Suicide often leaves a plethora of questions, confusion, and guilt in your mind not knowing if maybe you could have helped in someway or if you should have seen the signs.   It is difficult to understand why anyone would follow through with the act of killing themselves if you have never had a suicidal ideation before in your life.  The truth is that suicide plagues people of all social and racial backgrounds, without regard to sex and age groups.  Some reasons for suicide are depression,  mental disorders, crying out for help, or drug abuse.

 Suicide plagues people of all social and racial backgrounds, without regard to sex and age groups.

Modern society has made many  advances that have made us better human beings, that have prolonged the human life span and have greatly reduced disease.  Even so, we can’t ignore the ever-increasing number of diseases and the amount of people who are unhappy with their life. Pharmaceuticals viewed as the “silver bullet” cure-all that claim to magically fix what is commonly called a chemical imbalance in your brain are often prescribed.   Sadly, this isn’t  working anymore for many people suffering from depression. Is there a reason for an increase in “mental disorders”, drug addiction, depression and suicide?

I often wonder if these issues were as common back in our grandparents days when pharmaceuticals were not as readily available as they are now.  Was it simply taboo for someone to openly express their feelings or were they not plagued by the same distressing issues of society today?

One observation is that we are living very differently from our grandparents; our cities have become over populated, jobs are increasingly more stressful as the workload increases, cost of living is on the rise, violence is hitting home more often, and TV watching is the common pastime.

Looking at the world from a larger scale, we can see the severe degradation of the environment.  The natural ecosystems of the Rainforest, oceans, fisheries, and freshwater systems are threatened while many are on the verge of collapse.   We are living in a war stricken world of a double standard where nobody accepts responsibility for their actions.  Water is poisoned with toxic pollution and chemical waste as the companies responsible are let off with nothing more than a pitiful slap on the hand as so many turn their heads to the true reality.  Many people are waking up to the fact that we live in a system that has made us its subservient programmed slaves of consumerism controlled by corporations who don’t have our needs in  mind.  Diseases such as Alzheimer’s, lyme, Parkinson’s, Fibromyalgia and deadly viruses like Ebola  are rampant.

Tuning in to this terrifying truth can provoke feelings of depression, hopelessness, mistrust and countless other debilitating emotions that lead to the use of antidepressants or other substances to numb out our feelings, or worse, to suicide.

We can no longer accept that we are separate

from each other and the earth.

We have to accept that as a collective our psyche, emotional and energetic bodies are affected by the chaos of the extreme imbalance that civilization has created. We can no longer believe that we are separate from each other and the earth. The days of passively ignoring the situation and awaiting for it to remedy itself is gone.

In a world that’s designed to make us feel powerless, what can we do to change direction of this foreseeable doom to find hope again?

The first step is awareness.  The second step is action in your personal life, and then extending this out to your family, friends and acquaintances.  It’s time we all stop pointing the finger at everyone else and take a deep look at ourselves.  Some important questions to ask are:

• What can I do to better yourself as a human being?

•  How can I take better care of your physical body?

•  What harmful behaviors and habits need to be changed in me?

•  How can I give to my local community?

•  What can I do to help the earth?

These are a few questions to ask yourself.  Some of these questions require an extensive analysis of who you are as a person.  Once this is done you can begin seeing how to display more qualities of kindness, compassion, and forgiveness to become a better person for yourself and everyone around you.  Taking better care of your body entails eating healthier, exercise, and techniques to de-stress.  Talking to a qualified person, reading self-help books, or attending self-improvement workshops help expand the possibilities that exist outside of your known comfort zone.

Remembering our values as humans can create a change for the better. Instead of judging others, learn of ways to have compassion, kindness, and love for all sentient beings.  By doing this we can begin to teach the newer generation of children and youth who are searching for an answer to their humanity new ways to treat each other; letting go of racism and hate that only further divides.

There is an urgency for all of us to heal together now.  No matter what our race, ancestry or country of origin is we have now all been victims to the brutal atrocities man is capable of inflicting.  We must now face these deep wounds that we’ve carried for generations.  Instead of shoving the pain down or forever blaming someone else,  allow all the painful emotions to flow through your body until the truth is found.  Be honest with yourself, have courage to do inner work as you navigate your wounds so they can heal.  Until this is done people will continue to act out defiantly against society as they continue to take revenge for the damage that has run amuck for so long.

When was the last time you were creative or imaginative?

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Renew your connection with the earth and yourself.  When is the last time you were creative?   Imaginative?  When is the last time you cried in sadness or joy?

When is the last time you went for a walk in nature?  Have you thought about planting a garden?  Getting “down and dirty” with the earth, having a home cooked meal, singing a song as you admire the beauty of the sunset, and laugh at a baby’s smile?  Finding this lost joy in your heart will get rid of self-deprecating behaviors that prevent you from succeeding, hate and judgement towards others, and your innate desire to help others will come to life again as you begin to find a renewed hope.

Relearning these valuable human qualities is key to help those feeling depression. Work on not categorizing people who are going through depression, sadness, or some form of “mental illness”  Say, “NO” to a society that has reduced the human existence to different box sizes with a label on it.  Look for new methods of coping.  Take life by the reigns and direct it to where you need to go.  Be supportive of each other.  The time is now!

By Joaquina W. 

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