Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained. ~ Marie Curie
In the USA September 9 – 15 is national suicide prevention week. This is a time when we need to remember those we have lost to suicide, and remind those who are struggling that there is reason to hang on, even when it feels so far away and like giving up is easier than carrying on.
I write this in memory of my stepsister who took her life at the age of 25 (1971 – 1997).
Life is good, even when it sucks. I know that is a contradiction, but I also know it is a solid truth. We all go through ups and downs in life; times of gain and times of loss. Our lives are filled with times of great joy and times of excruciating pain, whether that pain is physical or emotional is irrelevant, the pain is very real and is sadly guaranteed. Yet in spite of the downs, the loss, the pain; life still is good and beautiful and there is always hope, we just need to believe.
We need to know and understand that there are people out there who love us. They may be people who are close to us like our family and friends, or not. But we are loved. Every last one of us is loved unconditionally; we just often cannot feel it. Maybe there is some-one out there who loves us but not the way we want them too. Just because it isn’t how we want doesn’t mean it isn’t love. Yes that love may hurt, but it is still love.
We need to let others know when we are hurting. The biggest lie we can tell ourselves is “if they really loved us they would know how we feel.” No-one can know how we feel if we don’t tell them.
We are never alone, unless we choose to be. There is always some-one out there to turn to. It does not have to be some-one close in our life, it can be a professional – but that is why they are there – to help. Whether you talk to a pastor, a doctor, a counsellor, maybe even a teacher, but if you let them know that you are hurting they will help, and if they can’t they will connect you with some-one who can. It doesn’t even have to be in person, it can be a crisis-line we turn to. But we do not have to suffer alone, in silence.
Remember that nothing lasts forever. Life is full of seasons, just as the happy, good times eventually end, so too will the bad times. In the middle of the crisis it is so hard to see, but it is true and we need to go through these seasons over and over again throughout our lifetimes. Just remember; as the seasons of birth and growth (spring and summer) seem particularly colourful and joyous, the seasons of death and dormancy (autumn and winter) can seem particularly cold and bleak, but eventually spring will return.
Every life has a purpose, including yours. Especially yours. Your life is yours and yours alone. You are the only you alive, and it has been purposed that way for a reason. Call it God’s plan; call it fate, even destiny, but you were made for this time, at this time, to exist and fulfill something that only you can fulfill. I can’t tell you what your something is; I am trying to figure out my something. But I know I have a purpose, there is a reason that I am alive right now, why I felt compelled to sit at my desk and write these words. Just as there is a purpose behind why at this moment, you decided to sit at your computer and read this post. We may never see the point behind these moments in our lives, but they occurred for a reason, and some-one’s life somewhere will be touched by them and that’s all that matters.
Life is a miracle, it is beautiful, and good, and colourful. But it is also hard and brutal and trying. We just need to stay focused and persevere. We need to remember how precious life is. To be able to embrace both the good and the bad in life. We need to learn how to love ourselves and love each other. Maybe if I had known these things I could have shared them with my step sister, and maybe that would have made a difference, maybe not. I don’t know. But I do know that even though the pain can be crippling, a life is a terrible thing to waste.