In honor of Suicide Prevention, I’m sharing my personal journey of how kindness saved my life.
I had a seemingly perfect life when I decided to end it all. Years later, I am determined to save lives through one simple thought: the pursuit of perfection can kill you, and the awareness of your own greatness can heal your life.
Seventeen years ago, I felt so depressed and hopeless, I set a date for my suicide. I gave the universe six months, or I was going to kill myself. I had two chiropractic practices, money, a wonderful girlfriend. I had everything I thought would constitute a perfect life.
But, inside, I was dying.
The World Health Organization estimates that more than 800,000 people take their own lives each year. I believe one major contributor to a global increase in suicide is society’s fictional ideal of perfection. We place too much emphasis on being perfect, and we hold expectations and other points of view about how life should be. When those expectations aren’t met, we believe it is because we have failed. We make ourselves wrong. In doing so, we are unable to see the greatness that we naturally are.
I believe there are many factors that undermine our natural sense of greatness which include…
1. Being highly aware and sensitive
We are unknowingly bombarded constantly by the thoughts and feelings of people around us. Much of what goes on in your head isn’t even yours; and highly sensitive people are particularly attuned to, and affected by, the emotions of others. Sensitive people are like psychic sponges. They are so attuned to others that, at an unconscious level, it’s like they are absorbing and reacting to everyone in a hundred-mile radius!
Surround yourself with happy people! Secondly, repeatedly ask yourself this simple question whenever you are feeling sad, angry or blue: “Who does this belong to?” If you feel lighter after asking this, and the emotion ‘lifts’ from you, you can be assured that you have just picked it up from someone else. Recognizing this allows you to stop trying to fix what was never yours in the first place.
2. Experiencing abuse
Many of those who suffer from depression have been abused physically, mentally or emotionally. People unconsciously believe that abuse wouldn’t happen to a good person; so by default, those of us who have been abused have decided we must be ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ to have created this. Then we perpetuate this belief into the future by making it a justification for why we can’t choose or create goodness in our lives.
Learn to see yourself from a different perspective, such as, “I have been confronted with the worst of this reality and I’m still here, and I’m still searching for something greater.” Many abused people become the kindest and most caring people in the world, as their way of going beyond the abuse.
Remember, you are different.
You are greater than anything that has been a part of your life.
You are a gift to this world.
3. Living a sedentary lifestyle
Sedentary lifestyles are very stressful on our bodies, and are actually quite unkind to them.
Your body is meant to move! That’s one of the reasons you have it. It loves to be mobile. It loves to run, jump, swim, play, walk, rock-climb, and be enjoyed for the gift of movement it can be.
Ask your body each day: “Body, what movement would you like to do today?” And go do it! You don’t have to do it perfectly, or like a world class athlete. Make it easy. Do it for fun! For your body! Just do it.
And to anyone overwhelmed with the weight of expectation, judgement and despair…
Please know there is always hope.
Never give up, never give in and never quit.
You are far too valuable to the world!
P.S. For more information and tools I’ve used, please check out my free email series on suicide awareness at www.drdainheer.com/nevergiveup.
P.S.S. And for the full article in Aspiring Gentleman, please go here.