Even The Horrors….Questioning Your Personal Thoughts

life endlessly transforms

Not so long ago a very dear client/inquirer/friend called me because her son’s girlfriend committed suicide. Age 16.

Even though I didn’t personally know her son directly, nor the girlfriend….

….I paused with the news, drew in a deep breath, and then cried.

The awareness of a young girl deciding to end her own life filled me with the ache of suffering of humanity.

All kinds of thoughts went though my mind: it’s so unnecessary, the parents of this girl must be devastated, this was an unfinished life, these events are unbearable, the son must be so distraught, how does so much suffering happen?

I felt connected to it. I know this family. They live in my same city.

This past year, I read about a death of a 15 year old girl from my daughter’s high school, also by suicide. I didn’t know her at all, didn’t recognize her name.

It’s not terribly uncommon.

That’s the incredible thing.

Such finality in the decision, and yet decided every day by people.

Last year all mental health professionals where I live were required to take a six hour continuing education course on suicide.

I was so grateful for the training.

During that class, one topic of discussion was about interviews which have been done with people who have tried to commit suicide and by some strange intervention, did not succeed.

Many of them shared one fascinating thought, as they looked back at the event.

Right after they caused the act that would end their life….

….a huge number of them said “Oh no! Wait! Nevermind!”

They became clear.

After the decision was no longer up in the air.

The mind working so fast and realizing, after stopping the endless agonizing debate of whether to DO it or NOT DO it….

….once that war was over….

….this wasn’t really the answer.

Now of course, these people in the interviews were the ones that by some fluke DID live.

They landed on a soft pile, their stomach was pumped of all the medication, the bullet went clean through and missed vital parts, the rope broke, they were rushed to the hospital and stitched up.

Maybe those who die also have clarity beyond that moment of taking action, who knows. And maybe, since they die, that is exactly what they become clear about—death was just right for their situation. We can’t really interview them.

There is simply no answer, no way to know.

Suicide exists as one way life ends…..and everyone’s life is over in this particular body at some point.

So who would I be without the belief that it’s the wrong choice, unbearable, impossible to get over, a life that should have been different or longer?

It doesn’t mean I like it, or my heart doesn’t break into pieces….but I notice I’m present, connected, full of feeling, tender, noticing there are no answers and no reasons, and there is still life here, going on, and I can show up for the people here, now.

“In the end you know that there is no sin, no guilt, no retribution, only life in its endless transformations. With the dissolution of the personal ‘I’ personal suffering disappears. What remains is the great sadness of compassion, the horror of the unnecessary pain.” ~ Nisargadatta

It’s OK not to know what to do, or say when someone dies…even from suicide. It’s OK to remain present, to be with those who remain alive, to help them, to support, to feel every drop of feeling, to sob.

All you have to do is be there, being.

Nothing more.

Love, Grace

9 Replies to “Even The Horrors….Questioning Your Personal Thoughts”

  1. Thank you Grace that sounds like a good place to begin. I always forget the JYN sheet can work that way! Thank you for your kind response too :-)

  2. Thank you so much for sharing Anne. Yes, while I have no idea what happens beyond this life, for me it would not ever be peaceful and accepting to end my own life, there would be an action taken that involved being against the living. It is so amazing to explore what I’m against, and what is beyond being at war with life, I would love everyone to experience the joy of this and not feel their only solution is death. Sounds so powerful to work with people, as you mentioned, on death right in that moment–perfect. What an incredible thought to question “death will be better than this life.” I found I could not ever know if that is true. And if someone else dies by suicide, what is quite amazing in this world is it appears this is possible…as someone still alive, I could do The Work on that death from my own perspective and fear, and find their choice had great passion and determination and willingness in it–they didn’t know another way, or they would have taken it. Maybe their current suffering IS over. It certainly is changed to an entirely different world, at least without their body as it was. Thanks for sharing–such a good suggestion to look at death NOW, here, in this moment, and go from there.

  3. I appreciate your loving communication. When I was at my first school, I heard Katie say if her daughter dies fine–then she doesn’t suffer any more. That didn’t work for me as I believe that the mental body reincarnates and you have to deal with your issues in the next life. I went to Katie at the break and said this to her (this was a big deal to me as my own daughter had been suicidal). Katie just listened to me and wanted to hear more. then I noticed when I was staffing another school and suicide came up, Katie basically said, better choice not to (for the reason I had given her). My thought was that she talked to Stephen and he affirmed that this is a spiritual truth. I’m not saying that I believe that suicide is “wrong” by any means. I’m just sharing with you (as I thought you might appreciate it. When I work with clients who have been suicidal, if it feels appropriate, I work with them on dying right now over the phone and just notice what happens. Much love to you, Anne

  4. Oh so welcome. Genuinely honored to be with you and the healing that is underway even right now in this moment. Loving you too. –Grace

  5. Beautiful sharing, thank you so much for writing your experience. I had the same suicidal feelings before and understand. You point to it perfectly–the areas of rejection and abandonment. These were also huge for me. What you can do is start with where you feel the most abandoned or rejected. If you need to go back to age 14, you can–sometimes it’s hard to access the details, even if the feelings are still there. If that’s the case, I would simply choose someone more recently who has rejected you, or abandoned you. Maybe you have a few people who come to mind. It’s OK if they’re not currently in your life right now. Those individuals, that moment of rejection, will be the teacher. It’s not usually where we like to look–but you may as well, since it’s alive within, right? Find a situation where the person rejected or abandoned you, even very mildly. Maybe they disrespected you, or can’t see or hear you, as you mentioned. Write a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet on this moment where you realized they were doing that. Really be thorough. Save that JYN and begin to go through the concepts you write on that JYN one by one. Don’t think “I need to get over this rejection thing” while you’re doing it. Let go of any outcome.

    Yes, the loneliness and separation felt when you have a barrier between yourself and others can be very intense. You are not wrong for building the barrier, it’s out of defense and fear. But questioning these people will bring you to awareness of this separation. At least it has for me, and then the separate lines break down and begin to dissolve.

    Much love, Grace

  6. Wow, Grace, thanks for this. And you were there, and I can’t tell you what it meant to me. There so cleanly, so clearly, so caringly. It is how the Work lives in you and has cleaned your guest house so thoroughly that you could be there for me, so present. Can’t tell you how much it meant to me, to hear sanity and love on the other side of the phone. Gift, gift.
    Love you,

  7. Hi Grace! This was a rough note. I think I feel compelled to write, because I don’t fit into any of the categories. I tried to end my life when I was 14, and was one of those ones that miraculously survived… stomach pumped etc. but never once did I think “oh wait, never mind!”. You don’t always wake up from something like that and think hooray I made it! Sometimes you think, oh no, it didn’t work and I’m still here. Almost 25 years later, I still play out those patterns of thought and emotion in my relationships despite decades of everything from psychotherapy to shamanism. I can’t quite tell where to do the work on them. But it’s the pattern I fear feeling the most. Even though I am no longer suicidal, I often find myself praying, when that pattern kicks in, to be “taken home” just as I did on that night when I was a kid. A Voice enters my head and asks “is this really what you want?” and something and gets quiet and peaceful inside of me as a true yes emerges. But I know just as clearly, that I will not hurt myself. Then the next day comes, and I get up and go to work, and I eat take a shower and another day passes. I have no desire to hurt myself, it’s just that my negative thoughts and emotions about life are like a burden. Somehow, I feel drawn to them, perhaps they are asking to be healed and won’t let me go until I do. I’m also drawn to teither isolation, or the same people that disrespect, or can’t see or hear me, and I experience that same pain of rejection and abandonment and I was so young. I relive those feelings continually. Who wouldn’t feel like this was a burden? Where can I start doing the work with this? The patterns for so ingrained, there so much I can’t see around it i’m just not sure. The day takes me away with all its distractions, and another year passes. I’m still carrying around that hurt 14-year-old! What do you think? Thanks for giving me a place to write this. When you live like this, it’s like being separated from yourself which translates into a deep loneliness in the world. Thank you for listening /reading.

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