As a psychic medium, one of the most challenging things to do sometimes, is to bring through loved ones who have committed suicide. As a parent, there are not words or emotions expansive enough to express my sympathy for families who have dealt with the loss of a loved one because of suicide. It is almost impossible to wrap my brain around the grief.
In these situations, people want to know, "Are they OK." From what I have experienced, loved ones in spirit are good, because they are light and energy and not tied to a physical or emotional body of pain and suffering. However, these same spirits usually seem concerned about the loved ones they have left behind and the pain, loss and confusion their decision may have caused.
Another question is often, "Why?" This is harder to answer, for each person is different. For some, it wasn't really intended (they didn't think it would really work or end up the way it did), for others, there didn't seem to be a better solution for ending what was overwhelming to them. Some people like to say, "It isn't a decision, it is a disorder." I don't know if I always understand that statement, BUT I do know the trauma and internal drama are REAL. I remember the pain and noise in my head for a son I brought through. I felt distraught and desperate (again, not in spirit, but their experience from when they were alive), and could not imagine having to deal with that every day.
So, knowing this, and the fact that I cannot change what has already happened, I wanted to write to inspire and comfort those who are still here, but may be struggling RIGHT NOW.
I am not a therapist, but I do know a lot of good ones, :) because I have had my own challenges in the past. My life isn't a fairytale, but in many of my darkest hours, I had the privilege of still intrinsically KNOWING, that I was loved by the creator. That was and continues to be my greatest comfort and floatation device in a sea of uncertainty.
I know I have been CREATED. I have come forth to LIVE and DIE, and both are happening simultaneously.
Isn't that amazing?! I, like every single person alive, am meant to experience all facets and nuances of living and dying. In order to do that, though, I MUST allow myself to be open to ALL the experiences along the way. Challenges and loss and disappointment and questions are landmarks along the road of my life, BUT they are not permanent addresses. I do not need to live in a place of continual suffering. Most times, I can choose to move on or go back, but I could also choose to say, "That is enough. I am done." That is the beauty of my free will.
However, part of having my free will is also knowing when I might need help, AND ASKING for it…through therapy or medication, a ritual, a support group, and/or prayers. Growing up, when my mom would tell me she wished I had never been born, or would blame me for problems she was having, I could easily have chosen to turn to abuse or alcohol. These solutions certainly seemed to be some of the most popular remedies in my household.
I didn’t though…and I don’t say this to judge others. I say it to remind myself of the POWER of my choices and my path. I can only decide for me, myself and I. No one else...and that is really hard to swallow--especially, if you have a loved one who is struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts or other serious disorders.
YOU CAN ONLY CONTROL YOU.
No matter what I am facing, I always know that I have choices and options. Every single moment is filled with limitless possibilities. Sometimes, though, people can have a disorder and they can be so down or so high, they can’t see past those emotions and thoughts. This can happen, and choice may not seem relevant. I get it. Once again, it may be necessary to get different medication, change your diet, add in more exercise, see a new therapist, etc…
For me, I thank my lucky stars that I was too stubborn to give in. I refused to be anything like my mother, PLUS I had the encouragement and love from my grandparents, and the solace of singing in church, talking to the stars and escaping to safe spaces through reading. All of these things were like beacons of shimmering light in the darkness and they shone their light so I could see a different path and outcome.
I encourage EVERYONE to pause and look around. Please REALLY see your life—not the circumstances, the disorders and disabilities, but the miracle of YOU living and breathing. Know that you are on a path of dying every day so why not savor and taste, swirl the magical goodness of all the flavors LIFE is giving you around in your primordial belly and CHOOSE to live WHILE you are dying.
Do not choose to die faster, because you are THE ONLY YOU walking your path, and wouldn’t it be a shame to never explore and discover the gnarly woods of darkness and light, the pristine lakes of purity and deep depths, and the mountains of stolen breaths and blinking eyes of wonder?
I think this is one of the reasons why I am SO passionate about creating safe spaces for people to do their work and find themselves…places where you can break down and fall apart and know that the sacred mother of this earth will hold you and love the pieces of you back together.
I practice being present and seeing people, thanking them, acknowledging them and accepting them where they are as divinely perfect yet humanly flawed individuals. I don’t always get it right. I can be rude and impatient and short-tempered. I have bad days, but I make amends and apologize, and always seem to come back to this space of gratitude.
I am so grateful for my life, for the lessons, for the people and teachers, for the awe and wonder, and for so many things that seem small and inconsequential—like the plump, purple grapes dangling from twisted branches overhead when I walk on the path to The Soul Source, the small gray and golden feather I found floating in a pool of rain water, the enchanted and excited laughter of my kids playing the new version of “Mindcrap,” and the wobbly smile and wagging tail of my 13 year old baby when she is prancing around under the apple tree or sniffing the compost pile.
These are tiny precious gems from my everyday life that I cherish, and they remind me to CHOOSE to live. To get help, when I need it, to cry when I can’t be strong anymore, to laugh at how long I waited to cry, to sink into a place of just breathing and being when I am done with everything, and then to wait until something changes again. I
I know I am not YOU. However, I do also know that everyone, in one small moment or another will think, “Maybe nobody would care if I was gone. What would it matter if I wasn’t here anymore? What good am I?” I have thought this, and knowing that I had this thought when I was younger, makes me aware that others may have had similar thoughts and/or may still be thinking this. I am not in charge of their thoughts and feelings, but I can offer to help by being a kind and loving human being. I can make time to listen to others, to say hello, to drop someone a note of thanks, to cook a meal or volunteer as a Big Sister. We ALL can help.
I send out so much LOVE, STRENGTH and SUPPORT for anyone who may be having suicidal thoughts or questioning their meaning and existence. I want to tell you, in case someone else hasn’t told you already, “YOU MATTER. You are loved and needed. You are a beautiful soul filled with divine light. Please share yourself with the world.” I hope you can receive this message and take it in and then give it out to someone else who may need to hear the same thing, and if you can, I hope you choose to live.
Blessings and love,
The true dichotomy of life and living well seems to me to be wrapped up in this statement:
"The stronger you become, the more gentle you will be."
I know, I know...At first, this seems like a bunch of woohoo nonsense and stupid talk. I personally want to contradict and argue this statement by pointing out all the historically touted images of "strong" people and leaders.
I mean, come on. Hitler and Stalin built empires of corruption and violence by projecting "strength" to the general public. So did Darth Vader, the Godfather and numerous other "bad guys" in myths and legends, and movies throughout time. For some reason, we are ingrained to swallow the story that "strength" means political power, amassed financial resources and a need to be ruthless and emotionally detached.
This makes me feel sad and a little hopeless at times. I wonder how we can ever have peace and contentment when so many world "leaders" continually promote and condone their individual political and religious agendas? How will the attention and movement of the masses ever be swayed to focus on the good of all when our cultures instead glorify the having and getting of more "goods?"
When I go down this mind spiral of negative what ifs, it can be really overwhelming. So, I pull myself back and say, "I can only manage MY THOUGHTS, MY ACTIONS and MY LIFE." Whew! That is a cold splash of wake-up water to me. It helps me to get out of my "stinking thinking" and back into the land of now. I turn off the TV, shut down the computer, (I don't have a cell phone) and stretch and breathe. Ahhhhhhhh. I feel more calm and able to chew on the deeper meaning of this lesson:
"The stronger I become, the more gentle I will be."
The best way I can help make this world and my present moment and place more peaceful and loving is to become a paradigm of these characteristics. I can remind others of the less celebrated meanings of strength--those of character--through my own actions, thoughts, words and beliefs. I can focus on the act of being morally strong and dedicated to the tenets of kindness, patience, compassion, forgiveness, joy, happiness and acceptance.
When I am truly strong in character and spirit, I understand and embody the need for gentleness and I encourage and honor the choices of others. I don't need to force anyone else to think or believe the way I do. I just need to be the BEST ME. I have to do MY work, release my regrets and anger, forgive my "trespassers," and build my spiritual strength of faith and intuition. This is A LOT! No wonder lots of people want to focus their attention on others. It is easier to do.
Life IS an infinite space of directions and possibilities. The act of being kind and respectful becomes the anchor for the vessel of my strength so I may remain rooted yet flexible and resilient in the face of challenges and difficulties. Sometimes I find this challenging and notice I am becoming hardened in my heart and opinions. When this happens, I also feel more stiff and inflexible physically and emotionally sharp and splintered. Things don't flow and I seem to look for and attract conflict and obstacles. Has this happened to you?
Lately, this is when I practice pausing and reflecting and I ask myself:
1) What trigger from the past that makes me feel anxious and afraid is coming up right now and why? Are the people and circumstances similar somehow? In what specific way?
2) I then wonder why I am attracting a situation like this past circumstance into my life at this moment and time? What am I ready to learn, and how can I respond differently than in the past because I am a DIFFERENT person?
3) How can I appropriately comfort (I am very honest with myself at this point and try to think of healthier ways to provide solace than food, romance novels and lashing out at others) and reassure myself AND the younger person I was in the past? Do I need to forgive or just listen and extend compassion? I also remind myself of all the loving ways in which I take care of someone else who is asking for my assistance in this type of matter and see if I could treat myself the same way.
4) Do you want to cry or scream or run away? Can I give myself these releases in a way that honors? Is there some type of ritual that will help me process and surrender my feelings? Sometimes, I write in a journal or call a safe friend. Many times I walk outside, sit with my dog, go someplace quiet or just get in the car and drive for a while with some gentle music in the background.
There are other things and thoughts that come up, but this is where I usually start, and ALL of these practices remind me of how I am being more gentle and loving with myself. As a result, I am able to set some things from the past free to float back into the infinite source of all and brush out new spaces for more strength and peace. After all, the more I am able to face my own fears, demons and regrets, the more personal power and courage I gain to go deeper and further into myself. The more I do this, the more I am able to do the same for others, and the stronger I become.
I am becoming stronger all the time...not in the "evil" empire way, but in a way that mirrors paradigms of personal strength and accountability. Teachers who inspire me by recognizing their flawed human nature and deciding to embrace it and use it to create love, plant seeds of hope, and engender gentleness in one small space at a time. I am choosing this path and I am learning as I go:
"The stronger I become, the more gentle I will be."
Jen Martin is a Mom, Medium and Movement Person. She uses her intuitive abilities and training in yoga, prenatal yoga, meditation, and business to help others appreciate and help themselves. If you have kids, like hearing from loved ones in spirit or enjoy taking heart-centered yoga and meditation classes, check out Jen's blogs.