If You Were in Need of a Pep Talk

A few years back I was at Walmart, digging through the $5 movie bin and found What Dreams May Come. I figured it might be ok. So I went back to my tiny little apartment and sat in complete stillness enthralled with the imagery, the acting, and the depth of the message which completely and utterly took my breath away.  That story had a profound impact on me in one of the toughest times of my life. I was in transition, in a pretty deep depression. I had faced my own suicidal ideations on numerous occasions wondering if I would ever have that irreparable irrational moment of follow through.

 

 I used to be able to describe depression in a way that would shake your world even if you had never experienced it. It was about the breathlessness, the powerlessness. About seeing the world around you in a warped and incredibly scary way. I could’ve provided the imagery of being anchored to the bottom of a pool with only your eyes peering over the edge, suffocating, watching and wondering what else was going to pull the last bit of you under. Depression has a life of its own, and although for me – its improved dramatically, I still have days where I cant figure out what the hell I’m doing or why I’m here. I still have days where I feel like I’m taking up too much space in the world. That I’m inadequate, that I’m lacking. But I have also come to realize these are misperceptions, not truths.

 

I understand suicide as a way out of feeling that pitfall. I get it completely. I understand the choice of suicide or the feeling that you don’t have a choice. I get it.

 

So here’s my pep talk to you (and maybe to me on those tough days), for those that are searching desperately to see the light, for you on the brink, in the space of aloneness:

 

Please understand that you are doing the best that you can, with what the information you have, in this very time and space. Here’s the truth – we all are. We are all doing the best we can, with what we know, in this time and space. What if we held a space of compassion for ourselves? Not out of pity, but out of the fact that we are human and sometimes error helps us grow. Sometimes we have to be clearly, so very clearly, at the bottom, before we rise. What if we saw the truth in the stories of all great heroes? That they typically come from the bottom up. That they too, struggle and over come.

 

What if we held compassion for others? Not out of ceasing accountability but out of the understanding that as we have been hurt, we have likely also been the hurter. Perhaps without malintent, maybe with deep regret, or maybe to a lesser extreme. Its about understanding, coming out of the blindness that anger and sadness can bring to truly understand one another. What if you say to yourself “I could’ve done that too”.

 

 “We can learn to see each other

and see ourselves in each other

and recognize that human beings

are more alike than we are unalike”

– Maya Angelou

 

What if we truly understood that all things are temporary? All feelings are temporary. What if we waited until tomorrow to make that decision? What if we took things less personally? What if we honored each person as they are? What if we took that moment to stop covering everything with a bullshit smile and said I really need your help. I need you to listen. I need you to hug me and tell me that I’m not as broken as I think I am. What if I told you that in 5 years – this will be the moment you survived? Because of this very moment, you will be stronger, wiser, and more in alignment with you.

 

I met with a beautiful friend with a gentle spirit who was teaching me about Native American Spirituality yesterday. We talked about fire and she set the reminder that even if fire burns things to the ground, they can always be rebuilt. Sometimes in the forest, the trees regrow and newness arrives as a result. That clearing is natural and important in many cases. As we watch things fade away we have to recognize it as method of  helping us find our truth. A reminder that even things that feel destructive are not going to “end you” unless you give them permission to.

 

What if I reminded you that even in those depths of despair you are never alone. What would it be like to know that there are thousands of people who feel that very same way, trying to escape it too. What if instead of beating ourselves up, we just listened. We truly heard the stories of ourselves and of other people. What would the world looked like if we truly connected to their souls?

 

How about I remind you of the inherent truth: That we are all here- as a unit – connected by something so much bigger than we are. That you have an ever abundant light that shines within you. It’s the same one that takes a big deep breath when you feel the wind sweep across your skin on a perfect summer day. It’s the way your eyes light up when you get excited. It’s the warmth you feel when you are in a position to give back, even if its just to listen, or to remind someone of how amazing they are. It’s the act of love, both to give and to receive. Its knowing that our truth is that we are perfect, even when we are a little bit of a mess. That we are exactly where we need to be, even if it doesn’t look exactly how we want it to.

 

I need you to trust. Trust that balance will find you. Trust in the temporary. Trust in your inner light and inner strength.

 

Take a moment today to remind someone of their divinity. Take a moment to highlight the things you love about them. Even the person who looks as if they don’t need that reminder. Take a moment to share your gratitude for the way they have impacted your life.

 

All will be well in the world, as it is intended <3

 

Special thanks to my sweet friend Arian for saving my day yesterday and sharing her beautiful wisdom with me <3