Several months after my son’s death by suicide, I had a reading with a medium. It was gifted to me and under normal circumstances, I would not have accepted such a gift. However, these were not normal times, and I was desperately seeking answers. I wanted to know why my son took his life. What was so horrible that he had to make that decision.
I did not know what to expect during the reading. I was quite surprised by how it went and the answers I received. Through the medium, my son conveyed that he was in a dark place, a place so overwhelming that he had no other choice but to end his life. He described it as having a bag over his head and could not get it off, there was no escaping the darkness. He also referred to his situation as being in jail without any hope of being released and that he would be there forever, behind bars, isolated and alone.
Wow! What I learned that day was very surprising. My son was 24 years old and just getting started in life. He had recently moved into a house with some friends, had a new job and loved his dog, Mac. I also knew that the move set him back financially, the job was commission based and he recently broke off a long-term relationship. These were all big changes at once. He also relapsed with drugs which caused him to make some poor decisions with consequences.
I personally don’t see these as things that are dark and heavy. I see them as part of life, growing pains, part of maturing and becoming an adult. That is my opinion. However, that is not the one that matters. It was how he felt and what he was going through that counts. He never shared how he felt and how burdened he was. That is what breaks my heart. How I wish that he had opened up to me, to his sister or friends so we could help him.
The more I learn and research about mental health and suicide, this piece makes sense. When a person is in a bad place, a place that is dark and without hope, they also don’t know how to get help. They don’t realize that they are standing on a cliffs edge that is ready to crumble under their feet. And even if they are aware of their dangerous situation, they don’t think they should do anything about it. It is like a toddler learning the stove is hot. They don’t know it is dangerous until they touch it or are told no.
In my son’s memory, I continue to ask myself, how can I help others in this situation, where life is dark and heavy? The best I can do is to teach and share ways to empty out the negative that fills up our thoughts and replace them with ones that can lift us up. By instilling hope and optimism before life becomes unbearable, others have greater odds of choosing a different path besides suicide.
You are created to be filled with peace, joy and positivity but if you allow the negative in, then it pushes out the positive. If you allow guilt, resentment and doubt it takes up space for the good things that are meant to be there. There is not space for positive and negative. You have a limited amount of room for thoughts.
You control what you think about, what you let in and let remain there. Everyday, you need to empty out and let go of the negative that has happened to you. Go ahead and think about it then forgive them. Forgiveness is not about them, instead it is about you. When you forgive others, you release anger creating room for joy and peace.
If you worry, don’t allow it in. According to researchers at Penn State University, only about 8% of the things we worry about come true. In other words, less than 1 in 10 things you stress about is actually worth it. Expect that things will turn out for the better instead of dwelling on the slim chance of the negative happening.
Along with emptying out negative thoughts, empty out stale air with a box breathing technique. breathe in for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds. breathe in for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds. Each time you breathe in, expand your lungs and drive in the fresh air so your belly expands. When you exhale, push the air out causing your belly to be drawn inward. Repeat the inhale-exhale cycle 10 times. This increases blood flow and can improve how you think and feel.
This is not an all-inclusive list or cure for everything. However, start putting these things into practice and you will see by emptying out the negative, you will be able to bring in the positive and be filled with peace and joy.