Published: 12/05/2014 - Updated: 12/31/2017
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
Voluntarily taking your own life, suicide, is something that could seem incomprehensible, confusing, and very painful for those individuals that have witnessed it, be it family members, friends, acquaintances, etc. It’s sometimes hard to see the reasons that someone my opt to leave this world, or how exactly that individual failed to find a way in which to enjoy or understand how to live, especially when they were talented at something or had friends, etc.
And yet, in spite of this being an unpleasant experience, and difficult to understand for those that witness it, perhaps there’s something valuable that you could find in this experience.
Why do some people commit suicide?
Depression is know to be one of the primary reasons for suicide, which is often times mixed with emotions like anxiety and strong irritability. In some cases, there could also be certain mental problems. People that commit suicide are generally surrounded in a depressive family environment, perhaps absent or superficial and/or with weak spiritual understanding. This should be understood with “spirituality” and not with simply going to church or praying or practicing religious rituals. We’re talking about developed spirituality in the sense of knowing oneself and understanding oneself, maturing a deep personal appreciation that can be taught and transmitted to children and young people. When the environment surrounding an individual is lacking in spirituality, the person could push themselves with great willpower to find the meaning of life and his/her existence, or on the contrary, they could accentuate their lacking or deep interior confusion that over time makes life seem more and more poor, cold, absent and meaningless.
When someone doesn’t like the “party”, they will want to leave
Lack of true happiness, a deep sense and true connection with life is what slowly brings a person to think about the possibility of leaving this world. When someone doesn’t like the “party”, what they want it to leave. No one who is truly enjoying themselves will want to leave. It’s quite possible, however, that the person thinking about ending their life first searches for a way to enjoy or understand this life that they have found to be meaningless. Perhaps this search for meaning is sparked by the shear natural impulse to survive that each of us has. Survival is not only related to eating and breathing, but also with affective or spiritual nourishment which seems to be the primary motor in people’s lives. When this connection with the essential nourishment is lacking, people then begin to suffer from anxiety, irritability, depression, pessimistic thoughts swim about that trap the individual if they don’t find an exit.
Connect with the essential
When a person feels trapped or unable to connect with the essential, they may begin to turn to alternatives for connecting with themselves and enjoying life, like addictions, which are a quick way of feeling “alive” and happy. These substances create chemicals in the brain that foster pleasant states and altered states of consciousness that could replace this desired “spiritual” connection. On the other hand, it could be that the individual does not find pleasure or “electricity” in life and they become more and more timid, withdrawn, resentful, anxious, isolated, etc. They might even take refuge in studies or intellectual readings in search of a connection with life, but these teachings don’t awaken an essential sense of life. It could be that the individual is simply incapable of connecting with him/herself for mental problems, so the issue becomes complicated and worsens. Those words could then only wrap the person up even more in philosophies that confuse their understanding, leading them to a final decision of suicide.
Courage, cowardliness self-importance?
Thinking about suicide is nothing easy: some people say that it takes courage to commit suicide while others think it’s the cowardly thing to to do flee from life and not face your problems. Others say it is a character weakness, exaggerated self-conceit, or an accentuated victim attitudes or even “vengeance” for what others couldn’t give them to make them happy. Others might even think it a “sin”, while on the other hand, there are some people that one can simple choose (making use of their own free will) whether or not to like or dislike this party of life, and that everyone has the right to end their life whenever they please.
Be that what it may, it might not be so easy to make the decision to commit suicide. But when someone does, then those left behind from the experience are left with questions. They might think: “How could I have helped?” “What didn’t they do or what did we do?” “Why did they do it?”. This could bring feelings of confusion, pain, and even guilt, especially for people who are close to us.
However, beyond venting pain and reflecting a bit on what happened, or making prior judgments regarding “why they did it”, you could ask yourself why you were given the change to relate with a suicide victim, keeping in mind that all the experiences that we live could bring us closer to something bigger, if you just learn to see with wider understanding.
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To see that someone deliberately brings about death is nothing that anyone likes to hear. Why doesn’t anyone like it? Because it speaks of a deep sadness, of confusion, pain, and inability. It tells us that the individual no longer found the magic, nor happiness, nor hope nor meaning in this world.
What could you have done to prevent it?
Perhaps not much if you don’t know or haven’t found your own magic, pleasure and fun, or deep spirituality in your own life. Or maybe, even though you know how to enjoy life and you truly search, you might not have been able to reach that person that left, because they simply had a unique path in this universe that they had to follow or live, and that was their life choice. That experience is one in an infinite amount that exist, to try all paths necessary to find someone, to truly arrive where they want to be. In the light of eternity, no path is “good or bad”. It just is.
Message of love
You could use it, on the other hand, and as spectators of the life that surrounds us, look to see if your own spirituality or life philosophy truly fills you…where has it taken you up to now? And does your knowledge and understanding make you feel free, loving, loved, understanding, compassionate, etc. It could also be a good moment to ask yourself whether or not you are avoiding what you truly feel by being wrapped up in a world of activities, obligations or superficiality in which you place value on images, positions, social thought structures, to the excuses not to change, superficial use of the body and sexuality, of people that surround you, attitudes that provide fleeting pleasure and that distance you from the essential, from knowing yourself, loving yourself and appreciating yourself. A lot of times we refuse to see what we really are or feel, because this demands us to change and we become responsible for recognizing our own weaknesses: of growing.
It’s true that appreciating the beautiful and mysterious life that we have inside and outside ourselves is a life process, of loving life, maturing within oneself: spirituality is something that is cultivated little by little, day by day.
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Realizing the message that this experience could be sending those that witness is is perhaps learning to love yourself a little bit more, to set yourself a little more free, to stop living superficially in a way that only feeds an empty and meaningless world. To be more honest, more valiant and daring with life, to play more with life, which requires ending the blaming and judging yourself, or judging others. It requires always understanding that we do the best we can and that guilt only shadows your ability to move towards the true magic that lies within you.
You might not have been able to do much for the suicide victim, because a lot of times, as said previously, it’s not in our hands to save anyone from their own decisions. In some way, the victim needed that experience. The victim a lot of times gets closer to people that can orient them with a deeper spirituality, but a lot of them do not take in the teaching or the orientation; they reject it, they are caught up in their own judgments or prejudices, or in their mental incompetence (whenever the individual can’t reason coherently).
The sun keeps rising
You must learn from nature’s wisdom in order to be able to understand experiences like these: the sun has continued to rise for millions of years in spite of the problems, lacking, limitations, wars, violence, people that die, etc. The sun even continues to rise even after atrocious and terrible things happen: the sun does not get upset, it seems like it doesn’t “care” about pain or what happens under its rays – our anger, shortcomings, and depression…It even seems like it wants to shine down even more on them! Nor do the stars stop coming out, nor does water stop falling from the sky, nor does the wind stop blowing. It could be because nature knows that nothing ends, everything is in transformation, everything has a purpose in the light of wisdom. And although sometimes we can’t understand the reasons that this world sometimes seems “unfair” or “terrible”, there is something wise inside us that does know why, and hopes that be grow closer to something bigger than what we are thought each life experience.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 12/31/2017
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