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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Is Hope Enough?

Hope is the greatest gift is what Danielle Steel cites in her -autobiographical- book about Yo! Angel! her organization for supporting homeless people in San Francisco.

I know that hope gets me sitting up again, when I'm lying on the bottom of a well.  But is it enough?

A faint flicker that things may turn out right in some distant future, that life does have nice things in store, not just pain and loneliness... Personally I don't think it suffices. I've lived with hope all my life and it made a nice umbrella to keep away the raindrops. But now that I must weather a storm the umbrella is useless.

Hope may make me sit up again, crawl around a bit ...  but I still have to wait for someone to lower a rope into the well.
I need something that makes me climb out of the well all by myself. Something that makes me lean against the storm and walk through it, no matter how slow the progress may be.
What I need is Belief !  Belief that my life will  -not: might -  turn out 'all right' if I work on it.  Belief that my struggle is justified. 

Where is the fire of the blacksmith to forge my Hope into Belief ?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Suicide is not a choice

   Suicide, some religions or cultures forbid it. Saying it's a sin to take away a life before God says it's time.
   Yet if an animal is suffering we condone having it put to sleep. We call it "humane" and tell ourselves that an animal should feel good, have joy in life.
   What, pray tell, is the goal of a human life?
   Are we obligated to live, no matter how rotten and painful it gets?

   Anyway, let's go back to the subject:  when someone, a human(e) being, commits suicide it's called a "bad choice".   I question that.... 

   My son and I have been going through a rough time simultaneously when my son was 10 years old.  One problem led to another, a lot of dominoes falling down.... matters taken out of our hands by powerful people who didn't understand shit of what was going on.  They wrecked our lives and we had to try to repair it behind their backs... a very difficult task.
   We both used to sigh often "I wish I was dead."  and the next moment felt guilty.... That line must be an insult to the ones who try to support you. It sounds thankless and selfish. Like "my pain of living is more important than your pain in reaction to my death".
   So we made a deal: it was alright to use that line,  since it seemed to help to let off steam. But the other, who heard the line, had to translate it:
"I wish I was dead"  =  "I wish my life was different".
By and by I noticed I made the translation before sighing.... uttering the line  "I wish my life was different".
   That line points out that there are choices and change is something a person can pursue. It puts your life back into your own hands and makes it look like a painting or some other art work of which you yourself are the creator.

   Beautiful words, right?  There is a catch however. We live in a complicated world, sharing it with many others. Rules, regulations, dependencies...  we are never for a full 100 %  the painter of our own lives.
   We are bound by limits... a disease that can't be cured, financial limitations due to lack of schooling or lack of jobs. Not having the support you need in your network... You are never independent, other factors, people,  have a say in how you paint your life's picture.
   Sure, if you don't like the directions given to you, the boundaries you run into... there's the choice to try something else...  like walking down a corridor with many doors.
   If one door doesn't open, you try the next door. With trying I don't just mean trying the handle, but  fidgeting with the lock with all your intelligence,  throwing yourself against the door with all the power you have, hell use dynamite if you must....
Suicide is always one of those doors. That doesn't make suicide a choice. Not for me.  It's the last door I will go through.  The door carries the sign "No Entry".
   But when all other doors have been tried, really ALL... and you cannot stay in that corridor because the water is rising and you are drowning... You will open that door at the end of the corridor, not by choice but by instinct. To save yourself form drowning.
   Drowning? Yes, when life is more hell than you imagine death to be.  When your fear of life is bigger than your fear of death. Suicide is what is left when you ran out of life affirming options.

   I'm not the only one who looks at suicide this way, I have people backing up my ideas.... here's an article on animals committing suicide and the idea that suicide is not a choice is backed up by the researchers:
Animal Suicide Sheds Light on Human Behavior

   Don't look down on people who tried to commit suicide, failing or not.  They were fighters who gave their all. You don't want to know the hell they went through before they opened that final door.

   Someone you know is suicidal? Open doors. Doors that suit that individual, not doors that you like!