Nearly 1,000,000 people make a suicide attempt every year.
Being alone in body, mind and spirit sucks. It’s a hard rock to come out from.. trust me, I understand. There is nothing easy about the overwhelming feeling of being alone in your thoughts. Isolated from humanity and detached from these aliens that run around this earth mucking it up. You feel so fucking tired of fighting yourself and those around you. I get that.
But please, let me offer you something. It might even be a version of peace of mind for you. I know it was for me.
Let me first say that I am a card-carrying atheist. However, I think the religion I am most comfortable with has been Buddhism. As I have been taught new things over the last year by my mentor, I have expanded my world views to see that Buddhism is so much more than a “brand name” religion.
Here’s where I get to the peace of mind part.
There is a technique I have learned that has literally transformed my fucking life. It has brought me to a deeper understanding of myself and the world around me. It’s fleshed out all those grey areas where fear lived, where self-loathing lived, where I lost myself in negative thought. The strange part is that it is so very easy. I devote 10 minutes a day to saying out loud or to myself these four lines:
May I have happiness and the causes of happiness,
May I be free of suffering and the causes of suffering,
May I have joy and the causes of joy,
May I remain in equanimity from attachments and aversions.
That’s it. This is called Compassion Training. I am learning how to have compassion for MYSELF. The depths of the human psyche are all different, but I do feel there is this string that binds us together. It is the self-hate we have practiced over and over on ourselves. The Compassion Training allows you the opportunity to view yourself with kindness and deserving of happiness. It re-trains your brain to instead of being inflamed with lust or pissed with rage – to think on things with understanding. It is the motivation to see them how they are, and not as a reaction.
I’ve found with the training that it was difficult at first. When I would try to say the verses, my mind would try to distract me with negative thoughts. It would bring up all this garbage from years ago and remind me of the piece of shit I am. But you must fight through that. That is your brain resisting the training program. You must get through that and see that when you come out the other side, you are totally enabled to love yourself.
This isn’t a cure and might not even help with suicidal thoughts – but I know it has helped with my severe depression. It has transformed my brain into a loving machine. Don’t get me wrong. I still have orgasms and fight with family, but not everything is so god damn charged that I could choke on it. It releases this tension and allows you a calm.
Here are some medical and psychology journals talking about Compassion Training: here, here and here.
If you are in Crisis and need help right away, call this toll-free number, available 24 hours a day, every day: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You will reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a service available to anyone. You may call for yourself or for someone you care about. All calls are confidential.
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