Six Lessons of Suicide

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Robin Williams gave many people joy.

You might be sad that he is dead. Or you might be feeling compassion. It’s important to know the difference. Compassion doesn’t hurt. It is pure, healing and whole. It is love. Compassion is recognizing his depression and sadness. Compassion is empathizing with what his close family and friends are feeling.

If your grief is causing you pain, then you are grieving your own life. There are fears and limiting beliefs in your life that are resonating or connecting with his experience of his life. These are things that you must heal and understand differently.

Mr. Williams might have felt that his life was a mistake, but the reality is: mistakes are only lessons from which we learn wisdom. Robin no longer has the opportunity for lessons, but we can learn wisdom from his life, his choices and his passing. His life was not a mistake.

First lesson? Talking about suicide does not cause suicide. If you are depressed, you are not alone; you are not less than others. Everyone has the capacity to be depressed. Depression is not a disease. It’s an emotion or cessation of emotion so that we can be numb or have peace for just a brief period of time. Sometimes we are not depressed, we are just sad, but our pursuit of happiness causes us to believe that we have less than we do. Often people compare their “happiness” to others and if it isn’t always superlative than their glass is half empty. That leads people to be sad or discontent. Believe this: any piece of happiness or gratitude is superlative.

Second Lesson? Suicide is never ever an answer. Not even when you think it is. I can say this because I have lived depression. I have seen the precipice of suicide, the delusion that death yields peace. I’m not ashamed or afraid to admit it. It doesn’t mean I want to now, nor will I in the future. In fact, my experience and healing has given me more confidence and patience for the world. I have more gratitude for all that I have.

Third Lesson? You are not weak if you have depression. Many people have worked through it. Many people have gone on to help others. You are not weak if you have it once or twice or five times. Each person’s process is their process. I’ve often noticed that the smarter we are, the tighter the knots we tie, the more complex our coping mechanisms become. To untie those knots, keep it simple, unravel the ego. Unravel what you “think” and what you “believe”. Ultimately, not everything is a struggle between life and death. All is an illusion.

Fourth Lesson? To honor and value Mr. William’s life requires you to honor and value your life. There are many ways to commit suicide. Some are fast. Some are slow. Some garner headlines, some don’t. The reality is: People are committing suicide and don’t realize it. When you drink too much, when you eat too much (or unhealthily), when you smoke, these are all methods of suicide.

Fifth Lesson? Acknowledge the sadness and grief within yourself. Heal it. Determine what your fears are. Heal the lies in those fears, heal the questions in those fears. Dig deep and then dig deeper. Use the same advice that you would give a friend.

Sixth Lesson? Love yourself as you love others. You see, whenever I saw Robin Williams, I always saw how he loved others, but he seemed challenged at taking it in. I always saw his pain. He was a man surrounded by water and only saw a desert. But he was giving people water every day. Sip from your glass of love.

Ultimately, Robin Williams would not want you to feel sad. He would want you to own your love and love yourself with every fiber of your being. He would want you to be compassionate and optimistic towards yourself and others.  This is a lesson definitely worth living.

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