Archive for the ‘Healing’ Category
I tried to commit suicide at age 24 and came frighteningly close to succeeding…if success is ever the right word to use in such situations. As such, I have a lot to say about Robin Williams, not because I knew him but because I know exactly how he was thinking and feeling when he made the decision to try.
I would first say to those who would second guess his motives, his financial situation or his degree of “selfishness” as I have heard it referred to: DON’T… unless, of course, you’ve been to the point of consciously, albeit irrationally, trying to die by your own hand.
It’s not about the money, it’s not about the fame, it’s not about the lack or excess of anything other than feeling. It’s about feeling too much in a world that does not have enough love or compassion. It’s about living a lie and becoming the comic, the drama queen, the rebel, the alcoholic, or the workaholic in order to harden you sufficiently to withstand all the insensitivity, separation and denial.
I’m not a big proponent of medicating depression. In fact, I was coming off of anti-depressants when I used those same pills to try to kill myself. And, while one of the first thoughts I recall having upon surviving the attempt was what hell I had put my family through, it never entered my mind at the moment I made the decision. You see, when the pain gets bad enough and the fog gets thick enough, the realization that you have finally figured out a way to stop the suffering seems like a relief and that single realization takes precedent over anything resembling rational thought.
When a person tries to commit suicide, they don’t really want to die. They’ve just misplaced hope. Hope that things can and will change. Hope that the pain will ease. Hope that the fog will lift. Hope that they will ever feel joy again. Hope that on balance, life is actually worth living through all its trials and tribulations. Hope that tomorrow, or even an hour from now, it will be possible to give and receive love again. Which is why everyone, not just people who are depressed, should sit up and pay attention to what Robin Williams was driven to do.
We are living in a world overwhelming us with so much negativity that we are losing hope. You see it in the growing apathy. Apathy unchecked leads to hopelessness. Where is the outrage and help for innocents beheaded or buried alive? Where is the outrage, and help, for the Iraqi’s stranded on a mountain top? Where is the outrage and help for children being used as sex slaves and pawns in a political game? Where is the outrage for female genital mutilation as a “religious” practice? Where is the outrage for corrupt, lying, greedy politicians who prosper at our expense and our decline? Where is the outrage at what’s happening on our border? Where is the outrage at what we do to animals every minute of every day in the name of science? Where is the outrage at the manipulation of our economy for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many?
I know. I know. You are tired. You are overwhelmed. You feel powerless. You are dancing as fast as you can dance. So was Robin Williams. That’s the cautionary tale he bequeaths us.
His most important message and he brought us many through his seemingly endless creativity, is that having to feel less, or dying, is not the answer. The message of immediate importance is for each one of us to finally embark upon creating a world where kindness, cooperation, compassion and love are the norm not the aberration.
A world where feeling too much will only get you more joy.
Steve Clark (my co-host on Above The Fray Podcast) and I post independently of one another. I get to read his blogs the same way you do which is when they’re published. Yesterday, when I read his post titled “We’re All Drug Addicts” I knew I had to write my own thoughts on a topic about which I have first-hand knowledge. In fact, when Heath Ledger overdosed, I was contacted by several media outlets to weigh in on the subjects of addiction, suicide and drug overdose. (A fully developed interview of me following Ledger’s death can be listened to here.)
Anti-depressants are proven to lead to and/or increase incidents of suicidal thinking. In my twenties I battled depression and anxiety. A physician put me on anti-depressants and tranquilizers to combat the condition. When I realized I was addicted to the medications I decided to stop taking them. Shortly thereafter, I tried to commit suicide and came very close to succeeding. It was a turning point in my life as it awakened me to the realization that I had to either do it again and succeed or begin to live my life differently. I choose the latter.
It is now decades later and I live a joyful and rewarding life. In no small part it’s due to a different addiction. I mediate daily. Your reaction may be “Well, that’s stretching it a bit since mediation is hardly an addiction.”
But it is.
I need to meditate every day. I’m at a loss when I don’t get my “fix” of that meditative state. Without those feelings of peace, joy, calm and clarity that I receive from meditation I feel tense, discontent, frazzled and off my game. So you see, I am addicted. But I’ve also consciously chosen my addiction because it enhances rather than diminishes the quality of my life.
The point is that it may just be human nature to be addicted. Some choose alcohol, drugs, pornography, chocolate, gambling, serial adultery, masturbation, twitter, clothes shopping…whatever. Regardless, we humans have Free Will and so get to choose that to which we are addicted.
For me, the contrast is no contest. On drugs, I was sedated, slow of thought and harming vital organs with unnecessary and toxic side effects. On meditation, I am sharp of mind, peaceful of spirit, accepting of life and creative of soul.
So to paraphrase Steve, if we’re all addicted remember: You get to choose to what.
I’ve had an “aha” moment. This isn’t a conspiracy theory although it may read like one. Oftentimes, a new and innovative way of looking at the status quo, that calls into question an established view or pattern, can be misinterpreted as conspiratorial. Let’s not go there. Keep an open mind as you read on and you may have an “aha” moment of your own.
In his latest book “Focus” Daniel Goleman states:
“Survival in the wild, some neuroscientists argue, may have depended at crucial moments on a rapidly shifting attention and swift action, without hesitation to think what to do. What we now diagnose as Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.) may reflect a natural variation in focusing styles that had an advantage in evolution–and so continue to be dispersed in our gene pool.”
Goleman’s words gave me that “aha” moment.
We are living in a time when political, economic and social systems are breaking down all around us. Its certainly reasonable to posit that all the resulting chaos raises a “warning/danger” response in the primal area of our brains. Accordingly, we are hard wired to respond to threats to our well being and/or our very existence exactly as Goleman and his neuroscientsists observed… “with rapidly shifting attention and swift action, without hesitation to think what to do.” Also known as A.D.D.
Here’s where you’ll have to suspend your tendency to conclude conspiracy.
Approximately 7.5% of school aged children in the United States have been diagnosed with A.D.D. Unmedicated, they are also (to use Darwin’s phrase) the “fittest” for this phase of conscious evolution we must now navigate. I suddenly understood why the “powers that be” want to medicate A.D.D. A narrowly focused population that cannot think expansively, change focus rapidly, or multitask with ease is more readily controlled that one that can. These A.D.D individuals are the seers and the innovators of our day. It is they who will be the ones to usher in new ways of doing things in this age of breakdowns
If you have A.D.D, or know someone who does, perhaps you might want to pay more attention to the wanderings of that rapid mind….and less attention to what “the experts” say about medication.
All our futures may depend on it.
In the book African Genesis the author puts forth the concept of “Blessed Anger.” Blessed Anger is what an animal in the wild exhibits when the minimal amount of space it needs to survive is encroached upon. Animals have an instinct to “stake out” conceptually where that line of safety is in relation to their location. If another animal approaches, there will be no action taken unless the approaching animal crosses that invisible line. Should that occur, the resting animal will go on offense and attack the incoming foe.
I think its reasonable to assume that such Blessed Anger would be exhibited, and justifiable, by any parent in regard to their child. Anyone who has ever had a child knows the instinctive, protective feeling of rising to meet any person or force that poses a threat to your child’s safety and well being. With that in mind, meet Joe Pelletier.
Joe Pelletier has today been charged with Contempt of Court for violating a gag Order imposed by a judge in Massachusetts. Mr. Pelletier is, in fact, in violation of that Order. He knowingly and willfully chose to speak out publicly about the kidnapping and medical malpractice that his teenage daughter, Justina, is now the victim of as perpetuated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston Children’s Hospital and the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.
Mr. Pelletier’s decision to violate that Order was made in an effort to save his daughter’s life. Justina suffers from mitochondrial disease, a medical condition diagnosed by Tufts Hospital in Connecticut and for which treating physicians there performed abdominal surgery, where, among other procedures, an elimination tube was inserted in her torso. Yet subsequently and without basis, Boston Children’s Hospital has found that Justina has no medical conditions but rather a psychiatric condition whereby she imagines all of her symptoms, one of which is continual pain. Therefore, the hospital has denied her ALL medical treatment and forces her to attend psychiatric sessions. Further, with Justina now in a wheelchair as her physical condition deteriorates, Boston Children’s Hospital has transferred her to a facility that houses only non-medical, short-term recovering psychiatric and drug rehab patients.
As a former lawyer who practiced Family Law for 13 years and had my share of custody cases involving the state and agenicies such as DCF, I can assure you that the abuses perpetrated by both the Courts and state child protective service agencies can far exceed the conditions from which the child has been removed under the legal standard of “in the best interest of the child.”
Justina Pelletier is my child and your child. She is everyone’s child. And this is every parent’s nightmare. Justina is running out of time. The Pelletier family is mentally, physically and emotionally devastated. They have been financially ruined.
We are the reserves and the reinforcements. Each person reading this must choose one of the below listed methods to be heard and immediately do something about it. Every minute you hesitate is another minute you now know the Pelletier family is suffering. Ever minute you hesitate Justina Pelletier is deteriorating and denied medical attention.
You now have knowing. You now have personal responsibility. We are all connected. You have the right to Blessed Anger.
Allow it to move you.
Governor Duval Patrick
Phone: 617.725.4005 (out of state)
888.870.7770 (in state)
Olga Roche, DCF Commissioner / email: email@example.com
Martha Coakley, Massachusetts Attorney General
Phone: (617) 727-2200
Boston Children’s Hospital
“Lone Survivor” opened in theaters this past weekend to become the second highest grossing movie ever in the month of January. It’s both a war film and a profoundly moving account of ethics, determination and sheer courage in the face of overwhelming circumstances. Yet, the most important message of the movie (and the book upon which the screenplay is based) occurs off screen.
“It went bad for us over there, but that was our job. That’s what we did. We didn’t complain about it. We never gave up. We never felt like we were losing…until we were actually dead.”
What first caught my attention about Mr. Luttrell’s response was his use of the words “we” and “our.” His choice of pronouns may not seem all that extraordinary…after all, these four men trained and performed as a unit. However, it’s the last half of the last sentence that riveted me.
“…until we were dead.”
Marcus Luttrell returns to us to do much more than write a book or make a movie. He returns to us to personify the living manifestation of the unifying principle of Oneness. Four men died on that mountain in Afghanistan, not three. You know that through Mr. Luttrell’s statement. His experience was that “we were dead.” However, four men crawled off that mountain as well and have survived to tell their story through Mr. Luttrell.
Yes, it is a story of war and its ravages as well as of courage, compassion and endurance in the face of overwhelming odds. But above all else, it is a story of our connectedness to one another. What happens to one of us happens to all of us. Until we own that reality, we will continue to tear one another apart both in and out of war.
The solutions we seek to the world’s challenges are not political, they are of the heart. True unity is no better expressed or understood than in the manner that Mr. Luttrell speaks of his/their experience, his/their bond and, most tellingly, his/their deaths. Four men went to Afghanistan and all four have returned to speak to us with one voice.
If Marcus Luttrell still questions why he made it back, my prayer is that he wonders no longer. Every morning that he awakens his three friends awaken as well. It is the highest form of resurrection and it is his purpose to exemplify this reality for the rest of us. I, for one, am eternally grateful to him for the integrity and commitment he brings to the calling. May the Nation, and the world, be awake enough to seize this profound moment to finally understand what divinity in action is all about.
There is only One of Us
Listen to Carole discuss Marcus Lutrell in an excerpt from her radio show “An Hour of Inspirational Gold” on BlogTalk Radio.
Note: click on the gray play button below
Suicide crosses all economic and sociological boundaries. No one is immune by nature of their family ties nor is anyone to blame. In fact, suicide knows no boundaries. This painful fact is most recently evidenced by the suicide death of Matthew Warren, the youngest son of Pastor Rick Warren, mega-church founder and author of the best-selling book “The Purpose Driven Life.”
It seems almost a cruel irony that a man who inspired so many to find purpose and meaning in their own lives must now tragically face an inability to gift that same purpose to his own child. This tragedy is not a failing on the part of Pastor Warren. It is the sad but very real outcome of an individual’s inability to find hope and meaning in the midst of suffering.
I know. I tried to commit suicide at age 24 and have spent decades since building a rich, full and meaningful life. However, since that fateful day, I have periodically been challenged with those same thoughts that caused me to choose attempted suicide all those years ago.
The difference in how I have since dealt with those thoughts is by learning to override them through an understanding that the only constant is change. Therefore, no matter how bleak the present moment may seem, I know that I can trust in the fact that it will pass and change will come. I also developed an ever-growing sense of self-worth by facing, and overcoming, life challenges…starting small and working my way up to ever-increasing accomplishments.
I have read that Matthew Warren was described as “an incredibly kind, gentle and compassionate young man whose sweet spirit was encouragement and comfort to many.” How I empathize.
We live in a fast-paced, often-times alienated-from-one-another world due to technological advancements and misplaced values. The more sensitive, caring and perceptive one is of the pain of others, the more challenging it can be to exist under such circumstances. It seems the most gifted, the most artistic, the most remarkable individuals in human history have suffered the greatest emotional turmoil. Perhaps this is the price of truly understanding and feeling our connectedness to one another. I do not yet have this answer.
What I do know is that hope and trust in the ability to survive and prosper are tied to experiences of competency. The more often an individual is able to experience autonomy combined with accomplishment the more likely they are to be able to emotionally and intellectually weather the storms of clouded thinking that see suffering as permanent and suicide as an option.
To schedule Carole Gold to speak to your group, organization or school on attempted suicide and effective ways to overcome negative thinking click here.
I don’t know why he did it. No one does. It was a tragic and senseless act by a troubled soul. I wept as did the Nation and as we each try to find some fact, some new information that could perhaps bring something resembling meaning to the chaos I am certain of one thing.
Hatred and further polarization are inappropriate and destructive responses. Whether media personalities or politicians… family members, friends or co-workers…“coming at each other” over gun control is to wildly miss the point. Only a world that has lost its moral and value-based compass could have strayed as far from Truth and harmony as we have strayed.
It’s about so much more than guns. That is precisely what we will try to avoid. We will try and tie it all up in a political package aimed at curbing assault weapons rather than accepting personal responsibility for how we have abdicated doing what is right when confronted with the opportunity to do what is expedient.
We have shunned putting forth the time to be parents to instead turn the children over to be influenced by technology. We have avoided living lives that establish standards that would then give us the right to demand the same of our elected leaders. We have failed to provide decent facilities and care for the mentally ill. We have determined the success of our personal lives by our incomes rather than our degree of inner peace, and that of the Nation by its Moody’s credit rating rather than its citizens proliferation of compassion. We have neglected to revere life in all its forms thus destroying at will that which is inconvenient or burdensome. We have lost the patience to allow our lives to unfold in harmony with natural rhythms and, by so doing, misplaced conscience as we took what we wanted when we wanted it without regard for consequence. We belittle and mock our own inner connection to the Divine while falling prostrate at the feet of material false idols.
There is no President, no legislation, and no committee to see about all the ways in which we have erred and rebelliously refused to self-correct. For in the end, this is what it has come down to. Self-correction. For if we do not use this moment, this tragedy, this waste of human life to stop the hatred, name calling and polarization… to awaken to our Oneness… then it will be too late to Self-correct.
We will have moved beyond any remedy conceivable by our limited capacities and inflated egos to turn the tide of self-destruction. If that should happen, the correction will come from a place outside of our understanding and may God have mercy on us.
Awaken now. Stop the separation now. Take responsibility now. Feel your humanity now. There is only One of Us.
What I do to you I do to myself. What I think of you I think of myself. What I wish for you I bring upon myself.
This is law and it is incontrovertible.
I live in two worlds…the physical and the metaphysical. We all do to some extent. The physical world is what we can see, hear, smell, touch and sometime prove with objective means. It is a world evaluated and acted upon by our Conscious Mind. The metaphysical world is less easily defined but no less real. It is comprised of the branch of philosophy that treats the underlying theoretical principles of a subject. It studies the relation of universals to particulars, and the teleological doctrine of causation. Its scope is broad enough to include the theologian, the philosopher, the mystic, and the fortune teller.
Some people, like myself, acknowledge and live in both of these worlds in a more or less balanced degree. It wasn’t always so for me but I have worked deliberately, and at times accidentally, to achieve that balance…that harmony.
Others, such as Nikolai Tesla physicist and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of alternating current (AC) electrical supply system said, “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”
So what is our resistance to that beginning? What is our fear around opening up to the unknown? Again, Tesla leads us in the direction of the answer. “If the genius of invention was to reveal tomorrow the secret of immortality, of eternal beauty and youth, for which all humanity is aching, the same inexorable agents which prevent a mass from changing suddenly its velocity would likewise resist the force of the new knowledge until time gradually modifies human thought.”
We are living in a time when such “genius of invention” is opening up new ways of perceiving the physical and the non-physical, relating to one another and healing the body. We are being gifted the opportunity to open the heart frequency to receive more enlightened information than the mind frequency has the capacity to receive. But remember what Tesla said about the resistance “mass” puts up to “sudden changes in its velocity.” We humans are mass and as such, are not immune to the natural actions and reactions of matter. However, the Universal Laws of Change and Movement that affect all matter also subject us to that “gradual wearing down” of resistance Tesla identified.
Nature is The Answer because it holds all the answers. I live by the same desire that drove Tesla when he said, “The desire that guides me in all I do is the desire to harness the forces of nature to the service of mankind.”
Dogs cannot see color but colors exists to all who can see them. There are worlds around and within us operating under the same Universal Laws that apply to the reality science studies and relentlessly pursues. If you want to know those worlds, if you want to see where others cannot, relinquish the grasp your mind has on the physical world and open your heart to those worlds that are beyond its grasp.
I had many people reach out to me today via email and phone calls to express their disappointment, frustration, depression, anxiety, and even anger over the re-election of President Obama. I have responded in the same way to each of them. Since their range of emotions is likely indicative of all those who supported Governor Romney, let me share my response here for those of you who feel similarly.
The Torah, the first five books of Moses, has God on occasion calling the Israelites a “stiff-necked people.” By that is meant that they can be, and at times were, resistant to following Divine Guidance. I think the word applies to our culture here in the United States.
For quite some time, certainly for the past 50 years, years, we’ve lost our way in terms of prioritizing our values. We became too materialistic, too impatient, too disrespectful of life for both the unborn and the elderly, too condescending to Nature, and too lacking in compassion for our fellow citizens. We look to the state and the federal government to do what is ours to do. We’ve abdicated personal responsibility in so many ways that we’ve forgotten how, and why, to do things for ourselves.
Such behavior is inconsistent with all the great religions of the world and so we have become a stiff-necked people. Where there is abdication there always follows consequences. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that as government continues to grow and more and more people become externally reliant rather than self-reliant, and the freedom that comes with personal responsibility is eroded to the point that all people feel the constricting arms of dependency…we will awaken. When that occurs, we will have the opportunity to pay the price for the personal liberty we thought we could bargain for nothing. It is good news though. Such a payment is always worth it and, yes assuredly, there is literally Light at the end of this tunnel.
For those of us already awake, it will be a smoother ride knowing that Divine Providence is driving and has a plan. For those unawakened, the ride will not be without its treacherous moments for a stiff neck takes a greater hit than one that has bent itself to the Will of God.
There is neither rhyme nor reason as to how the November 6th Presidential election turned out as it did. There will be a variety of hindsight quarterbacking with a variety of causes. Some will say money and a machine bought the win while others that the Republicans had the wrong VP candidate in Paul Ryan. The one certainty is that this is a Nation divided and that division is deep and seemingly irreconcilable.
Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Former Soviet Union Premiere Nikita Khrushchev knew it when he said, “You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright; but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of Socialism until you will finally wake up and find that you already have communism. We won’t have to fight you; we will so weaken your economy until you fall like overripe fruit into our hands.” Russian foreign policy expert and former KGB analyst Igor Panarin knew it when he predicted economic, financial and demographic trends will provoke a political and social crisis in the U.S. When the going gets tough, he said, wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government and effectively secede from the union. Social unrest up to and including a civil war will follow. The U.S. will then split along ethnic lines, and foreign powers will move in.
No? Listen to the Obama supporter who, during the campaign, expressed that she was supporting Obama because “I never thought this day would happen. I won’t have to worry about putting gas in my car…I won’t have to worry about paying my mortgage…because if I help him he’s gonna help me.”
We have two challenges ahead of us. The first is to quickly educate the American people that throughout all of human history abdication of personal responsibility always ends in bondage. The second is that we are not separate, we are One. Only the illusion of separateness, perpetuated by the few who would have power over the many, can cause us to see one another as adversaries and enemies to be destroyed or upon whom to seek revenge.
It may be too late for the former. It is not too late for the latter and should we get there, be certain there will be nothing and no one left to rebuild or restart.
Personal responsibility and Oneness. A recipe to save a nation on the brink.