“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reasons.” ~ Albert Einstein
“I do not want to live anymore. I do not want to live here. I can not do that. it hurts a lot. It’s very difficult. “
I am curious how many times I have heard these words in my lifetime. From different people, based on age, gender, ethnicity, and life. The same word, no heaviness from one to the other. A specific tone is associated with hopelessness. Flat, low, and empty.
Being the child of parents who commit suicide, there is a familiar inner fear that overwhelms me as soon as I hear these words. A hyper alertness and tuning, knowing that it is time to roll up my sleeves.
As a psychiatrist, there is a checklist that goes through my head to make sure I ask all the right questions as I assess the level of pain they are experiencing.
As a human, a warm wave of compassion as I feel around for the need of this special soul.
After asking and determining specific safety questions this person is not at significant risk of ending their life, I ask, “So what is the end goal here?” What do you think happens after you die? Where will you go? How would you like it? How will you feel when you are dead?
The answer would be different from “it is dark and nothing, no feeling, no existence”, “I will live in heaven and be done with this,” but more often they do not say, “I don’t know.”
I sometimes question, “Well, if you don’t know how you can guarantee it will be better than this?” What if it’s worse? What if you have to reissue it? What if you’re stuck in a dark abyss and can’t get out? “
More times than not they have not thought through it. They are not thinking about what’s next, mostly because what they’re really saying is “I don’t want to feel like this this now and
I get it We all have those moments.
Then I dug further:
“How do you know that your miracle is not around the corner?” If you know that relief will not come tomorrow if you provide opportunity for another day? What would it be like to be curious instead of assuming how sad it all would be?
Since you have not always felt the same, is it possible that you can feel joy and freedom again one day?
If you look at your past, you will see that you have many fears and fewer moments. Did they stay the same or did they change? Most of your fears were not, and if they do, you survived them – you made it. You too must have learned something or strengthened your ability to be brave.
If you move around, you can see that there is a lifetime of proof that your world is always changing and shifting. You will see many moments when it can feel like things were not going in the direction you wanted to go, but you will likely see the same number of moments, which is exactly what you need. Use them as evidence that your surprise bliss can be around the corner.
During these conversations, my own curiosity is revived. I often ponder what my life would have looked like if my mother had been outside for a while. I wonder if another drug would have helped him. Or if the words of a motivational book might have offered him hope of holding on. Or the feeling of the sun on his face has kissed him long enough to make him want a little more. If.
What if she is in a state of curiosity instead of deciding that there is no surprise or happiness left? Would he have made me feel the moment I graduated from high school? Would he have been there to make me happy when I had hoped to help people like him by securing my master’s degree? Would she have cried tears of joy to my daughter, her first grandson, and knowing it?
Who knows what her life would have been like if she had lived another day? I’ll never know, but I’m curious.
I have sat with countless children and adults, when they are deep in their pain. I ache for them, cry for them, and also feel hopeful for them. I wonder what will happen next that we cannot see.
I have seen that conception happens when hope is abandoned, new relationships are born when the people involved make sure they will never be loved again, new jobs just appear anywhere at the “right” time She gives. I have noticed that once people started focusing on themselves, and moments of joy started coming in the hearts of those who were sure that there was no light left.
The truth is that we do not know what will happen next, but we know that we have made it this far. How do we know that tomorrow will not be what we are waiting for?
I believe that our basic spirit is human peace. The loving peace that fills us when we praise them. The way we feel that we have done something that we are proud of and we connect with the love that we are made of. The way we feel we are giving love to others and the way we feel when that love comes back.
I also believe that the human experience is full of struggle and difficulty and challenge. I don’t think we’re getting out of it. I believe that we are equipped with the power to lean into our pain so that it can move through us. To use his experiences as his strength and his knowledge for the next wave of frustration.
I do not believe we are suffering, but rather learn to suffer and use hope as a steering wheel to guide us … knowing that the light cannot be right in front of us, it is just The corner is nearby.
And the more we employ this belief and our practices, the sooner we are able to return to the peace that lies beneath.
In moments of difficulty, what would allow for curiosity? To not only accept the emotion in front of us – and to feel it – but also to allow for the possibility of it coming.
All our experiences come with a free will to choose how we will respond to them. With openness and surprise or dismissal and resistance. It is also okay to feel it all together. Feelings will pass. They always do.
Next time you are stuck in a feeling, or that feels like a never ending experience, consider thinking, I wonder what will happen to it. I wonder what I will achieve. I wonder what strength I will develop and how to support myself. I wonder what beauty is on the other side of this pain. Do not push through it, but surrender to it.
Then allow for curiosity. be open. You never know what surprise the day may bring. Perhaps today is the day that it all changes. Or maybe tomorrow. You may not know the day, but when it comes you can be ready and open.