I have seen far too many people in the care of social services grossly retraumatized rather than helped when feeling their most vulnerable because people do not understand this loving, accepting and healing approach. It’s based in deep trust for the process of the individual who presents themselves in front of you. Listen. Love.
From Jeff Foster’s facebook page, I’m doing as he suggests and sharing it with all of you here:
Please share this essay with anyone who you think may benefit from this alternative perspective on depression, breakdown, suicide and awakening…
Take me out to Cypress Hill in my car. And we’ll hear the dead people talk. They do talk there. They chatter like birds on Cypress Hill, but all they say is one word and that one word is “live,” they say “Live, live, live, live, live!'” It’s all they’ve learned, it’s the only advice they can give. Just live. Simple! A very simple instruction… – from ‘Orpheus Descending’, Tennessee Williams
I was speaking recently with a woman who was planning her own suicide. She had spent the past few weeks sorting out her finances, paying off her debts, and trying to find foster parents for her young daughter, who would be left motherless after she killed herself. So many people had tried to intervene, but her mind was made up. She was definitely going to die. She had been threatening it for years, but finally it was coming true.
Her friends and family were starting to panic. I agreed to speak with her.
“That’s it. I’m done here. My time on earth is over”, she told me, point blank, at the start of our one-to-one session. Everything had become such a burden to her – her job, her so-called-friends, her failed relationships, her own brilliant but overactive mind, even her beloved daughter. It was all just too much. She was in so much pain, totally drained, fed up and exhausted from trying to help everybody all the time, and never getting anything back. She was the one who gave everything to everyone, but who ever gave anything to her? Where was gratitude? Where was love? Even her young daughter was just “take-take-take” – her demands were incessant. The only way out of this hell was death. Suicide was the logical solution to the problem of living. Her life insurance policy would be generous to her bereaved family.
I let her talk and talk. She had a lot to say, and I said very little. I simply got on her side, saw and felt things the way she did, allowed her to experience what she was experiencing, and allowed her experience to become mine, intimately so. It was easy, since I have known well that place of total exhaustion, that place where “I’ve been trying so hard to save others and have received nothing back”, that desperation to die (or at least to end the burden of living), and also the sense of guilt and terrible sadness that arises from imagining loved ones trying to go on without me.
I stayed close. I did not try to play ‘spiritual teacher’, ‘expert on suicide prevention’ or even ‘therapist’. I certainly did not lecture her about nonduality, the absence of the self, the perfect perfection of perfect awareness, or the non-existence of the ‘I’. We did not get into intellectual discussions about the Absolute and the Relative, the illusion of free will or the ins and outs of Oneness. I did not try to fix her, to mend her, or even to ‘save’ her. I simply listened to her. I wanted to learn from her, not teach her or feed her new beliefs. What was it like, exactly where she was, right now? (CONTINUE READING HERE)
Another piece on Beyond Meds that speaks to dealing with people and their suicidal feelings in this manner is here: A conversation about suicide
And another post featuring Jeff Foster is now up: From “De-pressed” to “Deep Rest”: Depression as a Call to Spiritual Awakening?