I love this picture. I look so happy and at peace, don’t I? The irony is that this picture was taken during one of the saddest, darkest seasons of my life. Not even the person who took this picture knew what I was walking through. Isn’t it funny how we smile when the camera comes out and the spot light shines on us? If anyone took the time to look into my eyes, they would have seen the depths of my sadness. My eyes tend to tell the tale.
I don’t remember the timeline, but maybe a few months before or after this picture was taken I remember standing before a mirror looking at my eyes. I didn’t recognize them – they didn’t look like me. However when I step out of the ‘shadows’, I looked the picture of peace and well-being. Things are not always what they seem to be.
Lately, we have been shocked by the number of seemingly ‘successful’ people taking their lives. The common comment is ‘ we didn’t see this coming’. Family and friends are left with so many more questions than answers. What signs or symptoms did we miss? How could we have helped?
I never really had a challenge with suicidal thoughts, but I’ve felt tired. I’ve felt like I needed a place to disappear – to be left alone. A place where I didn’t have to think. No questions, no expectations, no conflicts and no fears. Where no voices were heard – complete solitude. I didn’t want to be bothered. I just wanted to escape. To run until I reach the end of myself. Have you ever felt like that? Do you see how one can get there if we don’t have the necessary tools to rein in our thoughts in a healthy way? Death can seem deceptively welcoming. Guard your thoughts.
Ignoring the sadness in your soul or someone else’s is never healthy. At times it can be fatal. Sadness comes with this thing called life. No one escapes it. However, if you allow it to take an inch, it will take a yard. Drowning it with ‘red, red wine’ as suggested by Neil Diamond brings another set of problems. I don’t need to talk about the disappointments we encounter when we try to use people or toxic relationships to help us escape.
My safe place is my relationship with Christ. We talk about everything. He invites me to ‘come now and let’s reason together’. When talking seems limited – I write. I am so glad He reads my letters and notes. I also found that reading His letters and notes to me [we call that scriptures] shifts the atmosphere around me. Songs that takes the attention off me to the One greater than me quiets the turmoil in my soul. Even though situations may not change, I change. My perspective changes – It may be called the ‘renewing of the mind’.
Sometimes I connect with someone who may be able to relate. Often times I sleep, go for a drive or a walk. I have also learned the art of taking my eyes off me and doing something for someone else. What do you do? Like many other emotions [healthy or unhealthy], sadness is a symptom of something deeper. Left unattended, it can take us to some dark places.
Have you looked into someone’s eyes lately? Have you listened to what they are not saying? When they smile, does the smile reach their eyes? What about your own sadness? Have you looked into your eyes recently? Please, don’t turn the other way….
***Thank you for sharing a bit of my world. ‘Like’ and comment – share with someone who may need this.