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Kalin Art & Spirit

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How to Save a Life

Be There~ Listen~ Love~
Have you ever heard a friend, who was really down, say “I hate myself” or “I’m thinking of doing something…” “I just cant take it anymore!” They dont have to say they feel suicidal— just feeling down and confused is a state of hell where the suffering FEELS like it will last forever!
A person doesn’t have to be dead in order for part of their soul to die.
Certain statements should set off alarms that mean, “Im scared, confused, angry, overwhelmed”.
So, what do you do when this happens? Are you shocked? Concerned? Scared that you dont know the right thing to do? Of course, that’s natural. But what do you actually do?

Sometimes people recognize negativity and depression and evade it at all costs, thinking it is contagious…and in a way, they may be right. Depression has its way of spreading to you if you open your heart in caring and allow yourself to fall into despair with them. But it is your CHOICE to decide if you want to give in to the prevailing emotion and suffer along with them, or not.

Standing in your own power is probably more of what a depressed person needs…for you to be strong when they cannot. A listening ear, a gentle touch, holding hands or, if you know them well enough, putting your arm around someone who is down can allow that person to relax, center and face their greatest fears is what they need. Just to be able to sit silently with someone or hold them while they are crying, gives them the strength to find their inner core of self, and find their own power within. Sometimes that is enough to help them stop their mental wheels from spinning out of control. To pause and regroup.

What can we do? Care. Be there for them. Be brave enough to sit with them to show your support. Share a kind, quiet word. Be non-judgmental. Allow them to be themselves….even though it may be the dark side of themselves. Open your heart to them. See them. See their humanity. Love them. Then help them find someone else more experienced or qualified to talk with after you’ve given them your support.

What should we not do? Shun them. Avoid them. Judge them. Berate them. Offer advice, unsolicited. Tell them antecdotal stories to distract them. Paint their suffering as small, or try to ‘fix’ them – because there is nothing ‘wrong’ to fix…..

The easiest way to show your caring is to simply sit and listen. Encourage them to open up and speak…because some people just need to talk things through in order to process them, especially if their problem seems overwhelming. And if, after doing this doesn’t seem to resolve issues or lessen the pain of the moment…find a number of a crisis hotline or counseling service for them, because they could be in such a confused place that they can’t do it for themselves.

~Yesterday at church, our sermon was on depression and mental illness. When asked who in the congregation (which was a packed house, I might add) knew anyone with a diagnosis of any sort of mental illness, be it depression, anxiety or other illnesses—
almost every hand went up! It was amazing.

Our minister said that 1 in every 4 people is, at any time depressed. Some of them clinically depressed. And although they may be out of touch with their emotions, numb or confused, they look completely normal and function as if nothing is wrong. They’ll say they are “fine” and even smile, yet inside they are suffering and feeling alone. If they are not brave enough to say anything…they continue to suffer.

The highlight of the service was when we joined hands and sang “Lean on Me” at the end of the service. The feeling of community was palpable! The buzz in the commons afterward was loud and vibrant…people finally discovered that it was okay to open up to one another and share~

*All of us have been sad or depressed at one time or another. The spectrum of emotion is wide and universal. Maybe we experience all of our emotions in order to be able to sympathize with others, and in that sharing, that empathy, come to reinforce the better, stronger sides of us all,
—share our strength and uplift humanity, one person at a time?

*As humans we have a capacity to feel all kinds of emotions and the capacity to communicate our feelings with words. Why do we have such skills, unless it is to advance our spiritual evolution?

*The Best we can do, is to ‘Bloom Where We Are Planted’~
Do our Daily Best and Be There for the others in our lives.
Namaste’ to the brokenhearted – and the healers – may you both find peace –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPoTGyWT0Cg –

Lean On Me by Bill Withers
origiinaly posted March 3, 2012

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Posted in Healing and Introspection and Relationships by kalin on August 20th, 2012 at 12:35 am.

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