The very few who jumped off the bridge, and lived, and can talk about it, those one to two percent, most of those folks have said that the second they let go of that rail, they knew that they made a mistake, and they wanted to live.
– Sergeant Kevin Briggs
For many years Sergeant Kevin Briggs had a dark, unusual, at times strangely rewarding job: He patrolled the southern end of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, a popular site for suicide attempts. In a sobering, deeply personal talk Briggs shares stories from those he’s spoken — and listened — to standing on the edge of life. He gives a powerful piece of advice to those with loved ones who might be contemplating suicide.
Why Suicide Doesn’t Work
The enlightenment perspective on suicide: We are immortal souls. When our body dies, we take our thoughts and emotions to the in-between-life. We take our issues with us too. Worse, in the in-between-life we can’t do much about it and fixing our issues has to wait till the next incarnation. In short, we jump from the frying pan into the fire.
Why Do People Want to Commit Suicide?
People commit suicide for three basic reasons: depression (90%), emotional pressure, and/or physical pain. Depression is lack of vitality, lack of emotional energy that is. In a way, suicide from depression is an escape from pressure too – the external pressure of life.
Pressure is the underlying cause of suicide – external or internal. Have you watched Matrix? Remember Agent Smith taking over the matrix and transforming everybody into himself until there are only millions of Agent Smiths left? That happens to a mind when an emotion or thought takes over.
To end one’s life seems to be the only way to overcome that seemingly invincible emotion or thought and release the pressure it causes.
We seek revenge for the same reason. Revenge doesn’t work either. Revenge gives us only a short relief. Soon after emotional pressure builds up again with the added payload of guilt. That’s why revenge has the nickname Five Minutes in Heaven.
The Seven Stages of Loss
The cause of a suicide crisis is always some kind of a loss, the loss of a loved one, a job, something we hold dear and lose for good.
Every crisis has seven stages:
People are most likely to get suicidal during the anger phase (emotional pressure) or depression phase.
How To Deal With Emotional Pressure?
It is impossible to kill emotions. Emotions are like energy. They have a life of their own. If you lock up an emotion, it will dig its way out, pop up somewhere else, stronger than before, and mad at you for locking it up.
We need to transform emotions instead.
How to transform emotions?
That’s simple: Focus on the opposite emotional expression.
Easily said and difficult to do? Definitely. But suicides aren’t the only ones who deal with this. Everybody owns negative emotions and feelings. We all struggle day in and day out to control our negative vibes. Balancing emotions is such a simple exercise that either you do it or you don’t. Either you list your negative feelings and make it a habit to counter-balance them whenever they pop up or you just let them take over. There is no more advice. Just do it!
Transforming emotions is a process. Of course, it doesn’t help a suicide standing on the edge of a deep. Here are a few steps that may help in case of emergency:
- Identify the crisis phase you are in. That can already take the edge off.
- Find an immediate way to release emotional pressure. Most likely it is anger. Let it out on something without harming anyone.
- Seek help. Tell someone that you are suicidal. If you don’t have a friend you can trust, choose a stranger. Find a suicide hotline. These are good people who spend their private time helping others. Who is more trustworthy? That person will help you survive your emergency situation until you can work on transforming your negative emotions.
- Remind yourself that it is all in your head. Your soul is in control of your head. Reach out to your soul and invite its guidance.
- Start your emotional transformation. Make it a daily habit.
Here are a few bits of advice on how to transform emotions. What healthcare is to medication, emotional healthcare is to psychological emergency procedures.
- Identify the emotion that is causing trouble. Is it anger, sadness, fear, or contempt?
- Identify the opposite emotion you want to focus on. This can be tricky since English is not very detail oriented if it comes to naming emotions. If you can’t think of the opposite of anger, use humor. Think of something funny to overcome anger.
- Emotions are amenable to mental imagery. They pour into images like water into a cup. Visualize something that expresses a positive emotion you want to kindle.
- Do this daily. Improving the imagery is part of the exercise
- Last but not least, remember that you are a little universe. Whatever you think you lost out there, is inside you too. Rediscover it inside you. Whatever is inside you can’t be taken.
Your Lonely Battle
I’m not a psychologist, nor do I have any training in counseling suicides. I wrote this post to give the enlightenment perspective on suicide. If you are suicidal, don’t rely on this post. You gotta seek help.
We are brothers and sisters in soul and we shall have our (emotional) backs. We are in this cosmic human business together. And we all have all-is-lost-moments. We need you. We need you to hold your ground, however insignificant that ground may seem to you. And however lost it may seem. Hang in there!
I don’t like war movies, but once I happened to watch Gattysburg on TV and it got stuck in my head. Gettysburg pictures the defense of the Little Round Top and the left flank of the Union army. Union Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain had the order to hold Little Round Top under all circumstances. If Little Round Top fell, Major General George Gordon Meade’s Army of the Potomac would fall too. Chamberlain and his men gave all they had. When they ran out of bullets they charged down the mountain with bayonets. They held the flank and the Union won the battle. This was a turning point in the civil war.
We all have to hold a flank sometime in our lives in the war about the evolution of mankind. The more you feel under attack – external or internal – the more likely you are sitting on such a Little Round Top right now. It’s tough. Nobody comes for help. You run out of (motivational) munition. All you get are messages from the rest of the army (other lightworkers) to hold out. Well, esprit is on your side and that is all you need actually.
Hold your ground and you will bring about a little turning point in the evolution of mankind. Only you can do it. And you are meant to do it.
Picture attribution: GoranH / 563 images 2 pixabay.com