I really want to think this out aloud.
I lost a really close friend to suicide just few days before my marriage. I have known the suicide of close spiritual friend I have admired, and in the recent times, many more beautiful human beings I have known commit suicide. I have sat with mothers who have lost children to suicides. There is nothing more painful to experience than to know that someone you care for and love so much takes their life without giving you a chance to intervene. The helplessness one feels in situations such as these is inexpressible. One can only pray after it is over for the soul that left the body. What can we do if we know that someone has depression. How can we help? You can love them unconditionally – be present for them no matter what – listen to them – take on the role of a mother for them – find ways to ground them. However, till that person seriously decides to do something about it and seeks your help, sometimes all you can do is be patient.
Suicide is something I cannot comprehend or begin to understand but I can only ask you:
Please do not commit suicide.
We live in a society that breeds depression.
Our food choices (GMO, Pesticide/Chemicals infected, processed and so many other things), our nuclear lifestyle that promotes individualization/nuclear family life over joint community living, prescription drugs, over stimulation of senses/intellect, alienation from the Earth and nature – the list is endless.
I truly believe that Depression can be combated. There is not just one way but there are so many combinations that one can practice to overcome depression.
Depression is not an individuals problem, it is the responsibility of a society to overcome and combat depression. An individual may not be able to overcome depression and the tendencies of suicide by their own effort but the nurturing mothering sharing mindset of an entire community can support an individual to overcome depression and tendencies of suicide.
Some practical steps that we can take to combat Depression in us:
- Do not label yourself or others as a Depressed Person.
- Be Spiritual: Adapt a regular Spiritual Practice that you can engage in everyday. It could be prayer, chanting, breathing, yoga, meditation, mindfulness practice – anything!!
- Ritualize your life: Make your life sacred and Incorporate ritual into your life. All indigenous societies practiced numerous rituals that helped deal with all kinds of mental and emotional changes in human makeup based on time, seasons, environment, bodily/hormonal changes, relationship shifts – the list is numerous. You can create your own sacred rituals.
- Be Creative for Yourself – not for show and tell. Meaning Engage in some form of creative expression for yourself (not for others) as a practice.
- Practice Sudarshan Kriya (r) everyday. It is clinically proven to combat depression.
- Take time to spend in and with Nature – Earth yourself. Nature has the ability to nurture you and be your best companion. Loneliness disappears in the womb of nature. Trees, birds, animals all have the ability to connect and respond to you. Learn the skill to be in Nature.
- Seek knowledge over money, power and fame. Seek your ‘Self’! Sit in the company of the wise ones. Knowledge can give the skill to Practice Happiness.
- Practice to Cook simple meals for yourself full of fresh vegetables, whole grains, roots, berries, fruits. Drink lots of clear water. Avoid fast/fried food, GMO food, pesticides/chemial infected food, caffiene, carbonated drinks, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, white sugar, etc. I would also seriously advocate to be on a vegan and gluten free diet.
- Take time everyday to soak in sunlight. Let your body breathe the sun.
- Have a Sangha of positive people around you: hook into a nurturing, loving community.
- Practice Giving back and nurturing others. Reach out your hand first. This will also lead to step 10.
- Avoid watching/reading too much violent Television, Movies, Books.
- Dont live your life to please others or to make others happy or dedicated to someone else. Live it for yourself, and be yourself while you are at it.
- Spend time with children. Volunteer at a school. Listen to them. Laugh with them. Observe them. Just like nature they have the innate ability to nurture our inner child.
- Slow Down. Slow Down. Slow Down. Take time to enjoy your company.
As a society, we can take more responsibility to be there for people around us.
Take time to spend with others. Show up when and where you are needed.
What we need is a society that embodies the Mother in men and women. We need a ‘Matri’-centered society – a community that holds high the values of mothering, nurturing, caring, sharing, loving – over everything else.
May I be more aware of those around me and reach out without shame and embarrassment!
May I learn the skill to listen and communicate with love, patience and free of judgement!!
May I be there for you in your time of need!!