Life is hard...
We are all aging, and that is inevitable. There is no miracle cream, fountain of youth, or pot of longevity at the end of the rainbow. We can do our best to maintain a healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise, stress reduction, and eliminating/reducing exposure to health adverse stimuli, but we will continue to age.
The course of our lives takes twists and turns...
We are all sandwiched between those older, and younger, and responsibilities change and evolve as life continues. We may be called upon to assist with, and/or address the needs of an elderly parent, a young family member, or friend. Our response to these situations is uniquely ours, and formulated by many complex dynamics; including emotional, physical, and spiritual influences, as well as life experiences, and frames of reference.
One factor that deeply impacted my life was the suicide of a family member.
The raw, overwhelming sense of guilt, despair, and tragedy carried the weight of a 1000 misgivings, each heavier than the last.
What many onlookers did not realize was, that this individual lived with mental illness their entire life. We shielded him, hid it, dressed it up like good health, and showed it to the world like a redrawn animation of the truth.
We did this because that was how previous generations did things, to maintain a sense that the imperfections of our lives were our own misperceptions, easily painted over with good intentions.
After his death, those who did not know our history of anguish, anxiety, and head standing efforts to placate, persevere, and pretend all was well, passed judgment.
The reality was, there were many victims in this story, not just the soul lost. Believe it or not, many souls were lost that day, and many of us continue the search to retrieve them.
I am thankful...
That there was no social media to share rhetoric, opposing sides, and judgment, to the outcomes of this tragedy.
The truth was buried too deeply for those on the outside to see, and the stress from random interpersonal comments, both positive and negative was already overwhelming.
May we instead...
Offer support, love and acceptance to all those impacted by mental health conditions
Avoid judgment, gossip, wayward sharing of confidential information gifted to us, and received with intimate expectations
Encourage and support access to medical and therapeutic care
Learn that gossip is damaging. It is not interesting, playful, empowering, or kind
The Gossip's Fodder
Don’t stare at me, just look away,
Wayward comments keep, at bay.
Querying eyes, curiosity seeking,
Watchful stares, your interest peaking.
Ears are perked, attention placed,
To seek a scandal, fall from grace.
Your sense of justice, self defined,
Weaving falsehoods most unkind.
The stealth like moves disturb me still,
A primal stalking seeks the kill.
The hunt, empowers social rush,
Status seeking, aims to crush.
Seated high upon your throne,
Camera ready, perched with phone
An eclipse in time, is yours to seek,
Purpose driven, feed your clique.
Insensitive to all around,
A tidbit morsel must be found.
Display it for the world to see,
Dishonour, hate, you feel the glee.
Passion driven, seeks the win,
Makes me wonder what’s within.
A victim left, despair, demise,
Ignore the sorrow in their eyes
Take a moment, for reflection
Is it you who fears rejection?
Contemplate created strife,
And view the mirror of YOUR life.
I hope my poetic reflections remind us that life's journey is unique for all of us. May we move forward with loving advocacy, support, kindness, and care...and leave judgment to a higher power.
Blogs are personal commentary and are not meant as professional, medical or healthcare advice. In all cases, seek health information and guidance from your medical practitioner