The answer to a question

Vancouver BCFor years I have honored, in silence, this season of endings and beginnings.

To share one’s own suicide attempt is harrowing; it brings up deeply polarizing emotions. There are many who believe that those who have committed suicide are selfish, mentally ill, weak, cowardly. These labels come from grief too heavy to bear. If you carry this stigma, who you are today is shadowed by who you were in a moment of losing your way.

On November 22, International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, across the world women and men come together to mourn their heart-breaking losses and celebrate those lives that ended too soon.

Many will not take part in this community. Biologically we are wired for survival, and when someone attempts to die, executes that attempt and dies, the balance is disrupted. We celebrate, and rightly so, the resilience of the fighter who wins against all odds.

The healing […]

I needed to forgive myself. Forgive myself for not knowing how to go forward, forgive myself for giving up hope, forgive myself for being ashamed and guilty year after year.

I needed to forgive myself for not trusting my intuition and not holding up the flickering light of my inner resources when the shadows closed in.

I needed to forgive myself for an eviscerating eating disorder that broke me down and drove me to that night. I needed to forgive myself for the self-destruction of my body, forgive myself for believing that I was worthless and deserved all of the abuses at my biological parents’ hands.

I needed to forgive myself for not honoring how strong I had been, for having the courage to leave behind a biological tribe and find my place in the world.

I needed to forgive myself for having tried to take away the spark that is a divine gift, and I needed to forgive myself for hurting me, for hurting my soul already crushed by others. I needed to forgive myself for having not held myself up and refused anything but love, compassion and being seen.

Forgiveness brought me home; it allowed me to call back the part of me that had fled in terror during those three days in a coma; welcome back each beautiful and unique part of myself I had attempted to destroy — in heart-breaking parallel to those who had oppressed me physically, spiritually, and emotionally and attempted to break my spirit.

Source: On Being with Krista Tippett: Survivor’s Account
Contributor: Rebekha Cowell

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