“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”
– Margaret Thatcher
I wrote the following article last year in response to a flurry of suicide posts on Facebook:
I was contemplating suicide, again, about 15 years ago – I say again because I did it back in 1991 successfully, but the hospital brought me back somehow. Anyway, 10-15ish years ago when I was contemplating suicide again, I was blessed to have learned a little mantra that ultimately not only saved my life, but has actually given me a life of peace, joy, and love – always! Today suicide never even comes up until I see it on posts or hear about it. I no longer can even fathom the idea.
What is the mantra?
I love you
I am sorry
Please forgive me
I just started saying these words over and over and over again. At that time I did not understand it and it did not make much sense. But it felt good. It felt better than any other thought I had been having at the time, so I just kept saying it over and over, all the time. It was not long before an opportunity showed itself and I started to have a glimmer of hope again – something I had completely lost. And that is perhaps the biggest catalyst for suicide – when we lose all hope.
I did not really understand what was happening, I just kept saying ho’oponopono over and over and my life started changing and becoming so much better, and very quickly. At that time I did not yet equate a better life to ho’oponopono. I thought it was some kind of a miraculous coincidence.
So, life quickly returned to normal (whatever that is LoL) and as my life got better, I slowly stopped saying ho’oponopono as much – ugh – live ‘n’ learn. In 2011 I found myself homeless and jobless, but not hopeless. I started saying ho’oponopono again and within a month I got an awesome job that I still have and love. Six months later I won an award at work and three months after that I received a promotion. Long story. A little shorter… within a year I received 3 awards, 2 promotions, and moved to Hawai’i where I am now. Today I have the most amazing ohana (family). I have learned to go where I am celebrated, not tolerated. I have learned what unconditional love really means. We throw that term around a lot, but most of us do not truly understand it. Ho’oponopono gives us that understanding.
If you are contemplating suicide or know someone who is, start repeating ho’oponopono and have them say ho’oponopono … over and over and over and over again – make it an endless loop in the back of your mind.
I have seen ho’oponopono prevent suicide a few times this past year – when nothing else was working. Ho’oponopono has always worked!!!
“I started to have a glimmer of hope again – something I had completely lost” – and that is perhaps the biggest catalyst for suicide: when we lose all hope.
Hope: That seems to be what it all boils down to, at least for me, and many others I have worked with. It got to a point of pure, utter, hopelessness.
That is when I found myself totally and completely helpless, hopeless, and with no way out. It seemed that no matter which way I turned; it was a dead-end. It seemed that it was always going to end badly.
Do these internal messages sound familiar?
“Nobody listens, nobody cares. I have tried to talk to numerous people, and they all have more important things to do, more important places to be. Why can’t they see? They just don’t care, yet they say they love me, but they don’t show it.”
“Every time I try to talk to her about how I feel, she gets angry, or worse, starts teasing me! Whenever I call my friends, and I use that term loosely, they are busy and say they will call me back, but they never do!”
“I want to just quit this relationship, but I don’t know how to get out of it gracefully. And, even if I could, I don’t have enough money to get my own place. My job sucks! I work for peanuts doing something I don’t even like doing! Why do I keep doing this? Why can’t I get out of this vicious cycle? Everywhere I turn, things just turn out horribly!”
“I just can’t do it any longer! This has been going on for weeks, months – maybe years! I bet they will wish they had listened when I am gone! Oh hell, who am I kidding, they probably won’t even know I am gone for days – well, unless they need something!”
“I am done!! I just can’t do it anymore!!!”
And so it went. I do not remember the exact day, but it was in 1991. I will not go into too many details for obvious reasons – this is a book about how to heal, not how to die! Suffice it to say that I did actually experience the tunnel I had always heard about with the light at the end. The light was much different than had been described or I had imagined. Such that it is very difficult to describe, but I will do my best.
The light started out round and as I got closer it became more oblong and undulating, first stretching left to right, then stretching top to bottom and spinning the entire time – more like an orb. I could kind of see through, or into it, but could not make out what was inside, or beyond. The feeling was of immense love and peace and freedom. The closer I got to the light, the more intense the feelings became, and I believe this is when I first experienced what unconditional love truly feels like. Then suddenly I saw very bright white stripes flashing by. It took a bit – I have no idea how long. The white stripes were fluorescent lights and I was lying on a gurney being wheeled down a hallway in a hospital. And then I do not remember anything else until I was admitted to the Behavioral Sciences Unit at the hospital. I was released the next day after an interview with a psychiatrist when I told him, “I just drank too much. If I don’t drink so much, I do not get suicidal.” His reply, “Well, just don’t drink so much. I don’t see any reason to keep you.” I was discharged.
I never tried suicide again after that. A fleeting thought would come in once in a great while and I would just laugh and remind myself that it is apparently no longer an option for me.
Ten to fifteen years later, I found myself contemplating suicide again. I was in a very similar situation – a relationship that was not working, unemployed … same scenario, different people and location, but the feelings were the same.
That is what we want to understand, the feelings. The people and places can change, but the feelings remain the same. It is not the people or the places that cause us to feel the way we do. The way we feel is 100 percent our responsibility. Our feelings are always our choice – again, from learned behavior, which we will cover in detail in subsequent chapters.
Herein lies the difficulty. Most of us are taught from a young age that someone else can make you feel a certain way. And we are shown how that can be so. We are also inundated with that concept in the media, particularly television sitcoms. How many sitcoms often have remarks like? “You make me feel like an idiot!” or “You make me feel so small!” Many of us have heard this at home, as well, which is why the sitcoms are so relatable.
Many of us are used to this kind of behavior. We grew up with it. When we listen to others, we sometimes hear things like, “My Dad made me feel so small and insignificant.” Or “My Mom was always making me feel bad about my weight.”
“You make me feel !” This is simply not true. No one can make us feel anything and we cannot make anyone else feel anything! I know, this is a hard concept to grasp, at first. However, the more we practice ho’oponopono, the more we come to understand. Chapter 4: From the Top Down ~ Neuroplasticity explains how and why this happens. Suffice to say that we all “choose” to feel whatever we are feeling, based upon our own paradigm. It is learned behavior.
This is when ho’oponopono becomes so powerful.
I love you
I am sorry
Please forgive me
Ho’oponopono teaches us that each one of us is 100-percent responsible for everything in our lives. Always has been and always will be. We will delve deeper into where it came from, why it works, and how it works. We will walk through processes to take ho’oponopono to its deepest levels as we progress through this book.
For now, let’s finish my story of contemplating suicide approximately fifteen years ago. As I said, I again reached my limits and could not fathom a way out, but I had heard about ho’oponopono and at some point, I just started repeating it to myself. Over and over and over, pretty much nonstop. The more I continued to say it, the better I started to feel. First and foremost, I began to experience hope again. Something I thought I had lost. Again.
For myself and numerous others whom I have spoken with about suicide, the one common denominator was that each of us lost all hope. We were at the bottom of the spiral. Suffice it to say that feelings of fear, grief, depression, powerlessness, or victimhood are essentially forms of hopelessness. It feels as if there is nowhere else to turn. Always look for the blessings in anything that is happening. The blessing here is that to feel better, there is no place to go but up. Once we have just a little bit of hope, we can pull ourselves out of the black hole.