How Negativity Is Slowly Killing Us All (And What We Can Do About It)
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According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the US. Each year 44,965 Americans die by suicide and for every suicide there are 25 failed attempts. Why is that? With all of our modern conveniences and technological advances, one would think that people should be happier in these modern times.
According to healthline.com over 350,000,000 people suffer from depression globally. “From 2008 to 2010, more than 8 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 22 reported a major depressive episode in the previous year.” These percentages have only increased per the latest report given by the World Health Organization.
A Global Epidemic
That’s a staggering, tragic amount of people. What is the cause and what do we do? How do we fix this?
I think this poem might have some insight into the dilemma.
When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.
I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.
When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.
Author: Unknown Monk 1100 A.D.
It starts with you and me.
So what does that mean? How are we to change? And what do we need to change?
Well, how many times a day do we look at ourselves in the mirror and feel negative about our image? I’ll raise my hand to that and say TOO MANY. How many times a day do we beat ourselves up over little, inconsequential things?
I think that’s where we need to start. There’s a toxic amount of imagery thrown at us daily about who we should be and what we should be doing with our lives. And if we’re not living this perfect standard of “normal” something is wrong with us. We’re broken.
I’ve felt that.
For years, I battled with my self-worth. That I didn’t deserve to be alive. That I was just a burden to the people around me. Trash.
And it got to the point where I wanted to end my life. I thank God for the friends I had and for my loving family who helped me fight through that. And honestly, it’s still a struggle.
How Many Others Suffer In Silence?
How many others think they’re broken and nothing but death can solve the pain they’re experiencing.
Their lives matter. Your life matters.
An amazing blogger, BeautyBeyondBones, a woman who has struggled with anorexia and continues to fight every day to love herself, said something profound about this. “I had to stop seeing myself through my distorted and irrational eyes. I had to see myself through God’s eyes. I had to see myself through the eyes of my Creator, who loves me unconditionally.”
I had to learn the same thing with my depression and past trauma. Here’s the truth: all of us are broken in one way or another. But that doesn’t make us worthless. Those cuts, bruises, violations, whether physical or emotional, shape you and can teach you powerful lessons. They allow you to connect with the rest of us who also have scars.
You, your soul is beautiful.
Nothing can take away your worth. Nothing.
But I can’t convince you of that. No one can, except yourself.
I don’t know your beliefs, but God has always played an integral part in my life. He has taught me how to love myself and I wouldn’t be alive without him. He was the one who showed me that my life mattered. That no matter what, I was loved and accepted by Him. If we can learn to see ourselves as God sees us, as his precious children, we can learn to love.
I’m not suggesting that we need to think and stress about what’s wrong with us. No, that can lead to a dark road. And no, I’m not suggesting that you have to convert to some religion you don’t believe in.
What I am saying, is to practice loving and accepting yourself. To find out what’s true about you and the world around you. To get help from a professional if you need it. And if you feel inclined, to pray and meditate. To focus on what’s beautiful about you and why you’re actually amazing!
And then pass it on. Love other people. Show them how amazing they are. Because we’re all in this together 🙂
It starts with our own thoughts and hearts. So, what will you do today to love yourself more?