Out of the darkness: Transform community with stories of love, hope
February 17, 2014
As we enter into February and Suicide Awareness Month, we remember those lost to the tragic fate of suicide in our community and our families.
We take a moment to contemplate the hardship of those living in a place so dark and hopeless that letting go of everything and moving on appears to be a better alternative to sharing in the joys and pains of the human experience.
It is difficult to understand the depth of this kind of suffering, but for those of us who have experienced depression or hopelessness and recovered, who understand the journey from a place of darkness to light, we discover a newfound passion to serve those in need.
The tragedy of suicide so often happens to those who are alone and unconnected to society. These people may emerge from the reclusive darkness of their home into the community, but present merely a shell of the devastated self that lives within.
Oftentimes people do not recognize this internal struggle or do not care to stray from their activities to remedy the wounded individual with what resources they have.
But a person of true understanding realizes that this is a destructive mindset.
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They realize that true community recognizes the weaknesses of its members and gently cultivates healing, creating an atmosphere of love and joy that can transform brokenness into a path of redemption. To be a person of understanding, one must ask oneself, "Who needs my love today? To whom can I go out of my way to serve and bring life? What brokenness can I tend to, if even only a little bit?"
Amongst the most transformative and redemptive of journeys known to humankind are those that involve struggle, hopelessness and devastation. The journey from a place of woe and suffering to one of joy and meaning through healing is highly redemptive not only to the person experiencing it, but to others touched by the story of the journey.
It is therefore our job as individuals sharing in the human experience to lift each other up with our stories, our redemption, our survival. In a perfect world, no one would die from suicide, because the hope, faithfulness, and nurturance of the community would not allow it.
So search in your heart for that story of redemption, for every person has one and become a warrior against hopelessness, a giver of kindness, a champion of the weak and woebegone. Transform your community with your story of love and hope, reaching even the most devastated of individuals.
At Anew Day Counseling Center, we believe in new beginnings. We believe in the hope of humanity, because we have seen the transformation of hope in ours and others' lives. If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide or attempts, our doors are open to you and them.
Come and let us nurture you into wellbeing, so that you, too, may go forth and wield your own story of redemption, transforming the world around you.
Michaela Monigotti Lake is a lay counselor with Anew Day.