I don’t believe suicide is the end. I’ve watched many near-death experience accounts and believe there exists an afterlife. I’ve seen near death experience tales where the temporarily deceased claim they go into an afterlife, even if the person was atheistic. These tales say that unconditional love, overwhelmingly beautiful light, and limitless knowledge comprise much of this so-called afterlife. This has convinced me that existence continues beyond this earthly one.
But you might believe the near-death experience is a process of the dying brain, not a real afterlife. However, that doesn’t explain shared death experiences. A shared death experience is where the deceased pops out of the body, but so does an attending physician or loved one. Both go upward to a portal of light. But, surprisingly, the living loved one—or even the doctor—watches the deceased rise into the light and disappear. The living loved one or doctor then returns to his or her body.
There have been people, including doctors, who report having had a shared death experience. Some living bystanders have reported experiencing the deceased’s life review–a panorama of everything the deceased did along with the ripple effects the deceased had on others.
In the Raymond Moody documentary called Life After Life, one near death experience tale involved suicide. The woman spoke of how, in the afterlife, she was told she’d have to live out her life anyway, despite the suicide, but with the more painful parts emphasized. And she’d have to relive her life from the start, including every painful detail. She did not want that fate. Perhaps suicide committers are destined to live out their lives—even in the afterlife—so that they can learn the lessons the pain intended to offer.
I believe we all come to earth to learn lessons, likely one or more major lessons. Coping with suffering helps us to learn our life lessons. When our hearts soften and love abounds, we’ve come closer to learning that lesson. We also come closer to our ultimate destiny: enlightenment.
We may be wanting to escape horrific times. Even considering suicide ourselves. But we have a blind spot. No matter how bad today seems, tomorrow could be filled with true love, dreams fulfilled, and hope. Around every brick wall may await brilliant rays of sunshine.
Everyone suffers, and there are many people who consider suicide each year. So we’re not alone in our suffering. We role model behaviors, modeled to our family, friends, and onlookers. By hanging in there another day, not giving up, we may be giving someone else the courage to live. I don’t think we ever want to give up on our schooling, our families, our marriages. No, we’re not meant to quit. We certainly are not meant to give up on life either. Instead, we should keep busy on tasks that we find enjoyable. If we no longer find them enjoyable, we should try new tasks or try to revive our enjoyment of our former tasks.
We could enjoy a healthy, delicious meal. Exercise. Meditate. Dance our hearts out. Sing in an ice cold shower. Pray to our higher power if we have one. Read an uplifting book. Memorize scripture. Phone a friend to say, “I love you.” And if we have not one friend, think of the people we once knew and send them love. It’ll fill us with love in return.
Positive self talk is vital. Think of it this way: the bad bacteria in our stomachs can cause us to grow so sick we can no longer work. A key solution is to crowd out the bad bacteria with good bacteria—bacteria from kefir milk, yogurt, sour cabbage, kimchee, kombucha, miso paste. Yes, crowd out the bad bacteria.
The same goes with our minds: crowd out the bad thoughts with positive thoughts. Find anything positive to focus on. This is how we train our minds. And it’s our obligation to train our minds if we want to be happy.
As soon as the negative thoughts enter, they act like fruit flies and multiply fast. But the same happens with positive thoughts. Filter in compassionate, empathic, forgiving, and understanding thoughts, and your mind will bear fruit.
I also think we should avoid negative music. If things are very serious, we should consider medication, but settle for the one that feels pleasant right away. I found a medicine that makes me feel calm and relaxed instantly, and that isn’t addictive.
Or flip the negative into its positive opposite, or cling to a glimmer of positive in the negative. For instance, if a beloved relative passes away, cling to the notion that they’re in heaven, now a guardian angel for us. But if you don’t believe in the afterlife, cling to the notion that they at least will never again feel pain.
There are many reasons why not to commit suicide. For one, to try and fail could mean being committed into a psychiatric ward. Or with permanent disfigurement or brain damage.
But the biggest reason, I think, is that you are here to learn a life lesson. Your suffering offers you your opportunity to learn. Use that life lesson wisely, and grow. And watch others grow as well because you modeled how to survive unbearable pain. If you’re in unbearable pain, then selflessly give unconditional love. It might be your ultimate solution.
[This column is for interest and entertainment purposes only. The author is not medically trained or certified and you should always seek professional advice from a qualified practitioner before embarking on significant lifestyle changes for your well-being. If you are feeling depressed or are having thoughts of suicide, please call someone to discuss your options. Crisis Canada can be reached by phone 24 hours/day at 1-833-456-4566.]