I’ve been thinking a lot lately about life. That’s not surprising given I sit and talk with people everyday about their life- mostly the hard parts of their life- unfair and hurtful things that have happened to them, decisions they may have made, disappointments, grief, things not going the way they’d planned, something random happening they were unprepared for…life.
Life just happens. But it’s rarely just.
It’s usually most difficult for people to move past something hard happening, when they have a strong sense of justice. I call this justice man. The fighting spirit that rises up within us when something isn’t fair. That indignant fists-clenched posture we take in the face of something that doesn’t make sense due to it being so unfair. It’s so hard to resolve that feeling when all we want to do is make it right. I have a sense, once something unfair happens, there is rarely a resolution where it is made right again, because it changed us, and once changed, we can’t be unchanged. But we can choose to change again. To start again. To start over.
I recently read, and loved reading, ‘The Shack’. Regardless of your position on its likelihood or truth of theology, what an amazing concept to at least consider. The main theme of the movie, is representing God as good and promising to make all things work together for good. A simple enough concept within itself, fantastical yes, but simple enough, except when God is asking a father to believe that the horrific abduction and murder of his six-year-old daughter could be turned into something good…?! No wonder the father needs to ask hundreds of questions around this to even begin to grasp it. My sense is he will spend his whole life asking more questions in an attempt to try to grasp it.
There is a line in the book, and in the film, where God says to Mack, “Your problem is you don’t believe I am good…Just because I promise to orchestrate all things for good, doesn’t mean I orchestrate the tragedy”.
This hit my heart like an arrow. And undid so many of my previous attempts at resolving my own questions to make sense of tragedy, pain, confusion and hurt, where I asked questions like ‘Why did this happen? How could this have happened? Why wasn’t this stopped from happening?’
I was asking unanswerable, unresolvable questions, where I remained stuck. I now ask: How do I move through this? What now? How do I start over?
The number of times I have started over is a lot. To be honest, I have pretty much made huge, life-changing decisions every two years since I left High School almost twenty years ago…! That’s a lot of big decisions, fresh starts, try-agains and start overs. A lot. And have they all been good? Have they all been well-calculated, made for the ‘right’ reasons, resulting in great outcomes? No. Often they were as-fast-as-I-could running-aways! But I tried. I chose my response. I did something.
Let me encourage you, do something. Respond. Choose. Don’t do nothing. Don’t wait for something to happen, for someone else to decide. Start over.
Some things won’t work out. Some things haven’t worked out. That’s okay. You are not a failure. You are not your mistakes. There is bravery in choosing to change. There is incredible courage in actually doing it!
It’s not easy. It’s not guaranteed. Nothing is. Except one thing. Doing nothing: that guarantees you have no say over what happens. That’s easy. Just do nothing, and nothing will change. Or so we tell ourselves. It will change. Life does. Change is constant. That is life. Maybe that’s why people consider suicide: end life so life can’t happen to them!
What if you could happen to life! You. Choose. Change. Start over. Decide. Do. Let your life change life!
Find rest in peace here. It is entirely possible. Start over. You don’t need to end life, you can choose to live it!
But let’s be real. It’s hard. Fighting for anything to change takes work. But doing nothing leaves you open to anything happening- and it will- and you’ll have to deal with that anyway. You may as well deal with things that come as you choose to move towards what you are wanting to get to.
I’ve talked in previous blogs about fighting for yourself, for your mind’s freedom, for the life you want. You are strong enough!
Take your arrows. Aim for what you want. Dare to design your life. Start over. Start again. Make a change. Do something else that you haven’t tried before. The worst that could happen is that is turns out differently than you expected… and a heads up… it will turn out differently than you expected, because it always does- but at this point, it’s equally as likely for it to turn out good than not. And add in using your wisdom, seeking truth, healing your heart, fighting for your own mind’s freedom, following your heart, and all your accumulated experiences, knowledge and desires- it’s actually far more likely it will be good! It may even be better than you expect!
Tomorrow- September 10- is National Suicide Prevention Day. Did you know: suicide is the leading cause of death in Australians aged 18 to 44. And for everyone who completes suicide, thirty attempt to take their own life.
Those figures are not okay with me! It is time to do something. Change starts with you. Don’t be one of those statistics. Get help. Seek truth. Challenge the lies. Live your life.
ReMindEd’s #mayyoustay campaign runs specifically every May, but we continue to raise awareness, break stigma, and fight for your life and the life of those you love all year round. We will keep fighting!
Here’s to seeing there is hope for tomorrow, for finding your brave, and being courageous enough to fight for the life you’ll love to live in!