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#45 - Hang On With All You’ve Got!

Updated: Jan 11

by KC Johnson

Green and white frog hanging on a limb
Eastern Australia Green Tree Frog hanging on!

(I am not a therapist and these are my personal views and experiences. This article discusses some very sensitive thoughts around suicide. There are many avenues for healing the emotional pain a person may be struggling with. If you are in crisis, call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Lifeline provides confidential support to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Support is also available via live chat . Para ayuda en español, llame al 988. At the end of this discussion will be some statistics and links from Psychology Today and the CDC.)

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Scanning through Tumblr a while back I became deeply saddened for the people expressing their intense pain and their sense of unworthiness and helplessness. Their feeling of losing their grip on life and their total desperation for answers and their desire to consider the ultimate action to not feel pain anymore is palpable. I just want to reach out to every person and hug them and let them know it doesn’t have to be this way for them.


Please don’t give up. There are answers for feeling less pain, less hopelessness, and discovering greater control over their desperation that don’t include self-destruction.


What triggered in me was my own life periods that brought me close to seriously considering suicide. Once it was so intense that I actually put a .410 shotgun under my chin and only at the last instant pulled it away as I pulled the trigger. The shell misfired. To this day I can see the dent in the firing cap and it reminds me that my life had a reason to go on. As dismal as I felt then this world still needed me to continue. My soul presented me with a wake-up call to not give in to the desperation.


As I indelicately described my intention to write about this subject to a friend I didn’t remember that he struggles with suicidal thoughts. After mentally kicking myself over and over for carelessly blurting out my ideas and upon seeing his reactions to my words I tried to console him. This is such a visceral experience for many people to deal with and most of us are ill-prepared to respond appropriately to people they know who are struggling with these ideas.


My incompetence did not grasp their struggles many years ago of two friends of mine who successfully took their own lives. One friend was very close to me and he successfully died at his own hands. Like so many people among us, we seldom pick up on the clues that could help someone holding self-destructive thoughts. I was clueless back then, but I hope writing this article can provide some support for aiding people in their struggles and the people near them who might be able to help.


Your Soul Is A Vital Force In Healing Your Deepest Pains . . . If Only You Can Pay Attention To Its Messages For You!

As inconceivable as this may sound your soul continuously presents you with learning experiences designed to help you discover how to love. Your soul is you after all, just an aspect of yourself with universal perspectives about your life. Every moment you have, every experience you live with gives you new opportunities to make small corrections within your life path. And every decision you make reinforces a new potential direction. The messages and experiences your soul presents you with have a purpose.


But you may get lost in the barrage of judgmental micro-voice chatter and never appreciate what is being presented to you by your soul. When in emotional crisis it is these judgmental voices that you are hearing. I was so wrapped up in, my pain that I lost my real perspective of what my life could be. In my mind this is precisely the critical point where a person gets so confused about their self-worth and contemplates taking action to ease their pain.


Your micro-voices are created to help your Inner Child face the challenges of interacting with people. Every thought your child had, every value placed on your child, every behavior encouraged was an outgrowth of someone else’s input. Your child’s response to those messages from others became the core for your sense of self. When you hold feelings of inadequacy, or self-doubt, or of feeling unloved or lovable, know that those thoughts you adopted as a child were not your own but those coming from others who were also struggling with their own micro-voices. Left unchecked, it can become a vicious emotional cycle.


These implanted thoughts are based on judgments learned from others. They also mask your ability to hear your soul speaking to you. Your soul is always present, always providing you with experiences to teach you how to love every moment, but the micro-voices can become an overwhelming blocking force often associated with turbulent, painful memories. Your soul will send messages to you designed to teach how to grow beyond those messages received from others, and the messages will guide you towards discovering your deeper powers to become your authentic self. Discovering personal powers happens when you start leaving behind the messaging from others and start consciously releasing your fears and adopting your own sets of values, beliefs, and identity.


Photo by Peggy Choucair on Pixabay

It took me many years of slowly discovering the experiential lessons my soul repeatedly sent my way before I began re-creating my healthier sense of self. I would have appreciated talking with anyone who would have clued me in on the reasons for my learning process. Perhaps I could have shortened the timeline for self-discovery and for releasing my fears. The more I began focusing on my life intentions the clearer became my ability to listen to my soul’s messaging.


Simply focusing on what I wanted for my life sounds pollyannish as a solution, but that is the doorway my soul needed to open the communication to help me begin making changes. The agony and frustrations with where my life was unfolding was the doorway my soul needed. It still took several turbulent years and some dramatic experiences before I grasped this concept.

I now firmly believe my thoughts, in partnership with my soul’s messaging, were the driving force creating my present life. I was experiencing extreme emotional distress and so wanted my pain and confusion to disappear. But, it was necessary for me to experience those difficult feelings and to figure a way out of my rattled mind. I had to eventually realize that those painful feelings were part of my learning process to appreciate the life I have now. It was up to me to recognize the value of the many experiences I was having.


But more importantly, I had to trust the deep inner voice from my soul and be patient as my experiences unfolded. I saw my life as a jigsaw puzzle and began seeing pieces finally fitting together. Perhaps my impatience was my biggest enemy back then. I wanted answer “right now” and I wanted the answers to be what I decided I needed most. When I learned to humbly accept my life’s unwinding path, my expectations became less frantic and I began accepting myself more easily.


Image by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

What Reason Should I Live With My Pain And Hopelessness?

Even being in a desperate mindset can be a valuable lesson you may have to experience repeatedly. Your soul designs lessons to teach life tools necessary for you in later life. Until you figure out the lesson your soul wants you to learn you may continually run into the same wall over and over again. When that happens it is a sign that you are missing important clues to what you need to learn. You are never given frivolous lessons. There is a pattern and reason for your experiences. The right jigsaw piece will magically appear in front of you when you least expect it.


For me only after years of spinning my wheels did my hindsight ‘aha moment’ reveal the benefits of those painful times and those frustratingly reoccurring experiences. I am much stronger now having seen that I could live through those times. Perhaps there is a truism that comes from our challenges: “the more challenging the experience, the more important it is to live it fully until the other side is found.


An additional realization for me was to appreciate the important role I played in the life of others. Thinking back over my life I began understanding the impact I had in so many people’s lives. At the time of my deepest emotionally distressed periods I didn’t consider what my importance had been to others, nor did I consider what future impacts I could have in future lives. If I had been successful in destroying my life, then the cascading effect would have changed many lives. I began believing my presence was important even if I couldn’t understand that importance.


Think of your life as nothing but a flow of energy and love is the perfect flow of energy unimpeded. Judgment and fear are the emotional dams blocking the flow of energy. When you hold doubts about yourself you are creating energy dams. Your soul wants you to contribute to the pure flow of universal energies by discovering how to love completely every moment without fears and judgments about yourself and towards others. You are here for a reason and you play an important part in creating the fabric of life.


You may have bigger challenges than others have had but the process is the same, to release your fears. If you experienced extreme traumatic moments during your younger years, then know that your soul needs you to grow through those experiences. You are being prepared for an important future.


Whether your challenging life has to do with your own past life karma, or playing a part in someone else’s life needs, you are an important part of life that needs to be experienced. Your soul tasks you with challenges that allow you to learn and make small changes that begin unlocking your ability to love yourself and others.


You are an amazing energetic being with your ability to affect forces well beyond your life. You have the tools residing within you to solve your challenges by releasing your fears. It is part of why you are here, to discover your deeper powers to heal. Even if you do not understand your importance, you can be expanding the energy of love in the universe. That is your ultimate purpose, that is how you can heal your world. To better understand the abilities you possess and to use your amazing abilities to heal the energy blockages within you and around you, that is your ultimate life purpose. You will be healing yourself as well as your challenged planet.

We need you to hang on and learn how to heal yourself, and then each other. Together with others you can create amazing solutions. You can discover what it feels like to love yourself, to love another, and to be loved. When you hear the statements to just let go, that is not saying to give up on life. You do need to let go of your fears and your need to judge. Do hang on to the belief that you are needed to be a part of the bigger challenge to be a healer for others. Use your pain as a catalyst to greater self-healing and personal understanding. Your lessons are not to be dismissed as unimportant. We all need to hear what you have learned, we all need to grow from your pain. Use that inner strength to help guide those still trying to find their way.



Photo by Dimitris Vetsikas in Pixabay

Starting Your Healing Process

If you are having self-destructive thoughts SEEK HELP NOW! Call 988 the national suicide & crisis lifeline and talk with a compassionate professional skilled in helping you sort through your confusing emotions. There always are solutions and there are healing steps you can take to ease your pain.


Imagine the many thousands of subtle messages you have encountered from early childhood on that you interpreted as judging your worthiness as a person. Those messages are the source of your emotional turmoil. As a child ill-prepared to handle that barrage of judgmental queues you could only internalized what you heard and experienced. You were too young to understand the pain that those who judged you were only reflecting their inner turmoil and self-worth issues. They formed your sense of self for you.


You have experienced years of destructive messaging, but you do not have to continue believing it. There are simple techniques that you are very capable of using for yourself to start reclaiming the person you want to become. You may also want to seek the support of professionals skilled in helping you take the first steps for healing.


Here are brief descriptions of a few techniques that worked for me that may benefit you:


1. By far the most important first step is to decide to take the first step to heal. This opens the door to connecting with the healing processes your soul sends your way. It takes practice to hear your deep inner soul voice, so in your quiet moments, ask for its help. It takes an open mind to recognize the helpful resources sent to you. I discovered that my soul only answers my questions with a yes or no answer, so I learned to ask narrowly targeted questions.


2. Next, learn to listen to the judgmental comments coming from you micro-voices, not in a personal way, but as an outside listener. I got so wrapped up in my self-worthiness inner-talk that I constantly self-sabotaged my thinking and decision-making. By listening to my inner turmoil chatter as a non-judgmental observer I began discovering ways to see my emotional pains differently, to see where my fragile thoughts came from.


3. Practice talking to yourself. Suggested techniques:


a. Look into your eyes in the mirror. At first it will be difficult to do if you hold self-doubts. Likely, you may not see yourself as being worthy, or lovable, or of value to others. Then, tell yourself that you are lovable, worthy, and a value to others. Keep practicing this until you can easily compliment yourself. This is the beginning of reprogramming your sense of self and overriding the judgmental messages you grew up experiencing.


b. Find a serene place where you can talk out loud to yourself, preferably while walking. Your words have real power, and even though it is you saying the words, you are also hearing them. Remember, the energy behind the words can heal with affirming intentions. But that energy can also reinforce your damaged self-identity learned from your past when you repeat negative messaging, so avoid indulging in those destructive thoughts.


c. Another technique that I used while dealing with a paralysis was to write profusely letting my micro-voices say what they had stored up inside them. At first, it was just a jumble of emotions spewing out. That was okay. I needed to help them release the pent up emotions they had been struggling to contain. If you are struggling with self-destructive thoughts, that is a sign your micro-voices are not able to contain the negative messaging you have been experiencing. Do not try to stuff those destructive energies back down inside. They will always eventually return, and sometimes they can erupt uncontrollably. Do give your judgmental micro-voices an outlet to show you what experiences they are connected to. They give clues to where your self-healing work needs to be focused. Ultimately, your fragile inner child needs you to reconnect with it in your present life. It needs to know that you love it, that you will include its need to play in your adult life, and that you will visualize holding it close to you. By making your inner child feel safe and wanted it can start releasing the fears it has been holding on to all of these years.


4. At this point you may be ready to start visualizing the healthy person you want to become. As you have been reprogramming the messaging that created your fragile sense of self you may feel a need to ‘clean house’ and shed the values and standards that you grew up learning. This requires intentionally examining each area of your beliefs. You may choose to hang onto some and you may decide to disregard others and form your own. This is how you reclaim your personal powers and a healthier sense of self. A result of this can be developing the personal identity of ‘your’ choice. Most people will adjust to the new you that you choose to become.


5. What helped me a great deal was creating a visualized structure to my inner self. By that I mean I saw me having an inner sense of self where I kept my deepest secrets, and having an outer self that I allowed the world to see. My little boy self started life with pure micro-voices that he used to navigate his physical world, but had to re-task them to defend himself from the people he encountered with their own emotional issues and parenting styles that made him feel unsafe. The only tool he had was using judgment as his micro-voice defenders. Unfortunately, he used that against himself more than against the perceived threats. My little boy’s sense of self kept his deepest emotions hidden from others, thus prevent healthy emotional connections with others. The last, most important concept I discovered is that I needed to be hugged, touched, kissed, listened to, and accepted. Every child needs these things in abundance, not just once in a while, but daily. To be able to love the self we need to be fully nurtured for developing a healthy sense of self. This is how my imaginary urn that I was born with got filled. It took many decades for me to learn how to love myself fully and then to be able to give out unconditional love to others. In time I filled my own urn. I don’t believe it can happen any other way. When that love is not received during childhood your life may be spent seeking the missing love energy. It can also metastasize into developing manipulative behaviors like being abusive towards others and the self, seeking money from others as a substitute for love, and into positive directions like working to heal and help others as attempts to vicariously fill the urn.


6. One other realization became critically important for me as I learned to appreciate my life. Soul is a much more expansive presence within me than I generally believed. Now I understand that my soul is me, it is my deep connection to the universe. My body is here to learn from valuable life experiences. I now firmly believe the ultimate life purpose is to learn to love every moment and to be receptive to the experiences coming my way without judgment, without fear, without condition. I see myself in partnership with my soul, but really, that is my acceptance that I love myself without condition.


For anyone struggling with self-worth issues, which is nearly all of us to varying degrees, I want you to know that it is vitally important that you are here. The emotional turmoil you have experienced has a purpose in your life, and in the life of the world around you. Just because you may not see a brighter future for yourself at the moment does not mean that future is beyond your reach. As crazy as that sounds we need you here healing the energies within you, and by extension, healing and releasing the constricted energies that are distorting all that is around us. If I had been successful in taking my life, I would have missed out on so much. I can’t know how I have affected others over the years, but I can appreciate how much others have affected me for the better. So don’t ever give up, just start seeking the answers that will heal you. My love to you and to your twisting journey ahead. - kc


Here are some additional resources for anyone experiencing emotional crisis and suicidal thoughts:

Need help? Know someone who does?


Contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline if you are experiencing mental health-related distress or are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.

  • Call or text 988

  • Chat at 988lifeline.org

Connect with a trained crisis counselor. 988 is confidential, free, and available 24/7/365.

Visit the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline for more information at 988lifeline.org.

If you are in crisis, call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Lifeline provides confidential support to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Support is also available via live chat . Para ayuda en español, llame al 988.

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Signs That Someone Is Contemplating Suicide

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Mental Health and Suicide

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Facts About Suicide


Suicide is a leading cause of death.

Suicide is death caused by injuring oneself with the intent to die. A suicide attempt is when someone harms themselves with any intent to end their life, but they do not die as a result of their actions.

Many factors can increase the risk for suicide or protect against it. Suicide is connected to other forms of injury and violence. For example, people who have experienced violence, including child abuse, bullying, or sexual violence have a higher suicide risk. Being connected to family and community support and having easy access to healthcare can decrease suicidal thoughts and behaviors.


Suicide is a serious public health problem.

Suicide rates increased approximately 36% between 2000–2021. Suicide was responsible for 48,183 deaths in 2021, which is about one death every 11 minutes. The number of people who think about or attempt suicide is even higher. In 2021, an estimated 12.3 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.5 million planned a suicide attempt, and 1.7 million attempted suicide.


Suicide affects people of all ages.

In 2021, suicide was among the top 9 leading causes of death for people ages 10-64. Suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-14 and 20-34.


Some groups have higher suicide rates than others.

Suicide rates vary by race/ethnicity, age, and other factors, such as where someone lives. By race/ethnicity, the groups with the highest rates are non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native people followed by non-Hispanic White people. Other Americans with higher-than-average rates of suicide are veterans, people who live in rural areas, and workers in certain industries and occupations like mining and construction. Young people who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual have higher prevalence of suicidal thoughts and behavior compared to their peers who identify as heterosexual.


Suicide has far-reaching impact.

Suicide and suicide attempts cause serious emotional, physical, and economic impacts. People who attempt suicide and survive may experience serious injuries that can have long-term effects on their health. They may also experience depression and other mental health concerns.

Suicide and suicide attempts affect the health and well-being of friends, loved ones, co-workers, and the community. When people die by suicide, their surviving family and friends may experience prolonged grief, shock, anger, guilt, symptoms of depression or anxiety, and even thoughts of suicide themselves.

The financial toll of suicide on society is also costly. In 2020, suicide and nonfatal self-harm cost the nation over $500 billion in medical costs, work loss costs, value of statistical life, and quality of life costs.

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About US

KC Business Card Design.png

This blog has been a work of love developed over the past ten years and finally brought to life through the dedicated tech help by Soren, who was originally my physical therapist and now is a time-limited partner who managers two other martial arts training centers. Being an old gay guy I struggle to function well in the blog-a-sphere so this presentation will be a bit rough at first. Feel free to lend your ideas.

 

Since my teen years I have believed that through appropriate touch we can heal ourselves. But the journey to better understand my own dynamics and gain enough awareness to be able to write about our complex humanness only coalesced after I had an opportunity to be in prison. There I had time to do deep self-examinations about why I was who I am and how I could translate that into helping others make discoveries for themselves. I do not claim to be a professional therapist or counselor.

 

But I do believe there are others in this world who might benefit from these ideas presented in this blog platform. Having grown to the point of releasing nearly all of my fears and can now truly say that I love every moment and feel in partnership with my soul, I feel that others may benefit from my travels. Being non-judgmental I welcome your insights, whatever they may be, and I will strive to help everyone find greater peace in their lives. HOSHOWLOVE.com and Hoshow, LLC.

 

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