There’s one period in my life that stands out more than any other—due to the nature of its effects on loved ones, family and myself.
It was early 2013 and I was in the midst of my own personal spiritual awakening and inevitable passage through a dark night of the soul. My relationship at the time was in shambles, I was unemployed and lost as to what my purpose in life was or where this was all heading.
Deciding that it was best to leave town for awhile, I spent a couple weeks at my brother’s house where I might find some newfound clarity and temporary solace.
The temptation to end my own life became painfully real as I began imagining how I would orchestrate it.
Every cell of my being literally screamed at me in protest and the thought of how this would affect others loomed over me like a shadow—my conscience subtly guiding my thoughts and persuading my decision-making.
Looking back on it now, it was gruesome to even imagine harming my body this way and to end my own life—leaving a tragic wake of pain behind.
Fortunately, I had someone to talk to but beyond that, my older brother had intuited my secret intentions.
He had a premonitory dream where he and I met in the future. My beard was long, like it is now coincidentally, and I had a long scar spanning my neck—evidence of my neck being slit. I forget what was foretold—what my brother related to me verbally—but the message was clear and it bothered him terribly.
After hearing his story, I confessed that I had been intending to end my life.
As hard as it was for me to acknowledge any pain this caused him at the time, I realize now just how much of an impact it had on him to know his little brother was depressed and contemplating suicide.
One might say a divine intervention took place and no, the contemplation has not simply vanished.
What’s important to note is what my brother asked me, “What am I supposed to tell my son when he grows up?”
So I took a preemptive measure toward recovery during that time and spent a few days in the woods alone, fasting.
On the fourth day, I found deep-seeded forgiveness for someone who’d imposed harm upon my innocent-self as a child—this had been burdening my subconscious since.
I can’t promise that feelings like this won’t ever arise again in my life but I can attest to what it’s like waking the next day and feeling relieved that I’d simply passed through the gates of such a dark night unscathed, just one more time.
Every once in awhile, the inexplicable urge to hurt myself arrives—when my energy reserves have been depleted and my mental faculties are waning. I’ve learned to allow my emotions to surge through me without letting old voices criticize, condemn or condone this emotional liberation.
I cannot explain why some of us feel so deeply—why we feel pain or suffering but we do.
I’m working toward becoming a healthier human being overall, but I often face setbacks and I stumble.
It’s only natural.
Learning to accept more aspects of my totality helps alleviate self-judgement and ridicule.
Shame and blame have been a part of my experience and now that I’m aware of them, I consciously work on being more compassionate toward myself during times when it feels like a crippling sensation overwhelms me—an invisible, paralyzing phenomena.
There’s much to live for—every day, each moment.
Watching my nephews grow is a wondrous privilege and my bonds with family of whom old wounds are finally healing, can now reach deeper levels.
The beauty in life lies in its simplicity.
To shed more burden from my experience, I’ve embraced minimalism and healthy outdoor routines that promote physical activity, endorphin release and mental clarity.
Some of our loneliest moments are while we’ve been thrust into the pits of despair and darkness.
We feel so greatly because we’re meant to transmute the wounds of the Earth that are intrinsically a part of us, as alchemists.
It’s here where we finally abandon our guard and succumb to our own nightmares—whether real or imagined.
Once we give in, we find peace—rushing over us like a cascading waterfall.
Our emotions may flow without interruption and we might drift off into a deep, restful pose.
Upon awakening, surely our spirits have been raised—ever thankful that we’re witnessing another sunrise while the fragrance of spring awakens our senses on this lovely pre-dawn morning.
It’s in the moment where we’re meant to be living—this is where I’ve discovered my innermost peace and abiding satisfaction—our place here in life.
We’re here to be human.
Author: Thayne Ulschmid
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: flickr/Mary Lock