Don’t Underestimate the Pain

Sadly suicide is in the public discourse right now. The suicides of public personalities Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have shocked many. Don’t underestimate the pain. They probably didn’t want to die. What they probably wanted was to escape the pain they felt inside. Sadder still is that they aren’t the only ones who thought about or committed suicide recently. If one has never suffered from depression or suicidal thoughts, it can be an incomprehensible foreign concept. It’s easy to underestimate the pain. Depression so great that your life is not worth living is worse than a dark cloud, it’s a thick, suffocating blanket of anguish with no end in sight. WHAT MAY BE HURTFUL The phrase ‘it’s lying to you’ is going around right now as a way to reassure someone who’s depressed. It’s too simple. Depression is insidious. It’s full of shaming, denigrating, harmful self-talk that is often cloaked in the truth. A chronic illness can be so painful you’d do anything to stop the pain. An addiction can be so overwhelming that it destroys the choices, the life he or she wanted to live. Don’t underestimate the pain that person feels inside. Telling a depressed person that depression […]

Talking About Guns

I have been extremely reluctant to talk to anyone these days about guns. The vitriol from both sides is poisonous. But, that is the poison that allows terrible tragedies to happen. Silence, even well-meaning, isn’t going to help. So today I’m speaking my mind. I’m going to be talking about guns and the conversation about gun control. I enjoy target shooting with all manner of weapons. Does that make me feel safe? Yes and no. Yes, I know I can handle a weapon. But, no, if someone on a rampage is shooting at me and I have a gun, I’m as likely to get shot as anyone.  Could I protect my loved ones? Yes and no again. Yes, if the situation is right. By right I mean if it were the average criminal who learned how to shoot watching tv and movies. Yes, I could TRY to protect my family. No, I can’t protect my loved ones against someone determined to kill as many people as possible. Anyone who thinks a gun in the hand can protect them is wrongheaded. It takes at least 5,000 repetitions to get the muscle memory to do the work for you. I have had […]

Check Your Core Values

Every decision you make is colored by your core values whether you know it or not. Do you know what the phrase means? Do you know what your core values are? How do they line up with the core values of your workplace? Your school? Your significant other? Your nation? It is important that you know these things. We live in troubled times. Every nation seems to be facing political, financial, and/or social challenges. We are besieged with political bickering, name calling, fake news, faulty products, shoddy services, abuses, and mass shootings. We have endless arguments over the best way to solve ‘our problems.’ Yet, we can’t agree on what ‘our problems’ are. What has happened to us? We’ve lost our core values. Too many people are acting out of their emotion of the moment. They never stop to consider if their actions reflect their core values. Perhaps they don’t know what their core values are. When you act in a way that is incongruous with your core values you feel unvalued and unfulfilled. And out of those feelings come more emotions—depression, resentment, anger, etc—and those are acted upon. It’s time to stop and think. It’s time to remember what […]