First up I'd like to thank everyone for all of their comments and love. Every time I post I tell myself I'm going to reply to everyone, and I would love to, but it's just not possible at the moment. I am super grateful for every email, and that something within my words may offer some nourishment to others; it's wild. It's also a great personal reminder that just like music, words can transport that-which-sparks-inside-a-heart across the world and through time.
So thank you, while I may be a jerk who doesn't reply, I do read every comment and email, and reply in spirit.
A GAME THAT'S WORTH THE CANDLE
Following on from my past update, recently I have been lucky enough (at a wide-angle view) to be reminded of the experience that I know many men and women face. Why is it that suicide rates are climbing year after year? Why do people find themselves in a position where life is so much devoid of joy and happiness that the pain of continuing outweighs the pain and consequences of choosing to give in?
A decade+ ago this was a very real problem that I faced daily, and I know many others did/do too. I am quite a rational person, a very positive person, and one who also tries to view both positive and negative occurrences as gifts and opportunities to grow and learn. Yet even with all of these traits, at many times in my life, I have still questioned the point of continuing.
Isn't that an odd reality? A state of such physiological and psychological imbalance that life seems to be worth less than the alternative; ceasing to exist in this present form. Objectively it is obviously evolutionarily counter intuitive, and as Dr. Brogan so aptly puts it, '..not a trait that would have been selected throughout our evolution.'
How then do so many men and women find themselves at a point of no return?
As we have discussed over the last year, some of the main factors for my personal story, that I also see occurring across the board, are - nutrition, unresolved emotional 'traumas', and beyond that a more general confusion with life as it stands. The latter may be more closely defined as an uneasiness with the structure of society in general, something that still weighs on me now; it may also be a personal situation around relationships, work, and support.
CONNECTION AS FOUNDATION
So how do we instill in young (and old) men and women a foundation of true support; comprised of the tools, knowledge and a deep wisdom that ensures all of life's challenges can be met and overcome? A foundation built on the attributes of human nature that serve us; compassion, love, support and expansiveness - and too, the ultimate strength that these traits provide.
In our hyper-intellectualised society, many have lost their connection to the essence of existence. The popular belief system of our current time is one of a stagnant cerebral banality. Where the wisdom of the ancients is dismissed, and we have over-intellectualised ourselves out of true connection. I will qualify this by saying that I love the mind as a tool; intellect as a means of absorbing, organising, accumulating and deciphering knowledge. It is a gift. Yet I fully acknowledge it is just as described, a tool; all that truly is 'I' lies beyond the idea of 'Nic' and ultimately beyond the boundaries of the mind.
It is really no wonder that many feel helpless, lost and unsupported by life and society when the political and social structures that dominate preach separation, fear, and isolation.
What a mountain to overcome..
But even with this seemingly insurmountable beast to conquer, of course, all is not lost; far from it.
In each of us, there is the beauty, power, and strength of a thousand suns. We can all make the choice to nurture the qualities of man that will serve generations to come. We can support one another, and in doing so collectively contribute to the duty of ensuring everyone lives with this foundation deep within.
I know this at a deep level because I too struggle; I feel helpless, lost, stuck and in deep sorrow. Yet in the face of this, I find a truth and a beauty within. I find an enormous ocean of love, gratitude, joy and strength.
In these moments of epiphany that arise out of caverns of helplessness, I am given an opportunity to bring more light into the world. Both, night and day, are of course an inseparable part of the whole.
When the question arises as to why we continue, I find answers in the connection of life.
NOW, AND NEXT
To return to the problem at hand, and discuss where we may be in years to come.
The fullness of the tragedy that we face is not that many young men, and women, find themselves confronted with such a helpless depression that they believe cannot continue, the real tragedy is that we fail to provide them with the knowledge and wisdom to navigate through a pain that is in all of us. Instead, we have allowed them to be medicated into emotional numbness; a practice each of us (I believe) can see is an incredible injustice..
As more and more data emerges on the inefficacy, and dangers, of such treatments perhaps those still caught up in untamed cerebral blindness will also begin to realise this fact. The incredible work of the truly progressive doctors that I reference throughout these pages, I believe in twenty years will be remembered in the same light as those who spoke out against the myriad of examples of utter human ignorance throughout our history; practices that now seem so barbaric and archaic to us.
The jury is no longer out on whether lifestyle intervention, when executed in fullness, is more effective than psychotropic drugs, the question now is whether we are ready to take responsibility. Responsibility by those who require treatment and by those who treat.
The path to true healing requires work, it requires a strategic process of overhauling one's diet, lifestyle and thought processes; and this is just the top layer. It requires one to take real responsibility for what lay ahead of them. It is by no means easy at first, but as momentum builds it becomes easier, and it is truly one of the most rewarding journeys available as part of the human experience.
It is my belief that we can all assist in building these principles, and this foundation, within ourselves and so within those we teach by example - that the true nature of life may be at the forefront of our collective and individual consciousness. Ensuring a lasting, wide-scale shift that turns the trend of the current statistics once and for all; and finally, sets humanity on the path to building a society and planet we can all be proud of.
As a final note, I would like you to know that I love you, I don't know you but we are the same, and I care for you as I care for my loved ones within arms length.