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The Other Side of Suicide: Those Left Behind

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, but I want to talk about the other side of suicide: those that are left behind. This is also the first time I’ve written since, ironically, the passing of Robin Williams in August 2014. And also the first time I’ve posted publicly that my father took his own life.
Nick Mason was the most important man in my life. I’ve written many times of how strongly connected we were, considering I am an only child and a chronic daddy’s girl. Naively, I believed I knew everything about him – we were open with each other about most everything. My parents and I had a very strong relationship comprised of trust, respect and compassion, even following their divorce. We laughed a lot – My father was insanely funny; never missed a beat. His smile flashes in my mind regularly, imprinted there forever. It really was contagious. A month after my 18th birthday, I got the call. I remember exactly where I was standing, the time of day and the sting in my heart.
I…
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O-o-h Child, Things Are Gonna Get Easier

O-o-h child things are gonna get easier O-o-h child things 'll get brighter O-o-h child things are gonna get easier O-o-h child things 'll get brighter
Someday we'll get it together and we'll get it undone Someday when the world is much brighter Someday we'll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun Someday when the world is much lighter
O-o-h child things are gonna get easier O-o-h child things 'll get brighter O-o-h child things are gonna get easier O-o-h child things 'll get brighter
Someday we'll get it together and we'll get it undone Someday when the world is much brighter Someday we'll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun Someday when the world is much lighter
O-o-h child things are gonna get easier O-o-h child things 'll get brighter O-o-h child things are gonna get easier O-o-h child things 'll get brighter
Someday we'll get it together and we'll get it undone Someday when the world is much brighter Someday we'll walk in the rays of a beautiful…

Impulsive Decisions

As someone highly interested in both biology (more specifically, genetics) and spirituality, this excerpt from Elizabeth Lesser really grabbed my attention.  

>>>My friend told me a story about her 3-year-old grandson who hit a toddler who was visiting their house. The parent of the visiting little girl yelled at my friend’s grandson, who dissolved into tears of confusion and self-recrimination. Later, my friend asked her grandson why he had hit the baby, and he said, “I didn’t hit her; my body did.” This led to a conversation about impulse control and other things you try to teach a human child about getting along with others in this world.

It's hard being a human with all of our impulses—purely physical ones, or hidden emotional ones, or the kind of impulses that spring from defensiveness, or fear, or old wounds. I have been so aware of this lately because I am doing an active experiment with my own impulse control. I started the experiment when I learned that my sister h…

And You Get Tomatoes

[I’ve been out of sorts – I’ve stretched myself too thin]

Earlier this week, an older gentleman stopped into my office. After their meeting while waiting for his colleague to follow him out, he and I began a simple conversation to pass the time. He spoke of his wife of 30 years and his daughter who lives in Seattle. Both of his girls enjoy gardening; tomatoes, which he doesn’t much care for, but for them, acts as if he does. 
I made a comment regarding advice I’d been given, “gardening is cheaper than therapy.” The latter part of that quote would be, “and you get tomatoes.” He boomed with laughter – the kind that touches your soul and splashes around in the river that flows through your body.

Upon gathering himself he said, “Therapy! That’s understandable. My girls sure need it sometimes, but boy, even when they're crazy, what fun they are to be around."

With each description his face would light up. The way he spoke and his verbal illustrations were hitting me with such strong …

37 of Life’s Most Common Problems via Chris Mccombs

1. Need more money?
Add more value to the world.

2. Bored?
Man, life’s too short to be bored—go do something fun

3. Too many commitments?
Say “no” more often

4. Stressed out?
Meditate, exercise, do that shit you’ve been putting off; don’t take yourself so seriously; stop trying to control things; change what you can and accept what you can’t, remember that most of your problems are actually a good thing and opportunities to learn and grow; and embrace the fact that today—this moment actually—is all there is; everything else is fiction

5. Don’t like the way you look?
Accept yourself as you are—flaws and all—and change what you can change and want to change. Eat better, workout more, get some new clothes and a new haircut and pull your shoulders back so your posture is better.

6. Tired?
Exercise more, eat better, get more sleep, take vacations and don’t work yourself into the fucking ground.

7. Agitated and tense?
Go for a walk

8. Have some big fucking thing growing outta the side of your head?
Go to …

[how to] Accept Who You Are

via thought catalog

Know yourself. Watch for the things that most heavily lift or sink your heart. These are the markers of who you are. Look at your qualities objectively, especially when they are less than appealing, these are just as important as the great things about you are. Don’t work on accepting the person you project to other people.

Be ready to be vulnerable and imperfect. You don’t have to like your imperfections, but you do have to be able to sit with them, acknowledge them and embrace that they are present in you for one reason or another. Dig and find the root of what cultivated them. Work on undoing what needs to be undone; work on being better.

This self-acceptance business is not an excuse to be a terrible person. If being yourself means this, you will deal with the consequences of your actions in due time. Don’t think that because you are “being yourself” you are excused from anything that is derogatory toward or detrimental to someone else.

Know that you are or will be…