Re-thinking the Junior Seau suicide over the weekend, I did just a little research.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (i.e., CDC), there are some alarming statistics. Of the 36,909 suicides in 2008, over 18,000 ended by a firearm.  Strikingly more important, emergency rooms across America saw 666,000 patients for some sort of intentional self-inflicted injury.  I do not want to diminish those who passed in any respect, but 666,000 emergency room visits due to some sort of self-inflicted injury! The question is why?

When I was a child, I self-inflicted injuries to myself on several occasions.  I was in that 1% of the population used physical self-injury as a way of dealing with overwhelming feelings or situations often using it to speak when no words would come.  For me, self-harm was a way of expressing and dealing with deep distress and emotional pain. As counterintuitive as it may sound to those on the outside, hurting myself made me feel better. But for many, injuring yourself is the only way you know how to cope with feelings like sadness, self-loathing, emptiness, guilt, and rage.

I have long past the days of my youth when I felt the need to self-inflict any pain.  But what I learned over the years is that life is at the very least, full of suffering.  Of course it can easily be argued that suffering is an inevitable aspect of life. If I have senses, I can feel pain; if I have feelings, I can feel distress; if I have a capacity for love, I will have the capacity for grief. Such is life.

‘Duhkha,’ is the Sanskrit word for suffering, is also translated as stress, anguish, and imperfection. Buddha wanted us to understand suffering as a foundation for improvement. One key to understanding suffering is understanding anitya, which means that all things, including living things, our loved ones, and ourselves, are impermanent. Another key concept is anatman, which means that all things — even we — have no “soul” or eternal substance.

With no substance, nothing stands alone, and no one has a separate existence.  My point is this; we are all interconnected, not just with our human world, but with the universe. Personally, I wear no paths for the footsteps of another, unless you are personally endangered, I will not interfere in your life. We are all linked by our souls. If one endangers themselves, then one endangers all.  Thus, if you feel the depth loneliness, you are not alone, I feel it too. We are in it together and all of us are willing to assist you, help you. And together, we can make it through the rain.

Remember, the mind, the body, the spirit are one. When the body expresses the desires of the mind and the spirit, then the body is in tune with nature. The act is pure. And there is no shame. You have no shame in my eyes.

Impermanence also has its correlate in the concept of being-towards-death. Our peculiar position of being mortal and being aware of it is a major source of anxiety, but is also what makes our lives, and the choices we make, meaningful. Time becomes important only when there is only so much of it. Doing the right thing and loving someone only has meaning when you don’t have an eternity to work with.

If you are in pain, reach to us. We, your community, can help you. My goal is to prevent any loss. For a tree falling in the forest, may make no sound, yet it still falls.