As a way of diverting attention away from my own difficulties in the past, I would always think, no matter how desperate my own feelings, there were always others who were living with and through some affliction more debilitating, more devastating than my little issues.
At a certain point this strategy stopped working. I came to the point where knowing others have problems too really did not matter. "Yes of course, it could be worse. I could be dying" turned into "it could be worse, I might not be able to self-terminate", turned into "oh no, I am actually thinking of offing myself. I am a mess and need help."
It was serendipity (what some call grace) that helped me managed to stave off the death spiral. Endless searching for some meaning on the internet brought me to 'here', a place where what you and others like you wrote convinced me it was not just me, and I was not a useless screw-up because neither were you. It lead me to be able to read and meditate on, then read again words that said over and over, "let go of shame", "You are not alone in this, you belong, and not only that, you deserve to belong, because you are a good person." We all need to hear that, no matter what brought us to search for meaning in our life. You are not alone and you need not feel shame.
There are people out there, and many of them no longer blog, and probably do not even read t-blogs, but they are there and they were my lifelines; truly. I will never forget the feeling when one then another of them reached out to say, 'join us'. You offered connection to a soul that was as desperate as a body in the desert is for water.
That connection and the joy and love it brings continues to allow me to live.
Understanding this process is what will make it possible for me to keep moving forward and hopefully continue to give meaning to my life.
Over on the right side is a link to the blog and webpage of Brené Brown, whose Ted Talk was part of understanding the importance connection, and worthiness and love play in having a life worth continuing.
Brené does not talk about any one group of people. What she has to say is universal and speaks to every person's deepest fears and shame, no matter what has brought these on. I know that, but just the same, it felt like she knew me and was talking to me.
She says things like:
"Connection is why we are here. It's what gives purpose and meaning to our lives."
"... what keeps us from finding connection is the fear that we are not worthy of connection. "
People who are living from a deep sense of worthiness Brené calls 'whole-hearted' people. She describes them as the people who have the courage to be imperfect, and the compassion to be kind to themselves first and then to others.
So, be it grace, or stupid blind luck, I am thankful, and yes, whole-hearted, finally.