Years ago I told a friend that if I ever did decide to end my life it would be in Lake Superior. I always felt the depths would insure my will to not change my mind, if I could just hold out underwater for at least 30 seconds. That’s how long they say it would take, actually 19 seconds for hypothermia to set in and take over the body. The very fact I can even state knowledge of that statistic scares the hell out of me, but it also describes one truth. I don’t think everyone walks around holding that knowledge in their head. I do and it disturbs me to know.
I sat in the chair every morning and night last week, there was a sandy shore just ahead. I imagined just walking in at midnight and going as far as I could until diving underwater and letting the cold takeover. In the meantime while I imagined such an outcome, I couldn’t help listen to the birds around me, see the butterflies in motion, watch the stars in twilight, all of these beautiful displays of nature giving me reason enough to keep watching them until my eyes became drowsy or I decided to do something with my day.
I chose a week of solitude to explore my soul, to come to terms with matters important to my life. I was able to think about and dwell on both healthy and unhealthy aspects of my life. I was able to imagine the people in my life that keep me going, give me reason to go forward. I was able to imagine those most immediate to myself at present that would take any action of my own personally and how cruel my actions were. And lastly, I was able to recognize the value we each have in the eyes of all of those around us, those that love and despise us. Doesn’t matter which, we still do have an impact, and that is important to never forget.
Those that we love and love us back are the ones that have been with us through every crusade and would stand next to us the moment the next would arise. Those are the ones who when we fall, really do take the time to help us back on our feet. Last night, while sitting around feeling sorry for myself, I suddenly received an email from someone I hadn’t heard from for nearly a decade. They had a question about something that occurred fifteen years ago and we were able to revisit and resolve the moment. Ten years later out of the blue. I thanked them for getting in touch and suggested they had no idea how important their reaching out meant to my moment. Those are the moments we must pay attention to and realize they exist for a reason. What if that person reached out to no-one on the other end?
We also need to pay attention to those people and the situations that cause us discomfort. If not for their interactions in our lives, we wouldn’t make the changes we need to better our lives. If not for some of those relationships I probably wouldn’t be here today. Those are the moments that cause change that create positive results in our lives. We have to live them to honor their contribution to our own healthy decisions.
I need to close with one last realization. I began this note by talking about a chair on Lake Superior and my thoughts of using it as my launching pad to walking into the lake’s cold water and let the temperatures take my life. That’s a frightening and real thought, but in between this and my opening thoughts, I talked about all the reasons in between meant to keep us going forward. What do we call that? The little stuff in between. I guess it works.
Happy Father’s day everyone – tomorrow’s topic.
© Scott F Savage 6/2021