Thursday, September 06, 2007

Ode To Life: Why I'm Sorry I Tried To Kill Myself.

Actually composed this post a few months back, but it is still relevant. The expanding duties of the church website have put my language project on hold. My friend Nancy is also extremely busy, but we still chat when she has the time.

I am beginning to learn Chinese. Why, you ask. Because I've made friends with a gal in Beijing China and she has invited me to blog on her site. Google has this terrific translating tool, but when I begin to interact with the Chinese website, the translating stops. So, I'm learning basic things like "Post", "save" and "publish", in Chinese! I feel like an idiot, on one level, but its fun to make a effort anyway.

I truly believe that this kind of friendship making that unites different cultures, age groups, races and countries will eventually stop mankind's love of war. I share the words to a great song from the 1960':

Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream
words and music by Ed McCurdy

Last night I had the strangest dream
I'd ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war

I dreamed I saw a mighty room
Filled with women and men
And the paper they were signing said
They'd never fight again

And when the paper was all signed
And a million copies made
They all joined hands and bowed their heads
And grateful pray'rs were prayed

And the people in the streets below
Were dancing 'round and 'round
While swords and guns and uniforms
Were scattered on the ground

Last night I had the strangest dream
I'd never dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war.

TRO-©1950,1951 & 1955 Almanac Music, Inc.
New York, N.Y. Copyrights renewed
Used by permission.
There is one beautiful idea. I am so blessed to meet Nancy and the students she works with. I feel like I've been invited into their home. I have begun to research really learning Chinese and it looks rather daunting. But, I take it one step at a time.

I almost succeeded in ending my life in 1979. I tried to end my life with alcohol poisoning. I was stunned to realize that all the real healing began after getting "saved" in 1981. Today I am caring for Maggie the cat in a lovely home in the Berkeley Hills. I drink in the beauty of my surroundings. I'm sitting on a soft white rug, observing Maggie and her cat ballet. Sunlight is streaming through the trees outside the window. There are various shades of green as the wind moves the leaves around. I feel a deep sense of repentance for wanting to die. I would have missed all the current goodies of health and life.

I then remembered the marvelous people I've encountered since 1979. In the early '90's, I tried my hand at learning Engineering. Even though I flunked out, I had the joy of seeing professors in love with their subjects. As a psychology major I never had the thrilling experience of seeing an excited professor share their joy. I believe my love of three dimensional drawings is part of what interests me about web design and graphic arts.

Thanks to proper medication, I have the miracle of emotional stability. Oh, I can still go totally off the beam and panic over a small matter. But today, it is short lived and doesn't result in a hospital admission. With this freedom I've made wonderful friends. All kinds of friends.

Although I dog sit and house clean for Maria and John, I think of Maria as the mother I never had. She is in her early seventies and is gently teaching me how to save money. I will permit her to correct me in ways I won't let others even attempt. We have grown very close. I never would have met her at all, if I'd died in 1979.

I was twenty-seven, really living like I was still a small child. I am now fifty-four making friends with concepts like responsibility, delayed gratification and accountability. I have found a church home I adore. A small group of Christians who think very much as I do. This small group of very conservative black folks have adopted me as one of their own. I have the joy of experiencing their love and friendship as we all learn more and more about God and Jesus Christ, together.

I have a flock of Internet buddies. People I communicate with over the Internet, but haven't met face to face. I enjoy the intellectual tennis matches I play with some of my pals. We email, or chat about God, philosophy, science, movies and music. I know physicists, Electronic Technicians, reporters, IT professionals and Engineers. I am also an avid fan of a couple of up and coming science fiction writers. There is never a shortage of interesting things to explore in person or on the Internet.

There re very difficult times during the years I struggled to "desire" to live. I had a lot of counseling and therapy to attend to. There were major problems with my past. I had a large amount of grief work to face. Before I could put my past into perspective, I had to admit that my past was an infection which had to be lanced, cleaned out and healed. Facing my past was very hard and painful work. It is like mental surgery. An infected finger can kill you, if you let it go totally untreated.

The major battle for me was accepting the responsibility of fighting for my own recovery. Yes, adults messed me over very badly, when I was a child, but now I was an adult. I had to stop blaming "them", start looking at my own behavior and WHY I continued to act in ways that weren't working in my life.

My gratitude is endless for the men and women who fought to help me get better. Looking back, I can now see that many people tried to "reach" me. I remember many times in my life, where people tried to help ,me, I just couldn't understand. I assumed it was some kind of trick, or trap. I wasn't ready to face the pain of my childhood. But, when this student was finally ready, I had wonderful professionals who donated hours of free counseling to give me a chance to have a real life. In a way, I write this blog as a thank you for all of their work on my behalf.

Ultimately, I thank God I found Jesus Christ. All the improvement and growth began AFTER I became a Christian. Being a Baha'i' was only an interesting intellectual exercise. Jesus had the real power to replace my heart of stone with a heart of compassion. The false superiority of having all the "right" answers had to be smashed.

I had to first learn to stop trying to kill myself. Once I'd made a commitment to actually try to live, I've begun to learn not to fear other people. My life is smoothing out and becoming more and more 'normal'. I am now working on the issues we all have to deal with. Being responsible, truthful and accountable.

It is not gripping reading. Do I put in a true effort at my work, or do I just "get by"? Do I keep commitments I've made to God, or blow Him off? Am I really willing to be honest when I desire a day off, or do I just "not show up"? (real on-the-edge-of-your-seat-stuff, right?)

I end this post with a wonderful way to put things into perspective.
God's gift to me is life. My gift to Him is what I do with my life.