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The following is from a blog I follow. I have lost not one but two brothers to suicide in my life. One 23yrs ago & one just a year ago. Their deaths have left me stunned to say the least & the absence of them in my life is felt every day.
I learned about Dan & his event “Out Of The Darkness” (a 26-mile walk through the night to raise money for suicide prevention) this past year. His own experience of losing someone close to him to suicide moved him from his grief to action.
Here is part of a speech he gave that I hope will encourage you no matter what you are struggling with today ~
I Am Alive
I may have lost my brother, my sister, my parent, my child, my friend, my spouse, my partner…but I am alive.
I am a survivor of the dark night of unspeakable loss, of my own darkness…and I am alive.
I am unwilling to stand idly by and allow shame to defeat love or silence to defeat action. I stand for the enlightenment of a society that would hide from suicide…and I am alive.
I am unwilling for my perseverance to be in vain. Unwilling for the passing of my loved one to be in shame. I loved them more than I loved myself, and their life will have meaning in my action. I am alive.
In a world blinded by the pursuit of pleasure, I am here to say that people are in pain. In a world rushing to get ahead, I am here to say that people are being left behind. In a world obsessed with the value of the market, I am here to speak for the value of life…and I’m alive.
This will be no quiet fight.
I am the voice of audacity in the face of apathy.
I am the spirit of bravery in a world of caution.
I am a commitment of action in the face of neutrality.
I am into the light, and I am alive.
Dan Pallotta delivered this speech at the 2002 Out of the Darkness Suicide Awareness Walk in Washington, DC. Read more about Dan on January 24, 2012, when his story is featured in this month’s “Beyond Surviving” post.
It is only possible to live happily-ever-after on a day-to-day basis. ~Margaret Bonnano
When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future. When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past. ~Author Unknown
Children have neither past nor future; they enjoy the present, which very few of us do. ~Jean de la Bruyere
If you could look back over last year one second at a time what would your life look like? See one girl named Madeline’s experience.
I hope this video inspires you to treasure every day you get and find the good, beautiful moments in even the worst days (even if it’s just going for a walk, taking a drive, or spending time with a pet). ~ Madeline
Where am I coming from? My life journey so far has taken me through a number of mountaintops & valleys. I have suffered mostly from believing that no one really cares to know about my life experiences. I have devalued my life pretty much as a whole. The irony is all I have been through I have gotten through by standing on the shoulders of one person here & there who was willing to be vulnerable & share about their life – the one decision, person, day or moment that impacted their lives. They have been life savers for me. I have hoarded their life lessons – one at a time – to navigate mine. I am finally embracing that I am a person of value. It is a humble admission. I live, I have breath & I have value. It is my hope to add value to even just one person by sharing here.
My point here is to magnify the value of “one”. I find I can be desensitized & think that one can have little or no value. Take for example the penny & the debate to be rid of it. Thinking that my one vote does not matter or that my one life is insignificant & therefore has no value. It’s recognizing how impacting one second or one word can be. To do so I must pause & not be so quick to overlook what “just one” means. It is a reigning in of my perspective of how I relate to the whole & how each one of us is so critical & valuable.
I have to be intentional in my thinking & embracing the imperative value of one as it is in my life. I have experienced times when I have thought one is not even worth it. I am not worth it. I can also be rebellious & not just stop at one & therefore prone to not being satisfied with just one. In both case I take for granted the simple truth of just one. For me it takes refocusing that one is full of everything & at times that is more than enough. One day, one hour, one person – When I am intentional at the increments of one, I am able to begin adding value. No less & no more – one is enough & satisfying. It is really all I am – just one.
All it takes is “ONE” ~ Word, person, moment, look, smile, day, book, touch, note, second, vote, song, picture, & decision to change your life. The value of “one” is paramount. From one seed a field of growth can emerge. Yet it is the smallest whole number as well as a single object or unit when defined as a noun & in that respect has gotten a bad rap. But as an adjective it can be characterized by unity, exceptional & above comparison. “One” can refer to new beginnings. “One” can add value which is dynamic. I am but one person, that is all & that is a lot.
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” ~Edward Everett Hale
“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.” ~Mother Teresa