I Choose Life

I Choose Life

This week a man who lived to make people laugh left us; and a man the world sought joy in, battled with a darkness that claimed his life. What a terrible, tragic loss. A spotlight rests on Robin Williams, it reminds us that each day in Australia, seven people take their own lives (Lifeline). Millions of people have been affected by this great loss. We feel our soul’s ache and we ask God why this happens. Tears flow like rain and hope dries up.

This week also held the terrible news of a militant group in Iraq who are torturing and killing countless numbers of Christian’s and the Yazidi people. If these oppressed people are quick enough, they escape only with their lives. Others wait in terror for what will happen to them and their families. We watch our TV sets in anxious anticipation of what will occur next. We feel useless and incapable of helping them

Friend, it’s important you acknowledge what you are feeling right now. How does this news affect you? Does it change your mood, your sleeping patterns or your thought life? It has changed mine. I feel loss. I feel pain and I feel anguish. It I important I identify this. That I allow myself to cry; that I bring down my defences and am vulnerable.

On days like this where depression takes a life, in weeks where there is bloodshed, in months where hope seems bleak, I find I have two choices. To throw my hands up in despair and give up, or I can grieve deeply and ask myself how I can be a part of a sustainable solution. In the past I would have felt guilty about my freedom, about the fact I could not save those who hurt. But I do not feel guilt anymore. Guilt keeps me from action and makes me sick; it boxes me in fear and inadequacy. So instead of guilt, I choose loving action.

Right now you have two choices: to remain bound by what you cannot do, or to be free in what you can do.

If you are experiencing anxiety or depressive thoughts after hearing this week’s tragic news, switch off the television for a while. Surround yourself with things that are positive. It’s normal to have this response. You are not alone in these feelings and it doesn’t make you a bad person. Ring up Lifeline (13 11 14) and have a chat.

If you are able to, educate yourself on these issues and take action. Be a part of a sustainable solution of hope. Learn about depression and how it affects people by visiting Beyond Blue and headspace. Ask your friend ‘Are U ok?’

Find out how you can support those oppressed in Iraq. Donate to an organisation doing sustainable work over there like the UNHCR and Anglican Aid. Hold a prayer meeting and ask God to bring hope and help to these people. Talk to your family and friends about what is going on in the world around us. Make sure the people in your communities who have travelled here from war torn countries are well, amidst such devastating news. Check to see if they have what they need. Take them out for coffee, cook them a meal.

You are able to do so much more in this situation then you realise.

I choose to live my life in good health. To identify my emotions and seek the help I need. I choose to live my life for others.

I choose peace. I choose promise. I choose future. I choose light. I choose love. I choose hope. I choose life. I choose to be active; active in my own recovery and active in the recovery of others.

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world”- Robin William