Today I went online to see the devastating news that Anthony Bourdain had committed suicide. Last week Kate Spade tragically took her own life and it reminded me how precious life is and how we all need to love a little more.
The charismatic Bourdain was someone whose presence and charm leapt off the screen into our homes. We look at celebrities and think their lives are perfect, but sometimes things aren’t as they seem. It can be the same with our loved ones.
I feel like suicide is more and more common and it breaks my heart but I feel like society is to blame. We are put under so much pressure to look a certain way, to have the house, the car, the clothes and wear such huge financial burdens that we can get overwhelmed.
I’ve seen it happen, I’ve experienced it myself. Years ago I tried it myself because I didn’t think I measured up, I felt incomplete. Over the years I lost people who seemed so happy. I could have lost a close friend, but luckily I came home to find them. There were even moments in the last few years where the financial pressure I was under was so extreme I considered it again.
It happens way too often.
It’s time for us to rise, we need to pay more attention to people, to listen properly, to get off our phones and be present (I am at major fault in this). We need to sit down with the people we love and ask them how their day was, and really take in what they say.
When did our society become a place of harsh judgement and criticism? Why do we feel the need to gossip and put each other down? We laugh at celebrities, we laugh at each other and we wonder why our world is so broken.
We are powerful, every single one of us has a voice, and we can all use it, whether it is to raise people up or shut them down.
I feel strongly that we can do more to support each other, we can spread love not hate, we can stop judging people because they are ‘weird’ (what is normal anyway?). We are using words as weapons and it is so detrimental.
The problem is not just what we say to each other, it is what we say to ourselves. Every time we look in the mirror and tell ourselves we need to lose weight we are spreading hate. We don’t need to do this! It doesn’t serve us, it hurts us.
We need to love ourselves first, even if it means faking it first, we need to embrace our weird, and celebrate our uniqueness. We need to allow ourselves to be different and take the pressure off.
It’s beautiful to enjoy sobriety, we don’t have to feel pressured to drink. It’s wonderful to wear the clothes that make you feel like you, you don’t have to buy the same red shoes as everybody else.
My point is we need to learn to love harder, to accept each other for who we are, even if it’s different to us. We need to stop the cyberbullying, the passive-aggressive (and not so passive) attacks and the sitting back allowing other people to be victimised. Silence doesn’t work.
We need to start seeing each other, like really seeing. Instead of vomiting out our daily list of complaints to someone we need to ask how each other is and we need to listen with our ears wide open. We also need to show up in ways that allow people to speak up when they need help.
This is our responsibility. To rise up, and to love each other for who they are, unconditionally and unabashedly.
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If you are in crisis or feeling suicidal, Mala Kennedy strongly recommends you get in contact with a crisis line such as the Lifeline, your doctor, therapist or a hospital immediately. Mala Kennedy does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.