Two celebrity suicides in one week. A global suicide rate on the rise. What’s going on? When I thought about this question, I remembered a time in my life when suicide seemed to be the only option.
An escalating addiction to drugs; meaningful relationships either dead in the water or dead, period; flunking out of college; and feeling completely cut off from my family—all this made me believe there was nothing to live for. Add to that toxic mix a family history of depression and bipolar disorder.
I left a suicide note on my kitchen table and headed for a notorious spot for “successfully” taking the final leap. But something compelled me to stop on the way to say goodbye to my friends. I didn’t see any of my friends, but the person I did run into, who recognized my distress, gave me a copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.
Clearly, I never made that final leap. But I did start to read this book, along with the Bible. As I did, some new things came clearly into perspective, while other things that I had thought were true, faded.
I thought there was nothing to live for.
Many suppose that death is the path to peace—that it is a sure way to escape sadness and end our pain. But the Bible calls death “the last enemy that shall be destroyed” (I Corinthians 15:26). If death is an enemy, why would we intentionally walk right into the enemy’s camp?
Reading Science and Health along with the Bible eventually freed me from the suicidal thoughts and impulses. I discovered that I could find a complete, wonderful, totally filled-up life right here, right now. How? The answer was a jolt: by getting to know God. Simple answer, big implications. Life itself (another term for God, which I learned from reading Science and Health) is rich, joyous, vibrant—completely satisfying. I discovered that we actually live in this Life. We are created by Life, and therefore are designed to express Life and enjoy being alive. I’m not talking about mortal life here, but a spiritual sense of life as the only true existence—and one that can never end.
As we understand this true sense of being and living as Life’s very outcome, we find that our lives become an amazing adventure. This is living the life that makes death totally undesirable, unappealing, and not at all compelling. Discovering our truly inseparable relation to Life, and expressing more of the vital, energetic, increasingly wonderful essence of the divine Life, brings both joy and peace.
Choosing life puts our weight on the side that leads to peace—the reliable, lasting peace we so desire.
To commit suicide isn’t peace; it is to move further into darkness. We need light that can reveal solutions—even to what seem like unsolvable problems. Divine Life is that light. To choose life is to accept the presence of God’s problem-solving light into one’s awareness. Turning away from the dark thoughts that are clamoring for our attention opens us up to the operation of the light of divine Life in our lives. It shows us that no matter how horrible things are, we are worthy of healing answers, because everyone is truly lovable and loved as God’s creation.
I’m so glad I didn’t keep a date with suicide, because now I can attest to the unspeakable joy that comes from choosing life, learning about Life, and finding there’s always a good reason to live. The promise is there for you and everyone.Choosing life also puts our weight on the side that leads to peace—the reliable, lasting peace we so desire. Choosing life means becoming conscious that God, the Giver of all good, is operating in our lives. We are transformed, blessed beyond measure. That doesn’t mean there won’t be bumps in the road. But we will have what we need to meet the challenges as we continue to choose life, rather than following any temptation to opt out.