This is one of the most important videos you will ever watch. Take the full 20 minutes to listen…
The new year has gotten off to a rocky start. The aunt who spent a month with me in April, and traveled with me all over Europe during that time, decided to cut her life short on New Years’ Eve. She had felt low for years because of her personal issues, and finally decided that she’d had enough. It’s been an emotional weekend for my extended family and I. Of course, a million questions run through our minds. WHAT IF. WHAT IF. WHAT IF.
One of my favorite lines from Brené’s video is:
“Shame requires 3 things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence & judgement; in contrast, when we douse shame with empathy it can’t survive. The 2 most powerful words when we’re in struggle … ‘me too’.”
When I finally saw my cousin, her daughter, she remarked that she was slightly jealous of me because I have “my life figured out.” Except… I don’t. I’m only human, and I’m only 22. I’ve always wanted to maintain a honest relationship with my blog, and if y’all haven’t figured out that I am completely winging this human experience thing… well, I am. I mess up. In fact, this past summer I made a series of extremely reckless, uncharacteristic decisions over the course of one evening that caused me to feel the most ashamed I had felt since I can remember. I couldn’t shake the feeling of shame, until I reached out to a friend who told me that one evening’s actions do not define me. She pointed me to Brené’s videos, and they completely changed my mindset on so much. Genuinely, the above TED Talk changed me.
We will never know what my aunt was thinking in her final moments. Depression is such a tricky thing, and I can only imagine how low her illness must have been hitting her in the time leading up to her suicide. On her visit to me, she had confided some details of her depression, and I wish I had told her more we all have made mistakes, but they don’t define us. Your past also does not define you, and you should not feel shame for it. No one is perfect, and if you’re struggling? Well, me too. It’s okay, you are okay, and we will get through this.
And if you love someone, for GOD’S SAKE, TELL THEM. Life is so, so precious, and you never know when it may be the last time you’ll see someone.