Many a time we see someone quite content, but hiding under the facade of contentment is a broken heart. A heart asunder and confused. If we are fortunate, they open up to others and we have an opportunity to help them to the best of our ability. Yet at times, we do not find out of the inner suffering until it is too late. I unfortunately have been privy to such instances – in which I learn that friend in need, who never called out to me, took their life. Here is a letter I would have wished would have arrived in their hands before they took any drastic step. One may use this letter’s intact to post on other sites – if the need be. (I used to post a similar letter to Yahoo Answers – to those mentioning suicide)
It’s been a while since I’ve known you and have to tell you that I appreciate your company. You have a way of making a person feel comfortable. I never told you all the things I appreciate about you – not because of you – but because we each have our busy lives and I am sometimes in my own world without recognizing the importance of interacting with your world. Sure it is not a good excuse, but I am human. I also must improve. I wanted to let you know that, I and many other people who know you love you as a person. You are dear, even though you may not see that we appreciate you so much. We just may fail at times to verbalize it.
You are a wonderful person. You have great qualities and a good heart. I heard you had certain concerns and problems that were bothering you. Let me tell you, I always have an open ear. If you need to talk, wake me up in the middle of the night and tell me what is on your heart. We’ll try to work things out together. You are not alone in the world. You have a friend to walk together with hand in hand. It’s never a bother to speak with you, only a pleasure.
In life, we have ups and downs, questions and answers. The idea of life is to use these opportunities to overcome and search for truth to ultimately better ourselves. If everything was rosy everyday, life would lose its taste. Like if you only ate ice cream everyday. At first it is good, but after, we need a change. Life is the same way, G-d challenges us, to help prompt us to become the best we can be. It is the overcoming of difficulties and challenges that allow us to excel.
All people have ups & downs. You are not alone. I feel for you. When I was younger I also had some tough times. Know you have a friend & a bright future. If things are bad, things can only get better. Right? People love you much more than you think. Life is a challenge. It is up to us to overcome & become better.
Seek help from people & G-d, solve problems, be patient & you will overcome them & become a better person. It is not a degradation to your ego to seek help. G-d made the world that people need people. Even the president has advisers. Take small steps towards comfort and Your life will improve, pain will subside and life will be more meaningful. “This will also pass.”
I am sorry about your situation. We can overcome any problem. You can too. I believe you can! Certain things can make life easier:
1. People Love You. Talk it out with Others
At times a person feels low and unworthy, but really they are greatly appreciated by others. Don’t judge your self worth based upon what you think of yourself. You are very likely greater that what you think.
Be patient & things will get better. Speak with friends or family, a social worker, a trusted psychologist and/or an orthodox rabbi about your concerns & they will help soothe your concerns. People want to help. Have the courage to reach out. Please don’t hurt yourself. Please reach out for your own good. Make friends with good people. Choose friends & family that bring you up not down.
Avoid abuse from others, see:
The Road Back to Serenity – 16 Ways to Deal with Abusive People
2. Recognize the Good in Life
Write a list of all the good that you have in life, like:
Your life, your family, your car, your house, your food, your air, your clothes, your water, your functioning body, your education, your money, your world, your pets, your computer, your electricity, your senses, your brain, your ability to think, etc. . Know that G-d is providing you with everything.
Think Positive. Don’t be lead by the heart. Use your mind to direct your life & let your heart follow. See:
Set Yourself Free – Breaking Out of a Negative Mindset & Anxiety
3. See Good in Yourself
Feel Good About Yourself. Eat Healthy. Exercise. If you saw a person drowning, G-d Forbid, would you would want to save them. This shows you are a caring person. Shouldn’t you then seek help to save yourself? Seek help from others instead of hurting yourself. You have a purpose in life. Find it out and pursue it.
Take paper & write your good qualities & characteristics. Hang it your wall to appreciate yourself daily.
Find a list of good qualities that you can just circle:
Appreciating Your Own Greatness – Feeling Good About Yourself
Order the “You are special card” to remind you of how special you are.
4. Solve Your Problems Slowly & Patiently
Write down : What is the problem? What are the causes? What are possible solutions? Implement these solutions. Be patient & recognize even small improvements. Life doesn’t usually change overnight, but things get better & you start seeing light in life little by little.
5. G-d Loves You – Reach out to G-d & He will help you
Jews believe & know that G-d is Good. Sometimes problems arise to wake you up to become closer to Hash-m / G-d. You have a Father in Heaven & He wants you to seek Him. When make an effort to solve your problems and try to become closer to Him problems many times are solved. G-d appreciates when you reach out to Him.
G-d created the Universe. He is omniscient & omnipotent. Jews believe that G-d has no physical or spiritual shape or form. Abraham taught anything that has a weakness or limitation cannot be G-d. He taught it is impossible for G-d to be an object, star, animal, plant or person.
G-d loves the people he created. You are a person that G-d created. Meaning G-d loves you. Developing a relationship with Him opens up a new dimension in your life. He has the power to do everything to make your life better. You Just have to pray to Him.
You can always start over. Here is an article on Starting Over – Wiping the Slate Clean in Judaism
Pray to the G-d of the Universe – that gave the Jews the Torah – the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. I heard a story of a woman that went to see my friend – a Doctor. She was proud to say she was following the Seven Noahide laws. He asked her why? She said was not answered when she prayed to other “gods”. When she prayed to the G-d of the Jews, she was answered.
6. Seek Answers to Your Questions
7. Do Good, Be Good & Feel Good – Every Day is a New Day to Start Over
When you do kindness to others you feel better about yourself.
For Jews I would recommend joining an Orthodox Synagogue to be part of the community. There one can Volunteer for Bikur Holim – Visiting the Sick, or Participate or help Organize Torah Lectures, or Teach others Hebrew or about Judaism. Opportunities abound. Be part of the Community.
For Gentiles I would suggest learning about the & Noahide laws & joining a Noahide community.
For Both I would suggest doing something productive daily like working at a Job & focus on helping people.
Gentiles follow the 7 Noahide laws to receive a place in heaven. Follow the 7 Noahide Commandments for all humanity according to the Torah. Called such, because they were given to Noah by G-d to assure the peace & proper functioning of the world. A gentile / non-Jew that follows them because of the Torah is considered a “Righteous Gentile.” The Seven Noahide Laws are seven major categories – that with their details consist of 30 laws.
1) Respecting G-d – Not to blaspheme.
2) Being Faithful to G-d – Not to Commit Idolatry – ie, worship of object, a man, or animal
3) Respecting Human Life – Not to Kill.
4) Respecting One’s Fellow’s Property – Not to Steal.
5) Respecting the Integrity of the Family – Not to commit forbidden relations – which includes prohibitions of adultery, incest, bestiality & homosexuality.
6) Respect of Life – Not to eat a limb taken from a living animal.
7) Law & Order – Establishing courts of law to enforce these laws.
The Torah is the law that G-d gave to the Jews in front of millions of witnesses, It was the only time in history that he gave a law to an entire nation. G-d never did & never does change his “mind.”
Remember also G-d forgives when a person sincerely repents. Even if a person did bad in their life they can Start Over.
8. Suffering Passes & is for a Purpose
A Wise Man said to a person who had ups & downs in life “This will also pass.” When in pain remember “This will also pass.” Print it out in big letters & keep it on a wall to remind you.
A person gets used to tough times or learns to cope, or learns to appreciate it or it passes altogether. King David used to appreciate difficulty, because he in it he would feel a closeness to G-d.
Butterflies are beautiful. They enter a cocoon to emerge as a beautiful creature. At times suffering helps a person to introspect about how to improve & they emerge as a beautiful person.
Suffering helps us gain a clearer perspective. I used to think life’s goal was to “Get rich, Be Popular & Make waves.” After my pains, I realized G-d wants us to be a Good person. To use our talents to help others. To Bring out our best & curb our desires that bring us sometimes off the road of happiness.
Try to use the suffering to become closer to G-d & to become a better person. Your suffering is for a purpose. It is not in vain. I found out from experience. We see life in a limited perspective – G-d sees it from the beginning of time till the end of time. Challenges make you stronger & allow you to become a greater success – because you went through difficulty & overcame it.
Because life is difficult it doesn’t mean that it is bad. A person suffers to get an education but in the end they reap fruits. Suffering opens new doors that one would have not considered before. I experienced suffering & it allowed me to become closer to G-d & spirituality.
9. Recognize Your Purpose and Uniqueness
Each individual has a specific purpose in life to serve. By following Torah’s laws he can find out that purpose. At times one is depressed because they feel they are not contributing to the good of society. Recognize the good you do and your uniqueness in carrying out your purpose – and you will recognize your importance. Think of society – why should the society lose someone as important as you. Every individual contributes to the general “ambiance” of the world. Each individual is needed to make this world great.
Even if you feel unworthy – you are worthy because you recognize that you need to improve. This in itself shows your greatness. A person is made in the image of G-d – just that in itself can help a person recognize their greatness. This is one reason why murder or suicide is forbidden – because one reduces the “image of G-d” in the world.
G-d created the world that anyone can start again anew. Even in the past one did transgress, if one is sincerely sorry, G-d will pardon. If one does teshuva / repentance for transgressing against the Torah because their love Hash-m / G-d, G-d will transform the transgressions to merits.
Humility is not to think lowly of oneself – it is to recognize that all the good you have including your talents come from G-d. You can recognize you are an excellent Piano Player, but also recognize that your talents come from G-d. Use your talents to better society.
10. Seek to Satisfy Your Soul – Spiritual Renewal through Torah
A person is really a soul not a body. Spirituality is feeling a closeness to G-d. The soul at times feels sad due to a lack of spirituality. It may feel it is not performing its purpose. You have a purpose in the world & you achieve it by following & learning the commandments of the Torah.
Some pleasures make the soul happy & pleasures that make the soul sad. Do the pleasures that make the soul happy, like the 7 commandments mentioned above. Help people. Do Kindness. Help your family. Get a Job. Do projects that will help others. You can ask an orthodox Rabbi if you want to know of good projects.
If You are Jewish Learn Torah & speak with an orthodox Rabbi to learn more & call to Hash-m & he will help you. Try to do simple Mitzvot – Say the Food blessings. Say Shema in the Morning and Night. Listen to some Jewish Music.
If you are not Jewish, learn the 7 Noahide laws speak with an orthodox Rabbi to guide you & call to Hash-m & He will help.
When suffering I used to go to the Public library & read Jewish short story books from Orthodox Jewish sources to soothe me. I would also go to Jewish bookstores. Reading the stories helped me to cope & see life in different perspective & change myself for the good. Good Publishers to buy books are Artscroll & Feldheim .
If you are Jewish learn the Pirkei Avot / Ethics of the Fathers. If you are not Jewish read the Path of the Righteous Gentile:
Both works teach how to live life with more meaning.
11. Please make an Effort to Care for Yourself Because G-d Cares about You
You are one of G-d’s creations & He loves his creations. G-d wants you to live and enjoy life. People do care about you. I am one of them. Hope this helps. & I hope it works out for the best for you. You have a friend.
All the best.