Overcoming suicidal thoughts
At times, mental darkness may seem overwhelming. But as a woman experiencing intense thoughts of suicide found, each of us has a God-given ability to know our innate worth as God’s child and feel divine peace and joy.
I’ve felt drawn to suicide more than once in my life, but I didn’t really rebel against it until nearly four years ago, when the intensity of the pull felt overwhelming. According to a website, I had 11 of the 12 “qualifications” for someone who is suicidal.
I briefly saw a counselor and also called the suicide crisis hotline, but I turned mainly to Christian Science for guidance. This included reading and studying passages in the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science. Her “Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896” addresses a question about suicide, saying: “Mortals have the sum of being to work out, and up, to its spiritual standpoint. They must work out of this dream or false claim of sensation and life in matter, and up to the spiritual realities of existence, before this false claim can be wholly dispelled. Committing suicide to dodge the question is not working it out” (pp. 52-53).
Challenged by this concept, I began to see that my own thought was mired in materiality: I was constantly comparing myself with others, devaluing the work I was doing, and questioning my decisions. I was convinced I was not of value to this world.
A statement from Christ Jesus documented in the Gospel of Mark stood out to me: “If a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand” (3:24). I began to see that I wasn’t making room for the good ideas that God, divine Mind, sends all His children, and this was essentially stifling me. It is futile to attempt to fight the supreme power that is inextinguishable Life, God. God designed each of us as a beloved spiritual idea. And we cannot smother our own unfolding sense of God as Life.
Every day, we are presented with opportunities to discover more of God as Life and experience Life’s vibrancy, fullness, joy, and newness in ourselves. Pervasive negative thoughts may attempt to smother the better thoughts that are beginning to gain hold. And we may experience a mental struggle that is vehement and persistent. But we have God on our side.
Christian Science explains that we are the expression of God’s being. As “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mrs. Eddy states, “God’s being is infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss” (p. 481). The suggestion that we are separated from good and limited in expression is a direct departure from the spiritual fact of our reflection of God’s nature.
I began seeing that the opposite of living freely is succumbing to mental influences that would work against the establishment of health, harmony, and holiness in my consciousness. To counteract these influences, I began looking beyond myself – and seeing signs of life! People’s smiles, beauty in nature, kind greetings from strangers, all gave me hope. With that new hope, I started to reevaluate my sense of place and found envy dropping away.
Could I accept the fact that I had value just as I am, here and now, and work to more fully live my spiritual stature as God’s beautiful idea? Yes. Acknowledging God as the basis of my existence awakened my receptivity to the Christ, the divine influence Jesus represented, which directly counters negative thoughts by giving us an understanding that Life is God and that we live in Life as Life’s expression.
The brightest, most potent source of light is a proper sense of spiritual identification as revealed in Christian Science. It shows us that we are already good because we reflect the Mind that is God, and that we can employ divine Mind’s power in our own lives to achieve good. Suicidal thoughts may come to people from all walks of life, but consciously embracing knowledge of our true spiritual identity removes the supposed power of seduction toward death.
Undertaking the battle to resist these pulls, I got to know God better and trust His omnipotence more. A growing willingness to accept my spiritual nature as God’s expression replaced the mortal elements in my thought that used to respond to the suggestion that I wanted to die. The always-present quiet flow of Christ messages overturned the false logic that suicide was a desirable route.
Suicidal thoughts don’t haunt me anymore; I’m engaged in the living of Life rather than the dark contemplation of how to die.
Christian Science equips us to take hold of eternal Life and triumphantly live it with joy. As this Bible passage in Ephesians says: “Take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (6:13).
Adapted from an article published in the March 30, 2020, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.
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