Acceptance, Children, Choices, Depression, Fear, Help, hope, Love, mental health, public speaker, Relationships, Strength, Suicide, suicide prevention, Understanding

Bullying a Blinding Issue

Navigating the worlds of suicide prevention can be difficult. It’s definitely a delicate balance when it comes to the many ways people want to be engaged and represented in their individual journeys.

There are some things we have learned through experience, through education, and through the expertise of others. But there are also some very simple beliefs we hold dear to our hearts. Beliefs like, not everyone will always like you, but we can still do our best to be kind. We believe boundaries are part of a healthy self-care regimen. These include the types of people we engage and interact with in our lives. Boundaries that protect our wellbeing. Boundaries that set standards for our safety and the safety of others.

Safety and security are of the utmost importance. We want you all to be safe. To be happy and healthy. But we know we all encounter people who are in pain from time to time. Sometimes their pain spills over into the world around them. It isn’t fair. It isn’t easy. But it happens.

The thing is, we don’t always know what is going on in a person’s life. We don’t always know the tragedies or traumas a person has experienced. These traumas affect us, often deeply. They can alter our ability to be compassionate, to be aware of our impact on others, to be kind. We can hurt others and in that hurt, we can feel less alone.

How terrible, that a person can be in so much pain, that the act of hurting another can lead them to feel less alone.

Nothing in this world is simple. We don’t have all the answers and we don’t know the whole story but we do know, pain magnifies pain. Pain begets pain when allowed to go unaddressed.

Our approach to bullying is this, people are hurting. We do not condone physical violence. We do not agree with emotional, mental, verbal abuse. We do not believe in name calling or pointing fingers.

We believe these behaviors are symptoms of a much larger issue. When it comes to youth and children, we especially believe WE are the adults. It is our role to pause with them, see them, offer support, educate, help them through their pain, and never limit them with so simple and blind a phrase as “Bullying is for Losers.”

Everyday children are hurting. Everyday they are told they will never, are not, cannot… let’s change the way we communicate.

It won’t be quick or easy but in the end, if we put the work in…. we could change so many worlds.

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Depression, Help, hope, Love, mental health, Strength, Suicide, suicide prevention

VETTING LOVE

How many losses have you suffered over your lifetime? A handful, more? What if you endured numerous losses in a single week? 

Losing a loved one is hard. Strike that, it’s suffocating. It’s devastating. It’s traumatizing. It’s confusing. It’s unfair. It’s beyond the capacity of being defined by so simple a word as hard. Losing a loved one is losing a piece of your journey, your memories, your laughter, and your love to an intangible enemy. 

We can all agree, losing a loved one is painful in ways words can’t often express adequately. 

But what constitutes a loved one? 

Any person we have loved throughout our life? 

Is love an emotion that can only be shared between people? 

Any person who has ever shared space with a pet wouldn’t hesitate to express the enormity of their love and how valid a feeling it is for both them and their companion. This love, this shared expression of life is as meaningful as any other. 

Love has been categorized as being unconditional, affectionate, familiar, enduring, and playful. It is a connection shared beyond words. A bond made in quiet moments. A joy created when two souls play and dance together in happiness. Agape, Philia, Storge, Pragma, Ludus, LOVE a word so strong the Greeks bestowed it with 8 categories to try and contain its exponential meanings. The love of a pet could fall under many or even all of these categories. 

But where does the love of another’s pet fall? 

The love that is built when we first held you in our arms as a puppy. When we comforted the scared and confused kitten after their life-saving procedure. When we shared giddy moments as you danced about our space hoping for a treat. Softer hearts don’t often fare well against those literal puppy dog eyes and you definitely have the cutest. We are here because of our immense love of animals. We are here to serve you in your big times and small. We are here, loving your animals as though they were our own. After all they’ve been ours in immeasurable ways across countless dog or cat years. 

Life and love are larger and more evasive than we can imagine. In a single day, we can see both halt over and over and over. In a single day, we can come face to face with death until our hearts can’t bear anymore. In a single day we can experience some of the lowest lows known by man’s best friend. Yours, and our best friends. We’ve formed memories, moments, and meaning that can only ever be revisited. We grieve for you, in our way. We also grieve for them, for those souls who never spoke anything but the language of love. The hardest part is our love and our roles don’t end when their lives do, not for them and not for you. 

We push forward with hope. We cling to joy. And we pray you never forget how grateful we are to you for entrusting your precious lives and loves in our humbled hands. 


If you haven’t recently, thank your vet, your techs, and your clinic staff. It means more to them than you may realize. 

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Acceptance, Beauty, Blog, Depression, Dreams, Fear, Love, Relationships, Strength, Suicide, suicide prevention, Thoughts, Writing

Why Do We Stop?

For emotion. 

Because of emotion. 

Without emotion.

We stop to feel. Perhaps we find ourselves lost in a moment, like when the butterfly happens magically across our path. Its dance sparking calm within us. It speaks to our soul and we bask in its serenity. Sometimes we listen to understand. We have thrown question after question into the void and now we wait for it to answer. There are times we pause in the hopes of shutting out the world and all its deafening noise. Because we see them, the beautifully broken, surrounding us and it shreds our ever feeling hearts to pulp. We ache to close our eyes and hearts so we can stumble through our world with some semblance of sanity left in tact. 

We stop because our emotions command us. They give us no choice. We are lost to their tumultuous waves and fall timidly into their powerful force. They steal our breath and focus our minds on our absence of control. Capturing us against our will. We fall prey to their hunger to consume our breath. And no matter how we flail against their waves, we find ourselves floating willingly as they drown every ounce of who we are. 

We stop because we have lost ourselves without the ability to feel. Perhaps we ignored what living should be in the hopes of finding what it might be in a future that never came true. We held our breath for so long that we forgot the necessity of air to our lungs. We’ve lost hope to what life would never be. For too long, we’ve overlooked the small glimmers. We forgot to steal back our simple joys. We failed to create gratitude in an all too ungrateful universe. 

Some of us failed to recognize our own worth. We expected too little of ourselves to allow us the chance to grow and flourish. Time slunk up around us and ticked away the life we deserved to savor while we starved ourselves on wishes we failed to reach for. 

We stop because we keep going until we cannot go any longer. We have pushed ourselves beyond our breaking and foolishly felt we were beyond a reasonable point to be fixed. We stop because we do not lean on others for fear. We fear their judgment, we fear their gaze. We fear being vulnerable and broken open to criticism and callousness. Our pain and pride give us this sense of necessary isolation that slowly eats at our will and destroys the image of who we should be. The image of who we think others feel we should be. We stop in spite of life all around us because we no longer see the world in vivid color. Our lack of hope has greyed our ability to dream or even recall the taste of possibility. 

We stop to be built or unbuilt. You see it’s in the lulls, the quiet moments we settle into, when our hearts are broken open to fully feel. That’s when we happen. That is when we are built and strengthened and fortified. That is when we break apart. We find ourselves on pause so when we begin again, hopefully, we are vigorously renewed. 

Life is chaos. It is simple, complicated, dark, and delightful. Each moment around us builds upon the moments we’ve intertwined with before. And that is when we become ourselves. 

We stop to be. 

We stop to become. 

We. 

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