About Me, Acceptance, Blog, Depression, Love, public speaker, Strength, susie reece, Susie Reynolds, susie reynolds reece, Thoughts, Writing

Learn From Us

You don’t necessarily know me. You may not understand all the facets of why I function as I do, or all the aspects of my anything-but-simple life. But there is one thing you should know, putting words around my thoughts and expressing my struggles has saved my life more times than I could ever count.

It started in journals. Dozens and dozens of journals have been filled with terrible grammar and punctuation throughout my decades. I scribble illegible notes everywhere. I have hundreds of half-started pieces in my phone. There are books in different stages on my computer begging to be finished.

I write. Even when you don’t know it, I write. I have since before I can recall anything else.

When I share things publicly, please understand it isn’t necessarily a way of asking for attention but a way of sharing a piece of my soul to you in a moment I felt led to do so. Not all of my soul is beautiful, or clean, easily explainable, selfless, sensible, or even parts I’m proud of. There’s a lot of me I’m not proud of.

But still, I write.

Sometimes when I share, it’s done on days like these where my mind cannot stop. Days where I know misspellings and cluttered thoughts may make me sound like a rambling mess, but still I write. So here I am, exhausted in ways I’ve never experienced before in my life, lying in my bed knowing I need sleep, writing because it is the comfort I can grasp at in this one second.

I need to say this, please, please, I beg of you Learn from Us.

Don’t let me be misunderstood here. I don’t want to teach you anything. I don’t want to share some poignant life lesson in the hopes of coming off as having learned some valuable wisdom. I don’t want credit here. I don’t want kind words saying how beautiful anything is, all I want is for this pain, this soul-wrenching pain to do one good thing. Just one. Please. I’m begging you now, don’t let our pain be ignored. Please, learn from us.

This hurts. It hurts every part of me. My family is broken right now. Pieces who belong here with us were stolen. They are now the empty spaces at our ridiculously large table. They are laughter, and memories, and beauty that we cannot look across our plates and laugh along with. Our family is dynamic. We are diverse. We are the epitome of resilient, but man, we want nothing more than to be whole right now.

And what hurts more is the fact that each and every one of us who is left is broken at this moment. Everywhere I look I see pain seeping out of souls longing for peace. This hurts beyond words. These words are meaningless compared to what could be said. But what should be said?

There is much I never stopped to consider. I never realized so many things. I don’t know how anyone could endure something like this alone. I don’t know how it wouldn’t destroy the humanity of a person.

You will not sleep. You will not eat. This week has been a rollercoaster of emotion. Grief has been woven into things that must be handled, quickly, efficiently, without any mistakes because we want everything to be perfect. But we are not okay.

We have moments where we put our faces on and someone says, “man you’re doing good for someone who…”

No. Just no.

We don’t know you. Our family is me. I am them. We are not the same but we laugh. We joke. We work our asses off. We are a force unmatched. We are intimidating women who will get it done and that is what we are doing now. We are working because they need us to. We need to. Everything is depending on it. We are depending on it.

And the second we can, we break apart all over again. The second we sit down, or drive, or see a photo, we fucking shatter. Understand this, that word is the closest I have to express how badly we shatter.

We can’t remember who said what. Who was where. Where we are. We can’t remember our people. We walk out of the room and don’t know why. We’re looking for our phones that we’re holding. We get lost driving. We can’t remember how to finish our own sentences. And to anyone who has no idea, we look absolutely abnormal.

We have been judged all week because we laugh and push through in front of those who have no idea what has happened. But believe me, we are not okay. We simply have the grace of being a part of a huge family who is leaning hard on one another right now. When one is strong she takes the lead until she can’t. Then another picks it up. And this was definitely not planned. This is simply how I have witnessed it for us, through us, these past few days.

Please learn from us.

Stop moaning about having to put your pants on to go be around people. Stop putting the events off. Stop avoiding the memories simply because it means you can’t binge watch tv.

I swear. I absolutely promise you, the second or third thought you have after your heart shatters will be regret for every missed opportunity to share time, love, and memories with those who have been ripped from your world. And that word, that 6 letter word, it eats into you. Even when you know better. Even when others try to comfort you and say it isn’t a logical feeling. It doesn’t matter. Regret will win.

So, do the thing. Love them. Be with them. Don’t waste time on people who do not love you. Don’t waste energy on the people who want you to look bad. Don’t waste time on half or partial feelings. Go all in. Love them more than you’re capable and show them. Please. Please I’m begging you, show up. Stop finding excuses why you can’t or why you shouldn’t. Stop being lazy. Stop giving yourself outs and okays. Set your issues down and work through them if they’re worth it. Go to them. Be with them. Make memories. Hold your babies. Please hold those who live in your heart in any way as tightly as humanly possible for as long as life will allow you.

Because let me tell you this, we are not in charge of life and death. It will happen and it will destroy whoever you think you are. And all you will be able to do is push the pieces of yourself back together and hope it makes a new workable version of you.

Please, please, as I’m crying in the dark, please learn from this pain. Let it do something good. Let it be for some reason. Let it help someone because right now, it’s all I have to offer anyone.

That and my imperfect love. I love you all. I really, truly, deeply do.

All.

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Acceptance, Beauty, consulting, Help, hope, public speaker, southern fried asian, Suicide, suicide prevention, susie reece, Susie Reynolds, susie reynolds reece

The Joshua York Legacy Foundation

An angel’s wings and ice blue eyes captured my heart this week and I don’t believe I can ever let them fly away from me.

Sunday evening I arrived in White Marsh, Maryland. I made a call to meet up with the Yorks and have our first face to face before we would delve into a long week of work starting Monday morning. I was nervous. My brain was running in a million directions and wondering what I would find myself walking into, I knew the week would be long and full of strategy and more than likely exhausting days, but who would be welcoming me into their world? Would I truly be welcomed? I couldn’t help but feel anxious and hope for the best.

Boy, was I wholly unprepared for the Yorks.

William immediately greeted me with a huge hug and a smile. His first words after our greeting were, “hope you’re ready for some crabs.” I laughed and said, “oh, yea.” When in Maryland, crabs must be had after all. On our way back to their house, we chatted about the humidity and how hot the weather had been for the past few days in Maryland. I had hoped I would be escaping the Arkansas heat, but it seemed I may have unluckily towed it along with me.

When we pulled into their driveway, I looked to the left to see a monument of a rock right in the front yard. I giggled to myself, I mean, what did I expect from the foundation who created the Facebook group Suicide Prevention Rocks? Their walkway lined with a hodgepodge of colored rocks all with uplifting sayings brought a lightness and ease to me. I walked into their foyer, where a variety of different sized shoes had recently been dropped by the front door. I kicked off my heels and commented immediately they must’ve been preparing for the arrival of the Southern Fried Asian. We all laughed at my corny Asian joke. As I walked into the kitchen, I was immediately hugged by Dawn, William’s wife and heart. Saying I was welcomed does not do my first night justice, I found myself watching a family who draws you toward them in the most unintentional but compelling of ways.

After a bit of getting to know each other, they broke out a huge roll of brown parchment paper and covered the dining room table. I noted, “this is getting serious.” We took our seats and jumped into the centerpiece, a huge steaming box of Maryland crabs. The kids showed me how to pick apart a crab Marylander style, everyone brought up family jokes about the importance of not to eating the crab’s lungs, and each of them opened their hearts to me. I was family, on night one and felt nothing less than exactly that for the rest of the week.

Tragedy hits us all too often in this world and it’s aftermath too often destroys those who remain. I knew walking in that tragedy had happened here. I knew this week would be difficult as they were nearing the one year anniversary of the loss of Joshua. I knew I might need to be patient, calm, compassionate, quite possibly forgiving, and so much more because of how difficult this process could be. And yet, I found myself not needing to do any of those things, not because they haven’t felt unflinching pain, but because they have drawn from their love to find strength. They lift one another up and open themselves naturally to others who may be in need of love and acceptance. They are each other’s rocks.

As I write this, I find my eyes full of happiness, joy, and thankfulness. I have felt something beyond myself this week and have had the chance to witness the power love has over pain. We’ve shared unforgettable moments where we each shared some of our deepest pains. We’ve experienced a rainbow of emotions as we worked toward sharing Joshua and his love with as many people as we are allowed.

Nothing is perfect, but this family works and dare I say, makes it look unrealistically easy. They feel, they are gentle and most importantly they are forgiving when they need to be. The Yorks, the family who swerves when a butterfly is in the road. The Yorks, the family who paints rocks in order to heal and bond through tragedy. The Yorks, the family who laughs and loves and welcomes strange Korean women from Arkansas. The Yorks, the family who continues to bring life to their beautiful Joshua.

To say it simply and without flourish, I am amazed by this family and their journey.

With my deepest gratitude,

Susie Reynolds Reece

#jylfrocks #suicideprevention #strengtheningliveswithlove

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Blog, Book, consult, consulting, Help, mental health, national speaker, public speaker, Published, speaker, speech, Strength, Suicide, suicide prevention, susie reece, Susie Reynolds, susie reynolds reece, Writing

Hot Springs Sentinel Record Article

Check out today’s Sentinel Record for more information on my latest book release, the Art of Safe Storytelling. I’m thankful to have community support of my work and efforts.

https://www.hotsr.com/news/2019/jul/23/new-guidebook-stresses-art-of-safe-stor/?news

#speaking #livedexperience #inspire #book #latestrelease #book

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