Just Breathe

A post of mine first on Quora over four years ago. I will never forget the struggle at times to live breath to breath in fresh grief.

Just Breathe

I lost a beautiful brother to suicide at age 43 in 2000. We had no advance hints. signs, cries for help. We were blindsided. He left behind a widow, two preteen children, two living parents, three siblings, and hundreds of family and friends. He was successful in the physical world, but somehow he felt enough pain to choose to kill himself. I imagine he felt buried in hopelessness at a moment in time that he lost sight of everything he had and everyone he loved. I healed my soul, my parents never managed to heal their souls.

I lost a perfect 20 year old son in 2005 to a firefighter training accident in our small hometown. Our souls were ripped apart and our lives drained of love. Breathing hurt, The next minute seemed impossible, The next day seemed unfathomable. We had our hopes and dreams shattered.

As the minutes became days, then weeks, then months and now years, we healed in ways we never imagined. It took a long time and a lot of work. We have each patched our torn and tattered souls, we have each filled ourselves with a love of life again and most important we love each other and carry the love for our son forward in our daily lives.

We healed because we have always had and taught the purpose to love life and love each other. My bother’s suicide awakened me to fundamental importance of love, my son’s death opened a deep spiritual well and beliefs that I would never have found without loss.

Do this please.

Take a deep breath and hold it for as long as you can without breathing out.

When you want to breathe again, keep holding it. Hold it until it hurts, until your body craves air. Keep holding it as long as you can. Be tougher than you thought you could be.

When you finally give up holding that breath in, you’ll will need to breathe out before you can breathe the air you need back in. Gulp it out, gasp it in.

Gasp for air, take some deep breaths and relax and understand:

Your body and soul want to survive. They will let you suppress hope for a time, but eventually our need to live and our purpose to love will come to our rescue and override almost any unconscious action that we might put in the way of our life.

As you gasp for air, resolve to do your part in finding a purpose in your life. Find your soul’s passions and build love for yourself and for life.

There is just never a lack of hope for us in this world as long as we know and seek love as our purpose. Your body and soul fought you when you held your breath. Your body and soul want you to breathe, to live and to love the gift of today.

Let your soul speak, it speaks quietly with the wisdom of generations if you can find the quiet to hear it.

When you can listen to and understand your soul, you will always have purpose and gratitude which are the fundamental keys to loving your life and building love in our world.

Now please go hold your breath past the point of pain and start listening when your soul steps in to save you.

Some mornings I still hold my breath to help remind me that I am alive with this gift of a new dawn