If we want to kill ourselves, we should at the very least get the right “guy.”
But because few of us take the time to do that, we unfailingly fail, and, in doing so, we leave a mess for someone else to clean up.
If you want to kill yourself, and are despondent about it, raise your spirits because there is a way to do it right. But first, you must discern whom do you want to kill. Ah, you would say, “Don’t be a smartass. I want to commit suicide, and you’re implying that maybe I should commit murder instead?” No. If you think that, you got the wrong idea. I basically said that if you want to kill yourself, make sure you get the right “self.”
“Well,” you might say, “How many selves do you think I am?” And I would reply, “Do you think the self that wants to commit suicide is the only self that you are?” Is there someone who does not think of you as a mother, a son, or a good student? Can you not think of a time when a friend squeezed your hand and put their arm over your shoulder when you least expected it, and how much that meant to you. Or maybe a time when you rode a bike for the first time, passed a test you thought you would fail, or swam without a hand under your belly, till you finally felt comfortable in the water?
The self that wants to win a race and the self that fears losing it is the same self. The self that feels entangled in misery and the self that, in quiet moments, senses freedom and enlightenment is the same self. The self that had trust in a relationship and the self that saw that trust shatter is the same self. The self that abandons all reason in alcohol and knows it solves nothing, the self that wants to commit suicide, and the self that knows it is wrong is the same self.
So, when having the intention of killing ourselves, which self are we talking about? Whose side are we on?
The self of despair and the self of hope is the same self, just as a closed and an open door is the same one. If you see no light at the end of the tunnel, was there no light at the beginning? Why did you enter? Who is it that is miserable? If you say, “I am miserable,” I would say that the self that knows you are miserable is not itself miserable. In the same way, a person who knows he is confused only knows he is confused through the eyes of the part of him that is not confused.
So, it is a question of identity, isn’t it? So who are you?
Identity is of two sorts: an identity that we created, and an identity that is impersonal—that looks over the other identities we have created and have been given through our association with others. The most important one of these was the one we were given when we were first born and became a son or a daughter. All of our identities can make us feel confused, and, in extreme conditions, it can make us want to end it all by just giving up. But wait a second. Remember that the one who is aware of the confusion is not confused, and that is who we really are. That self that is aware was not created, not given to us by birth, and it even existed before our body was created.
If we look at the underlying self beneath the surface of all our apparent identities, there is a steadfast, unchanging essence of our being. That is who we are—you, me, and everyone else on this planet. All our other selves are conditioned by circumstances, the context of our lives, and our good and poor choices.
We didn’t choose our body or parents, so our body is not something we are responsible for or a reasonable target. But for the many other selves that we are responsible for, and if we’re willing, we can weed out the selves we are less proud of and nourish the ones that we are.
Committing suicide is not as simple a matter as some might wish it to be. But what in life is easy? What in life should be?
Life is work, and if we are willing to work on ourselves, we will find that there is nothing not to like about life. Giving up on ourselves should not even be considered. And if we do that, we will only be getting the wrong “guy.”
If you or someone you know is suffering from depression or thoughts of suicide, please call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is available to everyone.