I recently discovered that I am in a dangerous demographic, dangerous to myself that is. But to be frank, almost all demographics have something … some more ominous or dangerous or (insert your choice of words here). So what is it about me?
I am a middle age white dude …and in spite of all conversation of white privilege or being in a matriarchy heritage, or whatever, it seems we are in the biggest demographic for suicide. Could it be guilt? Societal shaming? Not living up to expectations? Debt we’ve gotten to live the American Dream? Not living the American Dream? Heaps of regret?
I get it. Life is hard and it seems every word, every action, every choice we each make is on trial for being, or not being, PC, tolerant, and culturally current. Words I grew up saying are now hurtful, movies many our age watched are considered disgraceful, and attitudes once held are now what’s holding progress back.
Trust me when I say that I understand much of the inappropriateness of actions I saw or attitudes I had. I have grown much since I was a teenager … as I hope all of us do … and I hope all young people realize they will do as well.
And to add to my upsetting category, I am also an evangelical Christian. We are accused of hatred, bigotry, and intolerance. A philosophy of love is seen as hatred.
How am I to respond? I am striving to continue to live a life of love, and seeking people to see the truth that God loves them as well … a love that desires for each of us to be the masterpiece that He created us to be. And yes, as a masterpiece, we get muddied, scarred, torn, and messed up. We try to take control away from the Master Artist and create our existence in a way we think is right. I do that way too much, and I wager you do as well.
May we strive to renew our minds, to see the world, and ourselves as His – and precious to Him. When we know we are loved, really loved, life is so much better.
If you find yourself hurting, torn, messed up … whether from my demographic or any demographic … please know this, God loves you, desires the best for you. And if you need to see how much He loves you, then look to the act when He went to the cross to take the punishment for our sins, our mistakes, our stupidity, and to restore our relationship with God.
That’s hope, that’s joy, that’s love.
Please know, we should take all thoughts or feelings that make us think of suicide seriously. You are not alone. There is hope. Reach out to someone. Or if you know someone struggling in such a way, reach out to them. This is way too serious to ignore.