Shame

World Suicide Prevention Day was started on September 10, 2003. Two years after 9/11/2001. To recognize suicide the day before we recognize that tragedy can’t be an accident.

I read this post today about shame. It says that the difference between guilt and shame is where we put our feelings. Guilt tells us that what we did was wrong. Shame tells us that we are the problem. In the post, the soldier talks about the shame he felt after his brother died in one of the twin towers. He wondered or regretted why he lived when his brother or fellow soldiers had died.

I don’t know very many people who have died, but I can say that I know that shame. I know what it’s like to wonder why you’re alive when you don’t deserve to be. I know what it is like to feel that I am a problem. I know what it is like to question the purpose of my existence when I see the darkness of the world.

Today is September 11th. It is a day of remembrance. But please as you are remembering, don’t feel shame. I know it is easy to say and harder to do, but you are better than you think. Yes, good people died on this day and the following days 14 years ago, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have lived.

The merits of the lost and fallen do not discount or displace your worth. You are alive for a reason. I am alive for a reason. We may not know what the reason is yet, but for now I hope you can just trust that there is a reason. And I will do the same.

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