World Suicide Prevention Day, 10 September 2018 and R U OK Day, 13 September 2018
Dr Dain Heer had a seemingly perfect life when he decided to end it all. Years later, he is determined to save lives through one simple thought – the pursuit of perfection can kill you; awareness of your own greatness can heal your life.
Seventeen years ago, Heer felt so depressed and hopeless that he set a date for his suicide. “I gave the universe six months, or I was going to kill myself,” he explains. “I had two chiropractic practices, money, a wonderful girlfriend – I had everything I thought would constitute a perfect life. But, inside, I was dying.”
Now, Heer is an internationally renowned speaker, author and co-creator of Access Consciousness®, a global personal development organization. Travelling the world, he shares his personal experiences with abuse, depression and near-suicide to assure others they have everything to live for.
The World Health Organization estimates more than 800,000 people take their own lives each year and suicide remains the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year old’s.
Heer believes one major contributor to a global increase in suicide, is society’s fictional ideal of perfection. “We place too much emphasis on being perfect,” Heer remarks. “We hold expectations and other points of view about how life – and we – should be. When those expectations aren’t met, webelieve it is because we have failed – we make ourselves “bad” or “wrong.’ In doing so, we are unable to see the greatness that we naturally are.”
Heer cautions that many of the expectations we hold about life are not, actually, our own. They are points of view we have unconsciously adopted from others. “How many points of view or expectations about life have you absorbed from your father? Your mother?” he asks. “If you had no past and hadn’t been influenced by points of view, what would you like in your life right now? What would you create for yourself?”
Heer believes that there are many factors that undermine our natural sense of greatness. These include:
Being highly aware and sensitive
According to Heer, we are unknowingly bombarded constantly by the thoughts and feelings of people around us. “Much of what goes on in your head isn’t even yours,” he remarks. Highly sensitive people are particularly attuned to, and affected by, the emotions of others.
“They are like psychic sponges,” Heer advises. “They are so attuned to others that, at an unconscious level, it’s like they are absorbing and reacting to everyone in a hundred-mile radius!”
Tip: First, Heer advises, “Surround yourself with happy people!” Secondly, repeatedly ask yourself this simple question whenever you are feeling sad, angry or blue: “Who does this belong to?” If you feel lighter after asking this, and the emotion ‘lifts’ from you, you can be assured that you have just picked it up from someone else. Recognizing this allows you to stop trying to fix what was never belonged to you in the first place.
Many of those who suffer from depression have been abused physically, mentally or emotionally. Dr Heer advises that people unconsciously believe that abuse wouldn’t happen to a good person. “So, by default, those of us who have been abused have decided they must be ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ to create this. Then we perpetuate this belief into the future by making it a justification for why we can’t choose or create goodness in our lives.”
Tip: Learn to see yourself from a different perspective, such as, “I have been confronted with the worst of this reality and I’m still here and I’m still searching for something greater.” According to Heer, many abused people become the kindest and most caring people in the world, as their way of going beyond the abuse. “You are different. You are greater than anything that has been a part of your life. You are a gift to this world,” he counsels.
Constantly seeking answers or conclusions
According to Heer, constantly trying to make sense of (or find answers to) life entraps you in a cycle of judgement, blame and disappointment. Heer’s solution? “Ask questions,” he says. “A question always empowers. An answer always disempowers. One of the problems with depression and unhappiness is that we don’t see any different possibility. When you ask a question, even a simple one, you open other doorways of possibility that didn’t seem to exist before.”
Tip: Ask yourself these questions every day: What can I be or do different today to move beyond this depression? How does it get any better than this? What else is possible here that I’ve never considered?
Living a sedentary lifestyle
According to Heer, sedentary lifestyles are very, very stressful on our bodies and are actually quite unkind to them. “Your body is meant to move! That’s one of the reasons you have it. It loves to be mobile. It loves to run, jump, swim, play, walk, rock-climb, and be enjoyed for the gift of movement it can be,” he advises.
Tip: Ask your body each day: “Body, what movement would you like to do today?” And go do it! You don’t have to do it perfectly, or like a world class athlete. Make it easy. Do it for fun! For your body! Just do it.
And to anyone overwhelmed with the weight of expectation, judgement and despair, Heer has a simple piece of advice. “Please know there is always hope. Never give up, never give in and never quit. You are far too valuable to the world!”
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