I sit here at my desk heartbroken reading about Nikolas Cruz and what he might be feeling and thinking when he walked into that school in Florida. As I read different news from different sources, I am forced to think, “Where are we failing as a society? Why do we have so many angry and emotionally disturbed youngsters shooting up their teachers and peers? What can we do to prevent such unfortunate incidents from happening in the future?” Couple things popped up:
- Gun Control: Is it about gun control? Will he be able to do what he did if it was not easy enough for him to walk into a store and buy a gun? Why, as a society, did we decide that a 19-year-old could have a gun? What is he afraid of? Bears? It is deeply disturbing to think that we feel it is OK for a kid to have a gun. I am not going off this tangent too deep but something to consider if you still believe a kid should have a gun. We live in a civilized society and we should be protecting each other not be afraid of each other. We as a society are failing here.
- Annual Mental Health Exam: Do we need to evaluate each child for mental health clearance each year? You know what maybe it will not be a bad idea. Why not? We all get annual physical checkups, get our teeth cleaned every 3 months, get eye checkups done annually, but what about mental health? When was the last time you went to a counselor or therapist because you felt a little sad? We all fly to the doc’s office when we start sneezing, but we could go through a major life change and still think “I should be able to deal with it on my own.” We still have a big stigma around mental illness. Even around depression and anxiety. The most treatable mental health disorders. We as a society are failing here.
- Afraid of Our Own Demons: Maybe we are afraid of what we might find if we go to a counselor to talk about “stuff.” I most often hear from my clients that they are terrified to look within themselves because they are afraid of what they might find there. Especially when I prescribe someone to practice silence for even a few minutes at a time. We all have our demons, but if we don’t acknowledge them, they get even bigger and mightier. Here too, we are failing as a society.
The truth is we do not take our mental health seriously. We think we can just keep on suppressing our s**t like we have unlimited data for suppression. Guess what? We don’t! We have a very small size and finite capacity for suppression. We better start treating it like that. I bet that’s what happened to that kid. He had been depressed for a while and one day he ran out of his capacity like anybody who would commit suicide. We try to suppress it with alcohol, drugs, gym, work and God knows how many ways and even call it “healthy.” For how long do we think we can avoid taking the responsibility for our own mental health? Healthy parents make healthy children. Healthy children make a healthy society. Please please take your mental health seriously. If you are not jumping up and clicking your heels to start your day, talk to someone. Life is about celebration, fun, growth, and reaching your highest potential instead of living in misery waiting for it to be over. Hire a counselor or a life coach that can help you look at the things from a little different perspective. Any type of illness (physical, mental, or emotional) is a sign that you are stuck and you need growth. Adopt a growth mindset to get unstuck.
I will be accepting 3 probono calls today and tom if you are feeling distressed from anything including the Florida shooting. The calls are totally FREE and first come first serve. They are my gratitude to offer some more positivity in this already beautiful Universe that nourishes us and nudge us towards growth all the time.
Express! Grow! Love!