“If the only thing people learned was not to be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world.”- Sydney Banks
On this week’s Insightful Conversations, I had the pleasure of speaking with the wonderful Terry Rubenstein. Terry is the founder of IHEART, an organization that teaches the 3 Principles within the school system. She is also the author of the groundbreaking bestseller EXQUISITE MIND — How a New Paradigm Transformed My Life, a book that tells the true story of her journey from years of suffering to mental wellness. During our conversation, we discussed the difficult but important subject of suicidal ideation.
Before coming across the Principles, Terry suffered from debilitating mental health issues. Finally, her depression became so bad she contemplated taking her own life. Thankfully her suicide attempt failed, and today her life’s mission is to help others dealing with similar mental health issues. Having gone through my own struggles with depression as a teenager, I am passionate about Terry and her team’s work to bring the 3 Principles to our youth.
When I was a teenager, I also suffered from suicidal Ideations. I didn’t feel that I had the skills necessary to survive life. Suicide seemed to be the only answer to end the pain I was living in. As a child, I experienced abandonment and neglect. My father never acknowledged me as his child, which led me to believe that I was unworthy of being loved. Like many fatherless girls, I grew up looking for validation from any man that would pay me attention. As you can imagine, I attracted some unscrupulous men who were willing to pay me the attention I craved, just not in the way I needed.
Looking back now, I feel fortunate that something within me stopped me from taking my life. I remember thinking that if I committed suicide, it would kill my mother. So, like the dutiful daughter I was, I put her well-being ahead of my own, which ironically saved my life! Unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky. In a moment of despair, many of our youth see suicide as the only viable option to ending their pain and suffering. Unfortunately, they don’t have the life experience to know that in the big scheme of things, what they are experiencing is transitory and will eventually move on.
My heart goes out to our youth today. Regardless of how stable their upbringings may have been, they face challenges that we didn’t have to deal with when we were their age. As a mother to two young men myself, I have seen first-hand the struggles they have had to deal with. Pressures from social media, cyber-bullying, climate change, gun violence, and school mass shootings are just a few areas of concern that come to mind. Given the state of the world today, I feel it is imperative that we teach our children about the Principles.
How incredible would it be if our children knew from an early age that we are magnificent spiritual beings having a human experience? That we are all created equal. That we are resilient, and that no matter what has happened to us, we can never be broken or damaged. That at our essence, we are perfect, whole, and complete. That we have innate wisdom guiding us every second of every day. That the happiness and peace of mind we are looking for is already within us. And that we create our experience of life from the inside out, not the outside in.
When we see the truth of this, we stop blaming other people or our circumstances for how we are feeling. When we see the truth of this, we stop feeling so powerless and victimized by life. When we see the truth of this, we stop being afraid of our thoughts, feelings, and experiences. We know that they are fleeting and as uncomfortable as they may be in the moment; if left alone, they will pass on their own accord, and we will once again bounce back to our innate wellbeing.
When I think of people like Anthony Bourdin and Robin Williams, I can’t help but wonder if they would still be with us if they had known about the 3 Principles. Unfortunately, we will never know. But what I do know is that the Principles have helped hundreds of thousands of people suffering from depression and suicidal ideation regain their lives. And for that, I am eternally grateful to Sydney Banks and the gift he brought to the world with this understanding.
With love and appreciation, Del 💕