Within a week, I have had three teens on my caseload, in one way or another, contemplate or make attempts at harming themselves or even ending their lives.
The story they tell themselves is that, somehow, their friends or family would be better off without them. This is the furthest from the truth, and yet many convince themselves that coping with life and all it’s challenges is just too much. Not to mention the implications of adding depression, trauma, anxiety, or other mental health challenges.
I encouraged one young man with this: it is time to change his narrative of himself. Due to a history of trauma, he did not get to this place all by himself. He certainly is not alone, no matter how isolated he may feel in this moment. Sometimes we need to change the narrative of what we are telling ourselves and what we perceive others are telling us.
This morning, Ez and I were watching “The Book of Life”. It is an artistic and colorful film with both lighthearted and heavy themes. When the hero feels he has lost everything, including the woman he loves, he is pictured in the middle of an empty arena with his guitar singing a rendition of “Creep” by Radiohead.
Instinctively, I began singing along: “I’m a creep. I’m a weirdo. What am I doing here? I don’t belong here.”
Ezra interrupts and says, “What?! You DO belong here…and I belong here.” I stopped singing and we exchanged hugs, tickles and giggles with words affirming one another’s belonging.
I love the simple wisdom that comes from the mouths of children. They often don’t realize the power of their observations and words.
You DO belong here.
I belong here.
Reach out to someone today and remind them:
YOU BELONG HERE.