I was cruising on Facebook, when I saw that my friend, Bruce, who lives in South Africa, had posted 3 or 4 posts saying stuff like, “…Bruce Maxwell Cross …This is my journey thru an incredible life as I lay down my Cross and look forward to Heaven…….”
And another post saying, “…Anxiety Depression and Suicide takes a hold of my life and I spin inside my head. …tomorrow is the same as looking into infinity….as I look back on my life and the Now…I question who I am. ..what I am …and my intentions …everything seems just so pointless …My Hands Feet and Voice severed …trapped here wasting each every day …I live in fear of every day that has not yet arrived …That’s not a life …that is Hell….”
I knew – I KNEW – exactly where he was at. And I knew that unless someone spoke up immediately, he’d let himself go. He’s a delicate Being. Totally creative – he’s an amazing found objects creator, as well as a world-class welder – but no outside support at all. This lockdown has been devastating for him.
I’d have been devastated to learn of his passing if I hadn’t tried to help.
So I wrote him specifically: “Bruce, what exactly are you saying?” I wanted him to focus on his thinking, rather than allowing himself to drift off with illusory dreams of what the other side is like.
He responded: “To answer your question …I am not sure what I am trying to say other than …I feel so lost …so sad …and that I need ….Help …”
That gave me my opening. I wrote:
“What do you mean ‘My Hands Feet and Voice severed’?
I’m so sorry you feel so awful – I know how that is. At this point, Bruce, I suggest you find ONE small thing you like, and focus on celebrating it – at least in your mind.
Then find another, and another.
And be relentless and ruthless about it.
ONLY focus on what you like – and I don’t care how crazy those things might be. A crystal, a photo, a breath, a flower. Focus on each one, and breathe it in, and experience enjoying it. Do it again and again.
Because we are conditioned to think of ourselves as helpless, you have allowed your own mind to lead you into a death spiral.
Your thought-train needs to be re-directed to another path.
The only one who can fix that is you.
The way to do it is to re-choose, in the way I just said, moment by moment.
YOU are the boss, Bruce, no one else.
YOU have to choose to live, to choose the things about life you like.
No one else can fix you.
If you haven’t found anyone locally who can hold your hand as you re-choose, you’re going to have to do it yourself.
You’ve been strong enough to get this far in life – look at the power it took to do that, and realize that you can use it to live, not die.
Know that we all love you and would love to help – if we could – but ultimately, you are the one in charge of your mind….”
And I waited.
Finally, a couple hours later, he wrote, “…ur words from ur heart…ur love settled my soul and changed my mind set …thankyou thankyou…”
Whew. What a relief. I cried.
Then he posted: “…Hey Facebook Family …sometimes spontaneous combustion which obviously is a part of my life happens and it causes others a worry …and I am sorry to do that to you Guys …Now that I had a lamb chop on the fire and a salad and jelly and custard …2 fone calls and love from u Guys …also surrounded by my Furbabies … I feel more able to cope and apologise.
Sometimes no matter what I have and what there is to look forward …the urge to pull the plug over rides …Somehow I manage to reach out and somehow something happens or is said that stops me in my tracks …That I know is God’s doing …then for days after I feel rather stupid and pathetic …also at the time it is so so real and so powerful …and serious …Sorry Guys.”
So I replied: “We love you! I’m glad you reached out! NEVER apologize for that! The part of you that calls for help is the REAL you that wants to live and be happy! Allow it, and don’t feel bad about it!”
And after that, I realized I had to add this:
“You know, as an artist, you need recognition and acknowledgement. It’s just part of the package.
Calling for help gets it.
And, calling for look-at-my-art works does, too!
Let’s see more of that!
And – think about this – you and the beauty you create are so ‘out there,’ maybe some explanation in words to go along with the pix you share.
I don’t know about others, but I struggle sometimes w yr pix bcz they are so far outside my norm – even tho MY norm is out there for some people, too!
I think that, along with our creations, we need to build some kind of a bridge between our visions and the people who see the results of our journeys inside.
Does that make sense?
Maybe that way you’d get more kudos and recognition for your work than you’d get for being on the Edge.
I’m so glad you called out – never hesitate, OK?”
That’s the straight skinny.
I thought about it some more, and asked him if I could could share this story, because it might help someone else.
He said, “U r most welcome to, Angela …and u may use my name …I am so proud and grateful to be connected to you …Bless you my Amazing friend … Was close hey …so close that at the time it didn’t phase me …feel so blessed to still be cooking …”
After I read that, I remembered something I discovered in an out-of-body journey I had a long time ago – and it’s critically important for people who dance with the Edge to know:
“Bruce, yes, I got that!
I know that space intimately.
But – what we humans don’t generally know is this: we are infinite beings.
Whether or not we inhabit a body.
The grace of having a body is that we can fall asleep. When we fall asleep, it allows a mental reset, a break in the endless litany of thoughts of pain.
Can you imagine not having a body, and living that pain ALways, without the ability to have a break?
That’s what you avoided, Bruce, by sticking around.
We might think, if I die, the pain of living goes away, and I will get peace at last.
Nope. Doesn’t happen like that. The peace is HERE.”
He responded: “I send all the love I have …to you!!”
That’s the story.
And I sent him a copy of my own story of how I got out of a very close call, myself, that I wrote about inside my Land of Ammaze ebook.
COME INTO MY HEART
from the Land of Ammaze series
Contact me if you want the ebook.