My Dear Community,

The words we allow and the words we speak to ourselves in our minds leads to self-loathing or self-love. Life or death.

Self-loathing – the path to death

April 20th approaches. And it’s the 20th anniversary of the Columbine shooting. I remember the horror of that violence.

Like molten acid, it deepened the Fragile Grief I already felt. Just the year before, my teenaged son, Reed, killed himself. I wasn’t in Raw Grief, crying 24/7, but was still barely holding myself together on April 20, 1999.

Reed wrote in his 8th-grade journal, “My uncle killed himself. I don’t know how anyone can do that.” Yet, a few years later, Reed too took that destructive journey.

How did he get there? How did my brother Mark get there? How did the Columbine shooters get there?

I know. I’ve been in that place many, many times in my life. The self-loathing. Berating myself for not doing or being enough. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I…?

My heart, so loving toward others, was silenced by the unworthiness I felt. My mean mind was the boss, spewing hateful thoughts into my soul.

Self-loathing has, at times, sucked me into a pit so deep, only my love of God and love from others kept me from drowning.

Lately, I’ve been reading the accounts of affected Columbine families and survivors who’ve gathered to tell their stories 20 years later. What stands out is the incredible emotional rehabilitation from trauma – a heart change. Forgiveness, kindness, and inclusion.

Pumping a shotgun, jumping from a bridge, or swallowing pills is a permanent end to the journey of self-loathing.

Self-love – a path to life

We can choose self-love instead of self-loathing. When we hear the mean-mind of criticism, abandonment, and unworthiness we can flip it.

We must learn to look outside ourselves and our self-loathing thoughts. Instead, we can ask, “What’s the kindest and most loving thing I can do or say to myself right now?” “Where is one thing of beauty I see, hear, smell, taste, or touch?”

The Bible says, “The power of life or death is in the tongue. Therefore, speak life.” Proverbs 18:21

Our words start with our thoughts. What words we allow in our minds. What words we speak to ourselves.

On April 11th I’ll be a guest on AMNW where we’ll be talking about these issues.

Here are some of the talking points:

1. ANYONE in emotional distress can call the Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255.

2. The people who die by suicide are usually very intelligent/gifted, charismatic, artistic and
sensitive as they help others, but not themselves.

3. Those who die by suicide often will not or cannot ask for help. We must model that for them.

4. The world is quite chaotic. Those who are traumatized by sudden death are experiencing
Grief Brain in the first 90 days. We must be aware of our tightly wound nervous systems
and intentionally allow and accept calming.

5. Remember how they lived, not how they died

6. Shame = I AM bad. Interrupt it with touch and your silent, physical presence.

What else would you like to have me speak to? Your voice matters.


Love all around, above, below, to the left and to the right, before you and behind you,