Oh no, not another post about Robin Williams!
Believe me, I didn’t intend or plan for my next post to be about him or to make reference to his recent death. But, as I said in my most recent post, I was reflecting on pain and suffering, as it relates to my posts on forgiveness and grieving, when news about his death and suicide became the headline.
Earlier this month, on the occasion of my aunt’s birthday, I also posted about mental illness, a challenging experience that my aunt chose as her soul path.
Earlier this year, I have also already posted extensively about mental illness in connection with my interactions with a woman who was exhibiting erratic, disconcerting behaviour due to her “unhealthy and unstable” psychological and mental state.
Hmmm…Mental Illness and Suicide. Pain and Suffering. Grieving and Forgiving. No doubt, there’s a common thread that’s stringing these themes in my posts this year.
Robin Williams’ death is awaking in us a collective wound. Paradoxically, thankfully, his death is bringing to life a common dilemma. It has led many to question and to reflect — and yes, to judge as well and condemn.
How many of us can relate to his pain and suffering? How much of our unresolved inner conflicts are we projecting on to others? How much of our own demons are we projecting on to him through our judgments and condemnations?
I will not lay claim to knowing the details of Robin’s condition and circumstances which led to his loss of will to live. I will not dare.
However, while I get that laughter is very healing, and humor is therapeutic, sometimes, cheering oneself up, or others, can become an escape. An avoidance of the pain. A way around it.
Yet, there is no going around pain, lest, we go through spiritual bypassing, “the tendency to avoid or prematurely transcend basic human needs, feelings, and developmental tasks….the use of spiritual beliefs to avoid dealing with painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and developmental needs,” according to Robert Augustus Masters, Ph.D., author of Spiritual Bypassing: When Spirituality Disconnects Us from What Really Matters.
When we choose, consciously or otherwise, to avoid the pain and go around it, we may lose the will to live, instead of gain the courage to face and overcome what blocks us from living fully.
Losing the will to live may not always equate to taking one’s life. It could result in losing the zest for life, the joie de vivre. One may continue to live but end up merely existing or surviving, instead of truly living meaningfully and purposefully.
Losing the will to live may not always end up in self-sabotage or self-destruction. It may also come in the form of causing destruction in others.
In “Wounding and the Will to Live,” astrologer Liz Greene brilliantly points out,
“Loss of the will to live may not always result in self-destruction. It may be expressed as the urge to destroy others, as though, on some deep and inaccessible level, the projection of hopelessness and victimisation onto another gives the suffering individual the illusion that he or she is strong and in control of life. Thus the individual who has, secretly, lost the will to live may, in extremis, try to deprive others of joy — and perhaps even of life — by finding a scapegoat who can be burdened with all the despair that is felt within.”
Surely, Robin didn’t make his audience his scapegoat. He didn’t burden us with what we now know as insurmountable despair welling up inside him. Heck, none of us even knew the extent of his suffering until after his passing on!
Robin Williams didn’t deprive us of joy. On the contrary, he gifted us with much joy. And so generously at that! He lit up the room as his brilliance came to life on every movie screen and television set. Robin cheered us up as his way of cheering us on.
Yet now, I ask myself, why was he not able to do it and give joy to himself? Why was he, and many other creative geniuses and comedians like him, not able to gift themselves with the laughter and the humor, enough to fuel themselves with the will to live?
But then again, how am I to know? Who am I to know? Who knows what’s truly going on inside the brilliant mind and intriguing life of a creative genius?
All I know is I will continue to ponder upon what Robin Williams is reflecting back to me. How am I dealing with whatever pain is in my life? How am I assisting others deal with theirs? Might there be moments when I am losing the will to live, which may already be, unbeknownst to me, resulting in self-destruction or destruction in others? How can I gift myself with humor and laughter, not as a form of an escape, but as a genuine source of joy and sustenance of my joie de vivre?
All these — and maybe, even more that have yet to come up — are what his death is bringing to life in my world — a world that was made brighter, undoubtedly, by Robin Williams’ iridescent Light.
- Wounding and the Will to Live
- Do Souls Plan Suicide In their Pre-birth Blueprint?
- Why Does A Soul Choose Mental Illness As A Growth Opportunity?
- Dysfunctional Behavior — When Is It Allowable Or Acceptable?
# # #