"Enough is Enough": Why I Still Can't Stop Thinking About Caroline Flack
Caroline Flack sadly took her own life on the 15th of February aged just 40 years. And almost a week on, I still feel sad about the death of a woman I never personally knew.
On February 15th a 40 year old woman took her own life. I may not have known her, but she was one of the 7 billion+ humans I share this planet I call home with. She had a life to live, family and friends who loved her, and so much left to add to the shared experience we are all living through. But n0w she's gone. And though I didn't know her, I can't help but feel pangs of genuine anger and sadness.
At first I was hesitant to even write that, for fear of people judging me too. I could picture the throw away comments in little blue text boxes. "People commit suicide everyday and nobody bats an eyelid but when it's someone famous everyone's crying. Pathetic". But I genuinely couldn't stop thinking about her, so I decided I had to write this regardless. Because the thing I've come to realise is I should feel sad, and you reading this, you should too.
There's nothing wrong with feeling love and empathy for others. And in fact to judge or put someone down for expressing empathy at the death of another human being, as I've seen on Facebook this week, is the exact kind of poisonous attitude that led Caroline Flack to take her own life. In order to create a world where nobody ever feels like Caroline, or like those who've taken their own lives before her did, more love and empathy in this world is exactly what we desperately need. In abundance, and fast.
We should, and I believe deep down almost all of us do, feel the pain of the others in our own bodies. We feel it in our souls. We are not born innately mean. We are not born with hurtful attitudes, or hurtful mouths. We aren't born judging others, or making nasty comments. How many more people need to take their own lives before we decide, enough is truly enough? And commit to creating a world where everybody feels safe and loved? Can anyone honestly tell me, that they don't want a world where everybody feels at a minimum, safe and loved? So maybe, ironically, what I'm trying to say here is that in order to go forward we need to first and foremost go back.
I know we all feel the truth deep down. Whenever we hear or see anyone hurt or suffering. That sinking feeling in your stomach, the churning, the pull of your intuition telling you that something isn't right. It's why you clicked this article. Well I'm telling you to acknowledge it. Give yourself permission to lean in to it. And I'd like to invite you to just stop for a second, as you read this, and really think. Think about who taught us to deny our nature and why?
Who taught us to go against what we knew in our very souls was right and wrong? Who gave us excuses? Who told us to follow orders even when they didn't feel right? Who told us to type click-bait headlines? Who told us it was okay not to care about each other? And here's the killer question, why? Ask yourself who it benefitted from this? Did reading an article slating someone, or writing a comment slating someone ever, ever, make you feel good afterwards?
Stop denying your roots and your oneness because people fed you something different, and you believed them. I bet those journalists felt the pull, as they wrote their headlines and tore others down for a pay slip. For a pat on the back from their bosses. The pull of their nature telling them hurting another person for work wasn't right. It's why we desensitise. Why we slap a label of celebrity and, idolise. It's why we discriminate. We put people in boxes to separate. To ignore our oneness. To push that little voice down that tells us we're doing wrong, as we pour vileness into text boxes.
Our true self gnaws at us like the tapping of our keyboards screaming, muffled, "please stop"! But we squash them down. Convince ourselves and justify in our heads. Why do we need to justify if we aren't doing anything wrong? Because we know the answers, we know what we're doing is wrong. We know right from wrong, we are born knowing. The minute we stopped trusting ourselves, and began looking for right and wrong in others is when this world began to feel unsafe. We already know.
And the more unsafe the world felt, the more the darkness grew. When we couldn't trust ourselves to know right from wrong, all sense of security faded. And all of a sudden we looked outwards for everything. For validation, for appreciation, even for our sense of self. and greed, and vanity, and pain, and hurt, grew and fed and spurred each other on. A toxic concoction of pain and anguish, where nobody feels right about what they're doing, and they don't even know why anymore.
I'm asking you reading this to acknowledge this. I'm not asking you to do anything major as you go forward from reading this today. I'm asking you to trust yourself. Your soul knows the way, if you'll just listen to it. If it doesn't feel right; if it doesn't make you feel good; if it doesn't make sense; I'm begging you listen and don't do it. Not once, in the history of this planet, has making another hurt felt good, no matter how much you justified it or how much you think they deserved it. Because deep down our souls still know that we on this planet are one living breathing organism. If you hurt another, you hurt yourself too.
We all have a responsibility. Each and every one of us is responsible for this shared experience we're living. You might not think your nasty comment matters, or makes a difference but it does. I don't want to come off self righteous here. I've said nasty things about people, I've been negative and mean for no reason other than that my own hurt, that I hadn't dealt with, was pouring out and spilling all over others who didn't understand, nor deserve it. But how many suicides is it going to take for us to start listening to ourselves again? We have to stand up like the adults we proclaim to be, and take responsibility for if we're adding good, or bad to this world in every single moment. The good news is, it isn't hard to figure out. Your soul will tell you, your body will tell you, you'll feel the pull. All you have to do is listen.
If this piece inspires even one person to live a little kinder, it's done what I intended it to do. Please if you're struggling talk to someone, to my friends, family, humans I know, and humans I don't, my inbox is always open. If you need to speak to someone, the number for Samaritans is 116123 (free), or email [email protected]. There’s no shame in giving them a call. They are the most understanding team of people you’ll ever speak to. I myself rang them almost every morning, when I found myself suffering from postnatal anxiety and panic attacks after the birth of my first son. Their support was vital and invaluable. Please consider giving them a call if you’re struggling and don’t know where to turn.
You can also help to raise money for the Samaritans, who support people suffering with mental health or suicidal thoughts every day by clicking here, and purchasing a T-Shirt as part of the “Be Kind” campaign from “In The Style”.
Peace & love always, and of course #BeKind,