Well we are all aware of the terrible tragedy surrounding the suicide of 15 year old Amanda Todd. I have been humming and hawing over it for the past few days as I have honestly had mixed emotions about it. Anger. Sadness. Anger. Compassion. Despair. I have cried. I have wanted to yell about it. I have imagined what I would feel if my own daughter felt this hopeless.
I cannot change it.
Here’s the thing – WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT.
I AM going to do my part in this. I AM going to take action. I AM going to run my EmPOWERed Esteem Workshop to the public for the FIRST TIME. But first -I need to vent.
How did we fail her? Society? The Internet. Her school. Her friends. Her parents. How?
Is there not some sort of screening process for YouTube? How could they not have picked up on this? Facebook for crying out loud deletes posts and images relating to breastfeeding and they certainly know when you are running a contest on your page rather than paying or advertising. HOW does a video like this get on YouTube and stay there without any red flags? What role did her parents, teachers and friends play? Did anyone reach out for professional help? There are SO many faces to menta health issues and I really only know as much as you do regarding the actual details. I AM sure that we don’t even know the half of it. I don’t want to blame anyone but I want to blame everyone!!
Don’t get me wrong – ultimately it is and was Amanda’s decision to end her life. People who are suicidal feel that there is NO hope left. None. Suicide is a very touchy and vast topic. I am devastated at the state that she was in that she felt strongly enough to take her own life. It is not to take lightly. It is not something that happens overnight. We can blame this that and the other person but ultimately it is how you choose to feel about yourself.
I have been there. However – thankfully – to “chicken” to do it. To chicken to put my family and friends into sadness and pain. AND – a strong and deep knowing that I am worth it and have a song to sing. I always knew that deep down. Always but the road to get there was a bit skewed. What I do know is that place of hopelessness, sadness and despair that I wanted to end my own life.
The bottom line – it boils down Amanda Todd having low self esteem to begin with from the very beginning (chat sites) of all of this that allowed her to even feel “worth” just because someone said she was beautiful or stunning and go even further to share her body online to fuel that esteem even further. From there – a spiral into the disheartening world of low self esteem. IF – she had been strong in her mind with the knowledge that WE have the power to change our thoughts consciously and instantly. If she was given the tools to build a solid belief of self worth. If she had recieved the proper professional help. If only she knew she was a gift – a unique divine gift and it was her job only to be her – SHE WOULD NOT HAVE CARED SO INTENSELY WHAT OTHERS THOUGHT. if if if if……
Clearly she was a creative beautiful girl. Just look at her YouTube video.
Bullying is not the only reason people commit suicide. People commit suicide when they are hopeless and feel worthless. (among other things – I am in no way speaking as an expert on he vastness of mental health issues)
So now what – where do we all go from here? Some are angered at the media she is getting. Some are angered at the fact that she is only now “worth” something and people are listening. Well, I choose to accept it as her purpose. This 15 year old messenger that something MORE needs to be done as clearly our anti bullying tactics and self esteem lessons are not reaching enough people.
What I do know from my own experience is that self esteem has to be a learned and taught foundation. YES – some people are more prone to being outgoing, not caring what others think, feel beautiful etc. Thank goodness. But the sad reality is that more so than not – people feel down about themselves and don’t necessarily know how to change their current realities. Google suicide rates – more people die by suicide than car accidents. But unlike Amanda Todd – we don’t hear about them. We only hear about the odd “sensationalized” one.
So instead of just ”liking” a post, sharing an article, tweeting a link or video – I am going to take action. It completely tears at my heart strings to see and hear of people struggling with their esteem.
My passion is gently inspiring people to recognize their worth. My book “You are Sooooo Beautiful” is a tool to set the foundation of esteem, to bring up the topic in a way that is not so direct as sitting your kid down and saying – “hey – your great”! It has also been noted to make a huge impact on those that have struggled decades and are now finally recognizing that you are part of a much higher purpose than day to day dishes and laundry. YOU ARE A GIFT.
IT STARTS FRM DAY ONE. IF YOU MISSED OUT ON DAY ONE OR TWENTY ONE OR TWO THOUSAND AND ONE – IT IS NEVER TO LATE. Recognize YOUR WORTH! INSTILL worth in yourself and those around you!
I created the EmPOWERed Esteem Workshop. It is a 4.5 hour workshop for girls and their mothers/mentor. The age groups are 8-11 years and 11-15 years. I am opening it to the public for the first time. I usually only do them for organizations as such parent link, family community support services and schools.
MY ACTION IS TO MAKE THIS AVAILABLE FOR ANYONE AND EVERYONE.
Here are the dates for EmPOWERed Esteem Workshops:
November 16 2012 (Edmonton) 5-9:30pm ages 8-11years (plus mentor)
November 30 2012 (Edmonton) 5-9:30pm ages 12-15 years (plus mentor)
Cost: $89.00 (per couple). Space is limited to 30 total.
Details can be found at http://leannepower.com/empowered-esteem-workshops/
Email email@example.com to register or for more information.
Not all of us are in a spot to take mass action – BUT YOU ARE ALL in a position to instill knowledge to your kids, to your families, to your friends and to yourself. You are CREATED just right – you have one purpose – to BE YOU. The world awaits YOU. Some people are born with it and some people learn it. Essentially, I want more people to learn it right from birth and not have to travel a path of sadness, unworthiness and despair.
I pray that the family and friends of Amanda Todd find peace in her tragic death. She is a beautiful messenger that more needs to be done. I am willing to do more.