I wasn’t interested in watching a show about a teen who killed herself. I’ve been dealing with deaths in my own life lately. Death of a relationship, death of friendships, death of my grandmother and even the anniversary of the death of my father. Grief comes in waves and different stages. When the first “death” happened, the heartbreak– a friend of mine told me I should write. To put my pain to purpose and use it. Although I knew my friend was right , I was afraid to write, afraid to feel the brokenness and pain of heartbreak all over again. I had gotten pretty good at running away from this pain, this brokenness. You can run, but you can’t hide. I’d like to think that completing my first marathon in the midst of it all was pretty ironic. My father was a writer and maybe subconsciously I’ve been running from writing for that precise reason.
So I stopped running and wrote my first short film. It was terrifying. It is one of the most vulnerable pieces I’d written in a while and the idea of people picking me apart and judging me was really scary. God kept whispering that he didn’t give me this story, this gift, so I could hide it, I had to share it with the world. After reading my first draft, a friend told me I had to watch 13 Reasons Why on Netflix. I thought “man, people keep talking about this show!” So now I finally have a good reason to watch it. By episode 13, I was in tears. The emotional roller-coaster this show took me on reminded me of things I had forgotten. In some way or another, we all have a connection to Hannah. We’ve been bullied or been the bully. As adults we chalk up what teenagers feel and their problems as trivial growing pains, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. After watching this I’m inspired to write another story. A story I had buried away 15 years ago, but enough about that for now…
Here are my 13 take aways from watching:
- YOUR TESTIMONY CAN SAVE SOMEONE- We don’t realize the power in our stories. Shedding light on the darkness in us not only heals us but others who may be going through the same thing. YOU ARE NOT ALONE
- LIFE & DEATH is in the power of the tongue- What comes from our mouths is so powerful. You can sow a seed into someone’s life that can literally change everything. These kids had no idea that the things they said/did would plant a seed that would grow to a point that a young girl would take her own life. What we tell ourselves is even more dangerous. SPEAK LIFE
- YOUR PAIN IS IMPORTANT TO OTHER PEOPLE- We tend to go the route of, “I don’t want to bother anyone” or “I don’t think they would care,” but there are people out there that do care.
- CREATIVE EXPRESSION IS TO HOLD A MIRROR TO THE REST OF THE WORLD- I believe that storytelling–which ever way you do it– is one of the most powerful mediums that exists. You can change a life with that painting, that poem, that book, that movie you’ve been holding onto.
- ARE YOU COURAGEOUS enough to stand up for YOUR truth?- Whether others agree with how you feel or not, your truth is yours. Acknowledge it, Express it!
- YOU CANT CHANGE ANYONE; YOU CAN ONLY CHANGE YOU- I live by the expression, “if you can’t change the people around you, change the people around you.” Choose alignment with those that propel you towards your best self.
- You don’t TRULY KNOW WHATS GOING ON IN SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE- Just because someone says they are fine doesn’t mean they are. Or just because their social media projects this amazing life doesn’t mean that it is.
- Are you asking the right questions?- Are you brave enough to ask those tough questions to your loved ones?
- IT ISN’T TRIVAL- No matter your opinion, if its a big deal to THAT individual it isn’t trivial. We don’t know how things affect folks and what permanent damage our dismissal may cause.
- .WE DON’T ALWAYS GET IT RIGHT- You will fail. Its part of life. God sees our heart. He sees us seeking to do better, but we won’t always get it right, and that’s okay.
- DON’T TAKE THE ONES YOU CARE ABOUT FOR GRANTED- Take the time to check-in with the people you love, spend time with them, and tell them how much you care. We tend to take time for granted and think we have it forever. WE DON’T.
- YOUR LIFE MEANS SOMETHING- We each were put here for a purpose. WE ALL MATTER, YOUR LIFE MATTERS!
13. “It has to get better; the way we love each other , the way we treat each other”