I heard some very distressing news today. Very, very distressing. And it made me very upset. A beautiful young man that had worked on the landscaping on our property took his own life. It’s is horrifying to me to know that suicide is the second leading cause of death in people under 30.
It’s easy to feel hopeless. Helpless.
“I wish we could bring Tom back,” his friend, who broke the news, told me. I nodded silently and agreed.
“I wish I had done more, ” he said. I nodded silently and agreed.
“I wish I had called,” he said. I nodded silently and agreed.
Sometimes the best thing we can do when people share tragic news with us is to listen and hold space and share the sadness and despair—and silently affirm that we care.
I thought of all the people affected – or rather infected – by suicide. I don’t know of anyone that escapes its insidious reach. But I do know that love is the cure—and holding onto hope. As a new book by Callie Shell affirms in its title, “Hope, Never Fear: A Personal Portrait of the Obamas.”
I came straight home and stood beneath the Nikau’s Tom planted and I shed a tear. And the tears come now as I write. But instead of letting sadness prevail, I went and fertilized the trees so that they will flourish.
And then I jumped back into joy. I created a video for my new Mollie Mathew website. At first, I stood before a white wall, but it felt too morbid. So I stood before our new Piera McArthur painting and recorded the video below. The despair that Tom, and people like him, felt and are feeling is fuelled by so much that is ugly in the world.
The truth is sometimes all we need is something beautiful and joyful and distracting to fortify the hope needed to hang on for just one more day. And one more day after that…and one more after that…
Books can, and do, change lives.
Tom many never have read romances, in fact, I seriously doubt he did, but I know many people who do and have shared their story that romance novels saved their lives. Coco Chanel is one of the most famous stories that come to mind.
Which is why I write love stories—now and always will.
Some people feel guilty about being happy or focusing on their joy. They say, “what right do I have to be happy when there is so much suffering in the world.”
Some people are addicted to pain and drama and toxicity without even realizing it, say some psychologists. Imagine being addicted to pain? Who would? But millions do. Drug addiction. alcohol addiction, sex addiction, gaming addiction—so many things that people believe alleviates pain and suffering doesn’t. So many truths we believe are lies.
Want to know what the real fake news is? Negative addictions build fear—never hope; never healing; never anything but pain in the long-term.
Joy, however, offers everlasting love and happiness forever after. This why I am a big fan of positive addictions, which I write about in my self-empowerment books like, Mind Your Drink: The Surprising Joy of Sobriety—Control Alcohol, Discover Freedom, Find Happiness and Change Your Life
And, having discovered for myself the healing power of romance, it’s why I write stories which are unashamedly about hope and the power of love to heal.
In, my short story, Forever and Always, I shared the story of family therapist Lily Rose, who following her malicious sacking, is feeling rejected and super-low in spirits. Even worse, she’s broke. The last thing she needs is more money woes. Which is exactly what happens when she collides with billionaire water magnate Leonardo Ermenegildo Bressolini’s mint-condition Lamborghini.
Having found a place to retreat from the madness and greed and malevolence of his ex-wife the last thing Leonardo wants is complications. But he is a man in need of a housekeeper. And Lily Rose owes him. Big time.
What they both don’t know is just what a massive impact the crash will have on their lives. Forever and Always is a short story, clean romance, full of quirky humor and the promise of a happily ever after.
What many people may not know is that the story was penned from my own life. Sharing my trauma and transcending it with a fictional retune helped me heal myself with writing. And so many people have written to me and told me how much that story meant to them and how they identified so strongly with Lily, as they have other characters in my books.
“Did you ever dream that a car crash that wiped out your bank account could turn into one of the best days of your life? Meet Lily Rose, who only wants to help children through emotional trauma and ends up finding herself and her true love in the process. This charming and warm short story is just the start of great things to come.”
~ Elaine Zieroth.
The most thing to remember is to hang onto hope and know that sometimes the worst of times can, with the benefit of hindsight, turn out to the best of times.
Out of curiosity, I googled, How Romance Saved My Life and retrieved the following excerpt from one of many articles that came up:
“When I was newly divorced and an abruptly single mother of five-year-old twins I needed something to fill the hours between my daughters’ bedtime and my own. I couldn’t get sloppy drunk, though I wanted to, because I had to be a grown-up and take care of my kids.
I probably could have eaten bowls of ice cream but I didn’t seem to have an appetite and, ironically, I did not have the attention span to watch TV. What I wanted was a book. I needed a big juicy read to take me out of my life for a while. A Gone with the Wind or An Unsuitable Boy kind of book that would suck me out of New York to a different place and time. What I found on the shelf in the hallway outside my office was a mass market copy of To Pleasure a Prince by Sabrina Jeffries. I had never read a romance novel but the first page hooked me and I took it home.
That night I was introduced to the wonderful world of clever feisty women whose intelligence and prickly independence are attractive and desirable traits that draw equally intelligent, handsome, sexy men to them. The characters were wonderfully complex and Jeffries wrote a tense compelling story that completely swept me into the world of Regency England and the rambunctious courtship of Viscount Draker, bastard son of the Prince of Wales and Lady Regina Tremaine, who has decided she can never marry. How could you not love the bastard son of a rogue Prince and a woman who believes she is unloveable?”
Read more from this article and discover how romance can save your life, click here>>
If life has got you down and you need a quick uplift or the chance to escape into another world, reading a good romance (or writing one), or diving into another genre, maybe just the remedy you need.
P.S. And the nightmare, narcissistic boss who I took from real life and fictionalized in Forever and Always? I blew my whistle on her unethical practice and alerted the Government Department who funds the organization she leads. They were alarmed and immediately acted. Below is an excerpt from their email to me
At a high level, we discussed:
- Governance and operation structure
- HR concerns regarding the past employment and termination of staff
- individual profit of intellectual property owned by XXX
- safe practise and policies.
We will be following up some matters further with XXX and have issued some actions that need to be rectified.
Thank you for raising these concerns with us.
We have to be the change we want to see in the world. We must take a stand. It’s not easy, but it is rewarding to know you have used your own trauma to try to prevent others from suffering harm.
“I fell in love with Ruby and Oliver, they are so good for each other, but both are so filled with garbage that their families filled them with, that they can’t see what’s in front of them. And when they finally realize that diamonds don’t have a hold to what they had, they are about to lose it. The butterflies remind me of how ethereal life is and it is up to us to not waste it, but live the fullest and best we can.”
~ Review re Flight of Passion
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