I was saddened to hear of the passing of Chester Bennington of Linkin Park on July 20, 2017 at the age of 41. He was also the lead singer for Dead By Sunrise and fronted Stone Temple Pilots from 2013 to 2015. His voice had a great range for melodic top 40 tracks to the hard screaming sounds of rock and roll that sometimes blended with rap by Mike Shinoda, the other frontman of Linkin Park.
Chester was authentic and open about his life, the struggles of his childhood when his parents became divorced, being sexually abused by an individual older than him, and getting bullied in school. He let out his frustration and suffering in his art and music. Much of his struggle resonates in the lyrics of the songs he helped write and through the sound of his voice. However, Chester also turned to drugs and alcohol to numb his pain. Even with his rise into a rockstar with amazing bands, he faced depression until he took his life.
As a politician in Hawaii, I worked on the issues of bullying, sex abuse, drugs, and mental health. I continued with some of this work while a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney and Legislative Liaison at the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu. I left public service after being charged by the police for driving under the influence when I was stopped at a roadblock. Half the time I served in public service, I felt like I was dealing with power trips of politicians and judges, many with temper tantrums who were unable to put the issues above themselves. Now, I direct my efforts in helping the community through start-up business ventures, business law, and nonprofit organizations. If I succeed in building the businesses that I’m passionate about, I want to dedicate my money on causes that I’ve failed to achieve as a politician and government attorney such as building a peace curriculum in our schools to teach our children positive daily practices to reduce bullying, sex assault, verbal abuse and physical violence; and helping orphans of war receive water, food, medicine, clothes, toys, and an education.
The death of Chester by suicide hit me emotionally. I’ve been listening to Linkin Park since their beginning. I’m listening to Linkin Park songs as I write this post. I know the power of the darkness can haunt us, especially when we’re alone. At night and early morning is when they attack me. When they win, nothing matters – nothing. I know this. I live because I’ve created so many goals to work on. I work hard – so hard that it pushes away my pain – that is until I’m alone, then I have to start all over again. But I can’t just live by working. I want to love and be loved. I want to have fun. For these reasons, I created a system of practices I created that helps me to keep moving forward through gratitude, peace, and happiness. If you are facing anxiety and depression, these are the things I do to counter the darkness:
(1) Sleep – For maximum output, 7+ hours of sleep works for me.
(2) Exercise – Run, lifting weights, and swimming are some of the exercise I do that gives me a high and a feeling of confidence that I can achieve anything.
(3) Healthy Diet – Foods that have Vitamin B-complex and Vitamin C helps us against depression and anxiety. L-Theanine in green tea has a calming affect.
(4) Gratitude – I have gratitude for not just the big things, but also the many little things.
(5) Mindfulness – I live in the moment to be aware of the beauty and wonderful things around me. Mindfulness is what energizes our gratitude. The more mindful I am, the higher the level of my gratitude.
(6) Win-Win/Positive Thinking. There are wins in everything we do, even failure and bad incidents.
(7) Goals – I plan and execute my goals by a system that rewards small wins and big wins. It’s the process of the daily practice that gives us a rush of dopamine every time we achieve small wins, and in time, we get that satisfaction from attaining our big wins.
(8) Writing – Blog, journal, social media, fiction, and nonfiction. Writing is so therapeutic, and it feels good to send positive messages to my friends and network.
(9) Positive Relationships – Stay near positive people who will fire you up with good energy, and avoid negative people who drain your energy.
(10) Music – Soothing music is great while working, and when you need a lift, play a lively song and dance.
(11) Read and listen about amazing people – Exposure to people who overcame huge challenges keeps me motivated and thinking extraordinary with a mindset that anything is possible when you consistently work hard, build relationships, and learn.
(12) Go to your happy places – My happy places are beaches in Hawaii for relaxation and coffee shops for work.
(13) Ocean Therapy and Nature – For me, swimming in the ocean does wonders by heightening all my senses and revitalizing my vision for my life.
(14) Sunlight – Vitamin D3 from the sun helps us against anxiety and depression.
(15) Sensory Therapy – I enjoy lemon scented cologne, vanilla and lavender scented candles, hot and cold showers, and massages.
(16) Learn – Right now, I enjoy learning about subjects such as self-development, health, writing, Japanese language and culture, aviation, fuel, Iraq war, and orphans of war.
(17) Meditation – This practice calms my mind, body, and soul.
(18) Travel – Experiences at other locations creates wonderful memories and recharges our mind, body, and soul.
(19) Read Fiction – Experience other lifestyles and locations, feel the beauty of love, and do extraordinary things.
(20) Inspirational Movies and Television Shows
The following song, “Shadow of the Day” by Linkin Park expresses how I feel about the loss of Chester Bennington and the darkness that haunts us all.
Here is “Heavy” by Linkin Park, another song that moves me emotionally.
“Numb” by Linkin Park is a song that resonates with the frustration we feel after working so hard to be who we are, only to be attacked by others who want something, and punished harder by others because of who we’ve become, despite us still being human.
“Sorry For Now” by Linkin Park
“Nobody Can Save Me” by Linkin Park. On a positive note, near the ending of the song, the lyrics goes:
I wanna fall wide awake now
So tell me it’s alright
Tell me I’m forgiven, tonight
And only I can save me now
I’m holding up a light
Chasing up the darkness inside
And I don’t wanna let you down
But only I can save me!
Been searching somewhere out there
For what’s been missing right here
I want to end this entry with a positive and motivational song by Linkin Park, “Battle Symphony.” Chester will live on through his music, loved ones, and fans. My heart goes out to him and his loved ones.
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