Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Depression Pit: Part 2

Nothing moves without a push.

The above statement could be applied to just about anything in life, but it's very appropriate when dealing with depression. When we fall into that pit, it can feel like we'll never get out, and we long for someone to reach down and save us. But it usually doesn't work that way. There are times when a person is too weak to do the pushing, and medication is required until they're strong enough to participate in the recovery process. And that's okay. But for most of us, we're stronger than we think, and we can begin recovery in spite of that hopeless feeling that churns inside.

You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Sit quietly, close your eyes and go within. Take your time.
1. This may sound weird, but accept where you are right now--depressed. Owning the problem and being willing to face it and resolve it puts the ball in your corner and takes some of the power away from the depression.
2. Now state your intention to climb up out of that pit. It hurts, and you want out, so you intend to get out one way or another. So there!!
3. Reach down deep inside and locate that inner strength you thought was gone. It's still there, and it will answer your call. Now take a deep breath. You need one. You've just accomplished the first step to freedom.

For peace of mind, we need to resign as general manager of the universe.
Larry Eisenberg

Give yourself permission to not be all things to everyone else. This is your time to heal. Meet your commitments, but your main focus now is you.
4. Clarify the source of your depression. Is it a problem on the outside, or is something going on within yourself. If it's on the outside, do what you can to resolve it and then let it go. You don't have a magic wand. If the source is on the inside, ask your Higher Self to reveal what you need to work on.
5. Use denials and affirmations. Example: I deny that this problem has any power over me. I affirm my ability to rise above any obstacle in my life and find the freedom I desire.
6. If you feel like crying, ranting, raving, swearing, etc, don't hold it back. It will just keep popping up. However, don't let it control you. Allot a certain amount of time for this kind of an outlet. 30mins, 1hour, 2hours, whatever you decide. Then when the time is up, cut it off. Do this again as needed. You'll find this need will diminish.
7. Make a deliberate effort to use props and beauty to raise your mood. Music, walking outside, exercise, watch a sunrise, eat an ice cream cone, create belly laughs (I know you don't feel like it, but do it anyway) whatever it takes.

Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.
Desiderius Erasmus

8. This is one of the most important things you can do to help yourself. Find ways to help someone else. Not because you feel obligated, but because you want to. Give and get hugs. You need them too. Give and accept all the love you can. Love is the greatest healer.

Be not afraid of changing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.
Chinese Proverb

The journey back up is not easy. It takes time, and you may have to start over numerous times.
But never ever give up. The will to life will always push you forward and give you the strength you need. You are meant to soar like an eagle. Accept help when it comes, but you have to flap your own wings.

I wish you joy in your heart and a smile on your face. You can make it.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Depression Pit: Part 1

Last week as I watched the miners in Chile being rescued from underground, I couldn't help thinking about other kinds of dark pits that we humans experience--the kind we can't see or touch, but just as frightening--a place called depression.

There are times when everyone feels a degree of depression. It's part of our human experience. But some feel it down to a desperate place of soul suffering. Just as no one can fully understand the pain those miners went through, no one can fully understand the pain of depression unless they've been there. But the darkness, fear and despair can be equally painful. And being in a dark pit seems like an appropriate analogy.

As long as we're in the human condition, we're exposed to painful experiences--some on the outside, some on the inside, and some in both. But with depression, no matter the source of the pain, it seems to hurt everywhere. It can actually immobilize us to a state of inertia where it feels like a permanent condition from which there is no escape.

But just as those brave miners escaped, there is hope for those who know the prison of depression. There is in each of us a will to life. It's our greatest gift--the key to freedom. We can use it if we search and find it. One step is one step closer to abundant life, and the first step could be intention.

"A good intention clothes itself in power." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Next time, I'll talk about some steps we can take to crawl out of the dark pit. There is a way out, even if we can't see it when we're at the bottom. The light is there.

Peace be with you 'til we meet again.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tribute To Courage

As I watch the miners in Chile being rescued from underground where they've been for 69 agonizing days, I'm reminded of why we're here and what is really important in life. Sometimes it takes such an event to bring this awareness to a world preoccupied with money and power--a world where the good of all is sacrificed for a few. I'm old enough to remember a different world where people felt for each other and worked toward the common good. Now I see my old world reflected in these brave miners, their families and all the dedicated people who have worked so hard to bring about this rescue. It warms my heart.

When this catastrophe first occurred, each miner could have thought only of himself and his own needs, and chaos would have followed. But they didn't do that. Each took on a particular job thereby contributing to the needs and survival of all. Doesn't this make more sense than seeing who could steal the most food from his brother?

I've heard there were 3 proposals as to how to rescue these men. How far do you think this rescue would have gotten if the promoters of each proposal had blocked the others? From what I understand, the whole group remained open to whichever one would be the quickest and most effective, and then good-heartedly used that one. And it worked.

Oh, I believe there are many people in the world today who would behave in the same way these miners, families and rescuers behaved. But it seems that, in general, this is not the kind of world we're living in now. I wonder why that is. Could it be fear that drives greed and desire for money and power, with disregard for each other? Fear of what?

As I watch this rescue unfold, I feel such admiration for all involved, and I commend the courage of all these people. Fear is a precursor for failure. Courage is a precursor for success. The ultimate outcome for both is obvious. Perhaps, as a people, we need to dig down inside and find some much needed courage. Let these brave people be models for the rest of us. Maybe we'll see a return of that world where people truly care for one another.

Don't be afraid to give your love away. It will come right back to you.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Each of us wants a happy, creative and fulfilling life with physical, mental and emotional health, good loving relationships, and abundance for our needs. These may seem like lofty goals, but I think they're what we're meant to have, and it's normal to want them. However, we do stumble along sometimes and contaminate these goals in many ways, not deliberately, but it is our own doing. Unforgiveness is one of those contaminators we just hate to let go of. And sometimes we're not even aware we're doing it.

There are some secondary gains to unforgiveness. It gives us a false sense of self-righteousness. After all, look what he/she did to me. I have a right to feel the way I do. So there! You may be correct in feeling mistreated, but on the other hand, how can being unforgiving be righteous? Righteousness is doing what's right and good, and hanging onto unforgiveness only causes pain. Wouldn't it be more righteous to let it go?

Another secondary gain in not forgiving would be to avoid taking responsibility for your own response and feelings. After all again, it's his/her fault I feel this way. But in truth, no one can make you respond or feel anything by what they say or do. You feel what you feel because you choose to feel it. So you really are responsible. Hard to accept this truth? Of course.

When I read about forgiveness, it's usually about forgiving others. But I ask, "What about forgiving myself? Sometimes that's harder than forgiving someone else." When we do something wrong, we try to hide it. But we know, and it eats at us. We can't punish ourself enough. Bad. Bad. Bad. I think we each have a self-image of what we want to be, and we set a high standard for ourself, higher than for others. Falling down is inexcusable, and it's hard to forgive ourself for falling short. At these times we're not seeing the beauty of who we really are. We need to see and love our true self.

Forgiveness is a gift, and herein lies freedom. When we forgive others, we free ourself. When we forgive ourself, we drop the chains that bind us to the present and we open doors to glorious energy that can lead us to unimaginable places.

Learn to forgive. Learn to let go of anything that brings you down to a lower level. Know that you are too wonderful and precious to be walking around in the dregs of yesterday. This is a new day. Make it a righteous one, one that you deserve.

Let it go, and be free.