What if depression was a natural part of the cycle of life and it bore an important message? One that, if heeded, would lead you to a place of greater harmony, freedom and fulfilment?
Recently two people I love dearly told me they were close to the edge. They’d spiraled into the depths of their own darkness and struggled to see a way out. My heart ached for their pain, a pain I once knew intimately. One that many years ago almost convinced me that it was better to leave this planet.
It’s a distant memory as I’ve come a long way on my journey of self-discovery. But, when my friends shared their suffering it made me realise that perhaps there are many others who would find hope in an alternative view of depression and how to transcend it.
I’m not going to discuss regular causes of depression like trauma, bereavement, certain illness and seasonal changes that may or may not benefit from traditional intervention. And if you’re taking medication, I’m not suggesting you ditch it – it’s imperative that proper protocols are followed and that you do what is best for you.*
My invitation is to explore another possibility for depression-like symptoms and an empowering path of awakening to a greater sense of your own power and purpose.
Separation from love
We enter this world as love, then swiftly move in to something the spiritual teacher Ram Dass calls ‘somebody training,’ which begins to separate us from knowing ourselves as love. Supported, usually unconsciously, by our parents and other figures of authority, we start to develop ideas of who we should be and what we must do to be accepted.
Over time, we get further and further away from who we are at our core.
With our heads ruling our hearts, our choices and ambition may create material success and we may feel temporarily good about everything we do for others, and accepted as we conform. But inside, there’s an emptiness, a loneliness, a longing that cannot be filled with more money, possessions, success sought in the pursuit of validation or further ‘people-pleasing.’
It doesn’t matter how hard we try or how much we try to please, we will never feel enough. We will never feel completely worthy of love.
We wind up feeling depressed. This is usually accompanied by a lack of energy and sense of disconnection within and with life.
Avoidance keeps you stuck
The common approach for dealing with depression-like symptoms is to try get rid of them – through medication or personal avoidance/resistance. The problem with the former approach is that it may manage the symptoms but it doesn’t deal with the cause. With the latter, symptoms typically worsen. Without understanding what’s causing the symptoms you remain stuck.
Heeding the message in depression
If you feel depressed or disconnected and what you’re reading is resonating with you perhaps your symptoms could be a call to awaken.* They may be your soul’s invitation to embark on a journey and come home to a deeper truth of who you are.
For me there are two inter-related aspects of our awakening journey
- To return to your natural state of being as a foundation for a fulfilling life
- To live the true vision for your life
Return to your natural state of being
Your natural state of being is that place of stillness and wholeness within. Underneath your limited thoughts and beliefs, lies the place where you’re aligned with yourself and life, connected with your heart and can access your inner wisdom to guide you, rather than being guided by your conditioned mind.
Feelings of depression are a signal that you are misaligned with your natural state of being. Like other feelings, they arise from the thoughts of your conditioned mind. Peeling back the layers reconnects your physical being with your natural state of being; your authentic self.
Live your true vision
Take the time to connect with what really matters to you. Not what you think you should be doing, but rather, the things that bring you joy, happiness and above all, deep fulfillment. The things you could do for hours on end, that lift you rather than drain you. The things you do well that are effortless. Discover and build your life around these.
Your awakening is a sacred journey, one which puts you back at the helm of your life. It’s one where a wise guide, or several, who have walked the path are always available to support you as dive deep within and cross the thresholds you will inevitably face.
And, it’s a courageous journey. And I believe, the most precious journey we can embark on.
Accept the invitation, let your heart lead you and awaken to your natural state of being as you live your true vision.
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* Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you may have read on this website. Seek advice from a medical professional for answers to your medical questions.