Thursday, December 22, 2011

Another perspective on depression

A few friends who read my last post commented that I was depressed and perhaps should see a therapist. I was a little surprised as I don't tend to see my state of mind as something that needs to be fixed, but rather as something that needs to be experienced so that it can heal. It seems to me that labeling something and coming up with a cure is the easy way out. It makes us think we know what's going on and that we're in control. So let me share my view on depression.

At the bottom of every ego lies a dark self-hatred, a feeling of unworthiness, and terror. Everyone has this unless they have actually done some serious spiritual/healing work. This is the human condition. Of course most of don't experience the intensity of it. Instead of stark terror, we feel worried. Instead of hatred, we feel a mild dislike. Instead of deep rage we feel frustration. We keep things at a superficial level so that we can feel comfortable and so that we can remain functional.

So rather than feel and heal the darkness within, we stay very busy--running constantly so that perhaps death won't catch up with us. Or we take medication such as prozac so that we can feel OK and continue to function. All we're doing is suppressing the feelings that are there. Rather than heal the source of the depression, we heal the symptoms. Or those of us who don't suppress the dark feelings wallow in them and become the victim. Oh, woe is me! We may go to a therapist and analyze our feelings to death, blaming our parents. But that isn't really experiencing the feeling either. And the darkness continues to run underneath, allowing us to go about our day, with just a slight feeling of uneasiness, that something is wrong.

There is another way. It's to allow the feelings to come up without labeling them, without making them wrong, without talking about them, without suppressing them. Just sit and feel these uncomfortable feelings of fear, of anger, of unworthiness. They are coming up to be healed. They won't kill you, and they won't last forever. Usually a few days will do it. And then they shift into something else and are released. At which point there is more clarity.

At least that's my take on how to handle feelings of depression. Allow them to move through you without judgment. At some point the light will return.

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