Depression,loneliness,authenticity,and vulnerability

Written by Amie on February 19, 2012 – 3:53 pm -

naming the feeling of loneliness

I received an e-mail yesterday from someone asking me about loneliness. She told me she feels lonely even when she is surrounded by people who care about her. I told her I can totally relate to the feeling, and I also told her what a gift it is that she recognizes this part of herself. I remember so many times that I felt this way. It took me a very long time to figure out what was really behind the feeling of loneliness. Honestly, I didn’t know it was loneliness I was feeling. I knew the feeling felt really big inside me, but I wasn’t sure how to name it. At that time in my life, I had the habit of turning these feelings against myself. In other words, I had this big feeling inside me that I bundled all together with all of the “bad” feelings I was having, and called it depression.  I would tell myself there must be something *wrong with me* for feeling bad even when I had people in my life who loved me. How could I be around people who say they care about me and still feel depressed? The answer eluded me for quite awhile. Maybe the real situation was that I didn’t want to acknowledge my truth. If I were to actually name this feeling I was having (loneliness), I believed I would then have to act on it right away.  That isn’t true. The first step is always to acknowledge the feeling, and then allow yourself to feel it. Once you allow yourself to feel your emotions, a part of you will open up to new possibilities, and action will follow if that is what needs to happen.

I was dying inside, I felt so empty

It took me awhile to figure out, or acknowledge that I truly was feeling lonely. It also took me awhile to see the patterns I had set up in my life to support this loneliness. I am not being judgmental here, just stating what is true. Somewhere along the path in my life I learned that I needed to protect my sensitive spirit from people who had the potential to hurt me. When our true selves are not nurtured and supported starting from a young age, we learn other ways to be in the world as a way of protecting ourselves. I thought if I could keep myself from being vulnerable with another person, I was protecting  myself. I only allowed myself to go to a certain level of connection with people, and then I would put up my walls of protection. Nobody could get past those walls. It appeared as though I was sharing myself with others, but I wasn’t. Not by a long shot. I appeared strong and I appeared as though I had it all together. But I didn’t. I was dying inside. I felt so empty.

it has taken me almost 6 years to get to where I am today

With the help of a therapist, I finally came to see how lonely I was really feeling. I found a therapist who (after going through many therapists that I could never open up to) I felt safe with. It took awhile, but she was finally able to help me make a crack in my wall of protection. It was a slow, often painful process. My mind was like a steel trap. It did not want to budge. It has taken me almost 6 years to get to where I am today. That seems like a long time when there are promises out there telling us you can pop a pill to get relief without having to do the work of looking inside yourself. (I am not saying medication should never be taken, I tried that route myself) However, to put things into perspective, I remind myself that it took me much longer than 6 years to get to the breaking point of depression, so I knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. I had to rediscover the authentic person behind the wall of protection, and that takes work.

most people feel lonely because it is not “small talk” they are really wanting and needing

And…back to the issue of loneliness….I can see now that people who have a wall up around them are most likely feeling lonely most of the time. Most people feel lonely because it is not “small talk” they are really wanting and needing. Most of us settle for this because it is the norm. But on a deeper level, we want to feel connected to each other, we want to know what is really alive in the person we are talking with. We want to feel authenticity with each other. It is so sad that most people have been trained to ignore the real stuff, and go straight to the small talk. My first real connection with someone was my therapist. I know that may sound weird, but I don’t care! lol She was coming from a conscious healthy place, and I felt it.  I felt her authenticity, and I wanted more. From there I met a wonderful friend (at a book store!) who is so authentic with me. At first, it was scary because I didn’t trust that she could be real. I didn’t trust that she wouldn’t hurt me. But I hung in there, and I now call her my soul sister. I am also a part of a women’s spiritual growth group with like minded conscious women who are also seeking authenticity and truth. Another person who I relate to on a soul level is a friend I met years ago at a health food store! She is someone that I know connects with me at a very deep and authentic level.

the more I love myself, the more I bring people into my life that will mirror that love back to me

I feel so grateful for all of the people in my life right now who are real with me. I notice that the more I love myself, the more I bring people into my life that will mirror that love back to me. My kids have done this for me since the day they were born. Talk about authentic! To this day, they call me out on my old patterns. So, I guess what I am trying to say here is that if you are feeling depressed, ask yourself if you are lonely. Be as honest as you can be with yourself. Just admitting it but not putting pressure on yourself to do anything about it will help. Just allow yourself to feel the truth of what is there in your body. I would say to myself, “I am feeling really lonely right now”. Then I would tune in to what my body was feeling in that moment. Tightness in my stomach, almost always. Just stay with the feelings in your body. You don’t have to solve anything….just feel…..

 it’s time to fall in love..with yourself

The more you allow yourself to feel what is true for you, the more you will begin to crack open your wall of protection. What I am also saying here is that if you don’t have at least one person in your life you can be 100% real with, it is time to find one. Finding one will lead to finding another. I promise you there are people out there wanting the same thing you do. Authenticity. Vulnerability is a part of the process. People who are willing to be vulnerable, willing to show their human side, will attract others who want the same thing. People are lonely because they are guarded. We shut down our truth; our human side. The act of pretending to be happy, the act of going through the motions of being human, doesn’t cut it for very long. Many people are okay with living their lives like this. I am not one of those people anymore. If I would have continued down the pretending path for much longer, I most likely wouldn’t be here today. That is the truth. I need to be real, I need to be who I was born to be, I need people in my life who are willing to be real with me. I refuse to pretend. One more thing….actually a very important point…..once you start truly loving yourself unconditionally, you won’t feel lonely anymore. When you love yourself, you will stop looking for someone else to make you feel any certain way. Nobody can ever make you feel unconditional love for yourself. You need your love in order to be happy. You can start loving yourself right this minute by asking yourself what you honestly need right now. Being honest about it will start your path to self-love. We all crave authenticity and love and deep connection….so you really can’t truly feel these things unless you are madly in love with yourself!!! So, maybe it’s time to fall in love..with yourself! xo

And in the spirit of love….I have to put this song in here yet again…I just love it so much! 🙂

 

 

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Taking back your power from depression

Written by Amie on February 6, 2012 – 1:20 am -

You are love….you have the answers you need right inside you…..dig through the old lies and stories to rediscover the truth you were born with…..you are a beautiful soul…..you deserve to be here…..you deserve to feel joy every day……let go of the old stuff you have carried around for years…..question every single thing you tell yourself…..only keep it if you know it to be 100% true….that means you have to prove that it is true! Do something for yourself that feels good…right now….tell yourself you are falling in love with…..YOU! 🙂

You have power!

Okay, here we go…….I have been having a bit of trouble writing lately because there is a tiny part of me that does not want to own my true power. I am right on the edge of stepping 100% into who I truly am. What am I afraid of? I am a tiny bit afraid of being seen as a “know it all”. Honestly, that is my truth right now. Up until a few years ago, I played small. I played the game of pretend….pretending I didn’t have power inside me….pretending I didn’t know how powerful I really am. When I say powerful, I do not mean this in an ego-based way….I am talking about the power every single one of us has because we are all a part of the same source. The only problem is, so many of us either do not recognize it, do not own it, or choose to keep it hidden. This is sad. Instead, most people are taught to play small; to go along with the crowd so as not to “make waves”. That was me. Until now.

threshold of fear

Here I go….I am stepping over that tiny threshold of fear, and letting go of the untrue thought that people will think I am a know it all. Even if someone does think that, it really isn’t about me, it is about them. I want to share with you what I *know* for certain. When I was severely depressed, this message most likely would not have made a difference to me, so I understand if this does not resonate with you *right now*. This is what I have come to know without an ounce of doubt and I want to share it with each and every person I come into contact with. Maybe you already know this and feel this deep in your bones. I pray that you do!!! I began the journey of learning this message after my kids were born. However, I did not *feel* it so deeply until the last year or so. If I could explain to you how I felt at the beginning of this journey, and how I feel now….you would be utterly amazed beyond words. I know I am. I came back to the truth that I know we are all born with.

So, this is what I know. These words are not mine. I just happen to be the conduit for them.

blaming others 

Depression is your soul’s way of trying to wake you up to remember your truth. I know I have said this before, but I must keep repeating it. Depression is your soul’s way of screaming (gently!) to you to please come back to realize you are magnificent. One reason you are feeling so badly about yourself is because you bought into (innocently)the nonsense that people who were supposed to love and protect you, either told you, or showed you, via their actions. This is not the fault of anyone. They were taught the same lessons they passed on to you, and for whatever reason, it was not their time to wake up and realize how dysfunctional their behaviors were. Many people have very sensitive souls. If this is the case for you, it was even more difficult for you to be with dysfunctional people in your life. Your soul was screaming out your truth, and this truth was shut down by dysfunctional people and/or a dysfunctional society. You learned to hide. If we stay hidden for too long, we have no choice but to shut down the truth that we were born with.

learning to take back your power

I am not saying all of this so you can blame your depression on someone else. That is not my message here. You are exactly where you are supposed to be. Your life experiences made you the perfect soul you are today. I am telling you this to encourage you to take back your power. When you allow yourself to see and feel the pain and hurt you have endured in your life, you automatically take back the power that was taken from you. Each time you question something you were taught to believe, you gain back power.  The more you question, the more you gain your power back. I am telling you this so that you can understand why you may be hating yourself right now. Your soul is weighted down with self-hate messages that are just plain lies. When you believe the self-hate, you can’t function in your truth. You are fighting against self-hate. The way to get out of depression is to start loving yourself. And, please believe me, I understand this does not always happen overnight. I say “not always”, because I want to leave the possibility open for you to believe it actually *can* happen overnight. Self-love begins when you start listening to and questioning the voices and messages in your head. Replace the lies with the truth. The truth is, every single one of us is here to give and receive unconditional love.

we are all mirrors for each other

We are here to see the beauty in each and every living being we come into contact with. Each being we come into contact with is a mirror for us. Each being has a part of us in them. We are all a part of each other. What I dislike in another person, I also dislike in myself. What I love in another, I love in myself. What irritates me in another, also irritates me in myself. This is a difficult pill to swallow sometimes, but it is the truth. Once we can see ourselves in every single living person/animal/flower etc., we will know unconditional love and we are free. Start by looking at every thought that goes through your mind….every reaction you have……every belief you have…..every choice you make…..and then question it…..while always being as gentle with yourself as you would be with a young baby. Nurture yourself by allowing your truth to surface without judging it. Replace the self-hate with a loving thought, even if it doesn’t feel true right now.

 

You are love….you have the answers you need right inside you…..dig through the old lies and stories to re-discover the truth you were born with…..you are a beautiful soul…..you deserve to be here…..you deserve to feel joy every day……let go of the old stuff you have carried around for years…..question every single thing you tell yourself…..only keep it if you know it to be 100% true….that means you have to prove that it is true! Do something for yourself that feels good…right now….tell yourself you are falling in love with…..YOU! 🙂

 

 

 

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