If depression won’t go away; thoughts and body sensations

Written by Amie on August 10, 2014 – 1:36 am -

Depression is IN the body

I remember a time when I wasn’t aware of my thoughts. That may sound strange, but I think it is more common than not. Most people are sort of on automatic pilot so to speak. I know I was. Before I became aware, I would have said no, I don’t have negative thoughts about myself. Oh my goodness was I ever wrong. I’m not judging myself, I just wasn’t aware. My thoughts were in control, and they had been in a continuous loop for so long, I didn’t realize how mean I was being to myself. When there is an accumulation of emotional pain in the body, our thoughts begin to match the pain by telling us how bad we are that we can’t make it go away. We blame ourselves for feeling so bad. We beat ourselves up because nothing seems to help. I want to talk about one of the main reasons, in my opinion, why depression won’t go away no matter how positive you may think you are being. Many of us try to feel better by fighting the negative thoughts. We try to block out the “negative” thoughts. While I do believe it is a very very good thing to begin saying positive affirmations to yourself, I also believe you can’t stop there if you want to truly feel better. Depression is IN the body, this is why our thoughts don’t make it go away.

Incessant thoughts…..keep you distracted from the emotional pain 

Depression will not go away until you are ready to feel your body. What do I mean by this? I want to explain it, because there was a time I didn’t fully understand what this meant. Thoughts are one thing, feeling in the body is something different. When I was deeply depressed I wasn’t aware of my body. I didn’t notice how my body felt when I was having an emotion or when I was thinking about things. When I had an emotion about something, my mind quickly took over and would start leading me down a path of trying to figure it all out, or trying to tell me what I was doing wrong, or or or……thoughts would follow thoughts would follow thoughts would follow thoughts…. I had no idea these thoughts weren’t true, nor did I have any idea that I could control my mind by first becoming aware of my body sensations. Incessant thoughts are there to keep you distracted from the emotional pain you are having in your body. In some way, thoughts are helping you cope with the pain by giving you something to think about. Even though the thoughts are not making you feel good, they are keeping you busy while your body is in anguish. Thoughts will not make depression ease up. If you are feeling horrible right now, try an experiment if you can. Try saying to yourself, “I am a beautiful person.” At the very same time, pay very close attention to your body. How does it feel? Is your stomach tight? Does your head feel like its in a vice grip? Please don’t stop saying the affirmations, they will start to feel true at some point. But I just want you to become aware of your body.

Depression is the messenger

It is so very important to become aware of your body sensations if you want to discover the truth of who you really are. You are not your depression. Depression is the messenger. It is telling you that your truth is inside you, the truth that you are a beautiful loving soul who can, in fact, feel happy and joyful. Our bodies hold emotions if we aren’t able to express them at the time an event happens. Therefore, our bodies are storing many many emotions that are waiting to be triggered or felt. Feeling them is the antidote for helping them leave the body. When something happens that triggers the repressed emotions, our first reaction is to “figure it out”. Which, guess what this does? It takes us away from feeling the emotion in the body. So, the emotion will remain in the body until it can be expressed. I need to also say this; it is important not to push yourself to feel. Just become aware of your body, and you will feel as your body is ready. Staying aware is most important, and being gentle on yourself as things come up to be felt and processed.

what I mean by “triggers”

Becoming aware is so important because it is the beginning of having more control over your mind. As you process the pain, your negative thoughts will lessen a great deal. I don’t believe they will ever completely go away, but you will become better at just observing them and noticing they are thoughts. You will also be able to feel in your body that negative thoughts are not the truth. If you don’t have the body triggers, then the thoughts don’t affect you so much. In case you aren’t sure what I mean by “triggers”, I will give you an example in my own life. When someone in my life tells me I should forgive someone, it still triggers the hurt place inside me. Not nearly as much as in the past, but it still does, nonetheless. What does this look like for me? Well, I first notice a tightness in my stomach, a clenching. It feels like my stomach is trying to hold onto something. This is a past reaction I am still working on. In the past, I would be on autopilot, and I would become angry in my head, but ignore my body. I would “think” I am a bad person because I can’t “forgive”.

Act as though nothing happened

My pattern was to get angry, but not express how I felt. I would hold it in because I wanted to be a “nice person” by agreeing to forgive. The back story, or where this came from, is this: I learned the definition of forgiveness is, “forget that someone hurt you without taking any responsibility for their actions. Act as though nothing happened, and then pretend that you are fine.”  So, until I process all of my feelings around my learned dysfunctional definition of forgiveness, I will still be triggered (i.e. my body will still react). So, my job is to feel and process my emotions each time I am triggered until my body no longer reacts. Awareness makes so much difference! With awareness I am able to remind myself, “oh, look, I am being triggered by this right now, just allow it to be there.” And, then I allow myself to feel my body without going into a story. Thoughts will control you if you don’t stay aware of them. And, it is so important not to follow the thoughts. Always check in with your body. If you are anxious, feel the body sensations rather than following your thoughts into the story. Keep going back to your body.

Please be gentle on yourself. Nurture yourself as much as possible. You will feel better the more you feel and the more you learn to love yourself. You DO deserve to feel good. Love is your natural state. Feeling will get you to the truth inside. It will be painful at times, but keep reminding yourself that the emotions are just energy moving through.  Stay with your body. Thank your body for getting you to this day, for getting you through the pain, for helping you cope. Give yourself a big hug from me. 

Listening to this makes me feel calm and makes me feel the truth of who I really am. I hope it makes you feel good too.

 

 

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Posted in Awareness, Connection, Depression, healing from depression, Help with depression, Nurture yourself | No Comments »

Our children come to us to help us heal

Written by Amie on May 19, 2014 – 3:01 am -

opportunities to grow and heal

The relationship between parent and child can be the most beautiful experience or the most painful. (And probably somewhere in between). It can be beautiful when we drop the notion that we can do no wrong because we are the parent. It can be beautiful when we allow the challenges in the relationship to show us the places in us which are not healed. It can be beautiful when we remember our children come to us in love and to help us heal. It is painful if we are unable to be vulnerable with them, to let them see our truth, let them see who we really are. Our children do not belong to us. It really is our job to become aware enough to see their “annoyances” or their actions as opportunities to grow and heal. It is not our job to break their spirit so they learn to conform to what we want them to be, nor is it our job to force our beliefs and/or our pain onto them. If we don’t face our own pain, and if we don’t come to understand how that pain has affected the relationships in our lives, then we are living from our place of pain. We react from this place of pain. We interact from this place of pain. We shield our hearts, which means we aren’t able to fully receive love. We go around covered in armor, protecting our hearts because we are afraid to appear weak, or afraid those we love will hurt us.

children come to teach us

Our children come to us to help us become who we really are, and to help us heal our past traumas. I believe children come to teach us, not for us to teach them. I believe children have so much to teach us, if we are willing to be vulnerable, if we are willing to put aside our ego, and put aside the thinking that, “we are the adult, we know more than children”, and the thinking that, “I am older and they should respect me”. I believe a person has to earn respect. If you give respect, you will receive respect. (another post in itself). So, why am I talking about this? Well, because I wish no matter how old we are, how old our children are, how old our parents are, that we can open to the idea of learning from each other no matter how long it takes to get to this decision. I wish adults could open their hearts, lay aside their old thinking, embrace their own emotional pain, and open their hearts to children, no matter what age they are. When a person gets stuck in the thinking that they are “weak” if they confront their emotional pain, then they are closed off to the opportunities to learn from those younger than they are. When a person is not confronting their emotional pain, there is no way to have a healthy, authentic relationship with a loved one.

motherandkids

spiritually and emotionally asleep 

When my kids were born I was spiritually and emotionally asleep so to speak. I was not in touch with who I was. There were hints here and there, but I began waking up after my babies were born, after I began bonding with them. I had never felt a connection as intense and as deep as the connections I had with my babies. It awoke something in me I had no idea was there. Feeling the bond with them triggered pain in me. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but it was there. When I say triggered, I mean that I had an emotional reaction when I was nurturing them. I soon realized that bringing babies into the world is the most powerful relationship there is. I believe kids come to us so that they can show us where our emotional pain is. They give us multiple opportunities to choose consciousness and awareness and presence. We can choose to look within ourselves to discover why we feel triggered, or we can become angry with our children and blame them for being difficult or demanding or whatever term we think fits.

look in the mirror

I believe no matter what age we are, it is possible to heal. It is possible to heal relationships no matter how long they have been in trouble. It is possible to wake up to discover the truth of who you really are. It is possible to put ego aside, take off the armor little by little, and have the courage to really look inside your heart to feel your emotional pain that has been buried. Each time you allow yourself to feel some of the pain, you become more awake, more conscious, more authentic. If you are struggling with relationships, especially those with family members, maybe it is time to look in the mirror to ask yourself, what am I needing to learn from this experience? Ask yourself, why is this situation so painful for me? Why am I so angry with this person? Why do I feel so emotionally charged when this person does something I don’t like? What pain are you living your life from? I just want to reassure you that being vulnerable with people who love you is one of the most beautiful experiences. Drop the stories you have told yourself about them and listen to what they say. It may or may not resonate with you. Either is ok. However, if your reaction is anger, this is a time to go beneath the anger to discover the true hurt that is hiding there.

 

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Posted in Awareness, Connection, Help with depression, Kids/teenagers and depression | 2 Comments »
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