How to nurture yourself to heal depression

Written by Amie on August 15, 2011 – 1:12 am -

The way to heal from depression is to honor your true voice

So many people are searching for ways to nurture themselves. So very sad that most people do not know how to do this. Most people are taught to think about everyone but themselves. Most people are taught to be concerned with what others think of them before being concerned about how they feel about themselves! People are conditioned to follow along with what “the authority” figures deem important. We have been conditioned to hide who we really are. The way to heal from depression is to honor your true voice. Let yourself be honest. Express how you really feel. Will this be easy after years of repressing and hiding your voice, your beliefs, your thoughts, your opinions, your truth? No, it just takes a lot of practice. Can you heal yourself from depression? Absolutely! But you have to be willing to show yourself. You have to practice facing your fear of being your true self. It won’t happen overnight, but if you keep practicing and you also practice compassion for yourself, you will transform your depression into self-love. You will soon be nurturing yourself because you listen to what your inner truth is telling you. Once you start listening to and acting on your truth, nurturing yourself is the result.

All of these things condition us to go against ourselves

Breaking free of the conditioning most people learn is the key to healing depression. Our world tells us we need to be perfect, be successful, be thin, be rich, be beautiful, be the same as everyone else, act happy, don’t feel emotion, hurry up, be nice, be who your parents want you to be, be who society wants you to be, don’t be angry, hide yourself, don’t trust yourself, listen to other people’s opinions of you, don’t listen to your inner voice, be afraid, listen to your fear, trust the authority even if it feels wrong to you….I could go on and on. None of these things are nurturing! All of these things condition us to go against ourselves. All of these things teach us to distrust our inner voice. These things are the reason why so many people are depressed! We have been conditioned to be afraid of showing the world our true inner beauty. Depression exists because our truth is locked in a box deep within. The harder we try to contain our truth, the angrier we feel. The more angry we feel, the harder we fight to try to contain our truth. The more we try to contain our truth, the more depressed we become. Depression gets deeper and deeper the longer the truth is hidden.

protect yourself by being “good”

It is not easy to say what you really want to say. This is especially true if you have been conditioned to believe you are somehow bad for stating your opinions or your needs. If, as a child, you were punished for needing anything, you learned to lock up your truth, and to hold in your thoughts and feelings. You learned that being “good” got you farther than expressing your truth did. It is fortunate that children have the built in ability to shut down parts of themselves in order to protect themselves. Emotions can be turned off, shut down. This happens for a reason. Humans are built to survive. This is a good thing. I learned to be thankful for my protective instincts. However, if you are an adult, you now have the ability to take care of yourself. You get to decide what is best for you, and who you will trust to be a part of your life. You no longer need these coping mechanisms that served you as a child. You are in charge of your life! This is great!

how to nurture yourself

So, I am back to the question of how to nurture yourself. I learned to nurture myself by listening to my inner voice, and then trying to follow it. I am still learning, but it is getting easier with practice. It takes so much practice! It is like learning a completely new skill. I am learning to have compassion for myself. I try to treat myself as I would treat a newborn baby or a very young child. I give myself a break when I revert back to my old habits. I allow myself time to sit and have a good cry. I honor the little girl in me who just wants to curl up and read a book. I listen to my body when it is telling me it needs to move. I get a massage to nurture my body. I feed my body foods that make it feel good. But, if I eat something that I know will make me feel bad afterward, I refrain from telling myself how bad I am. Instead, I say oops, maybe I won’t eat that next time. The key is to have compassion for yourself! Your inner judge has been abusive enough all of these years. Give yourself a break. Listen to what you tell yourself on a minute to minute basis. Write down what you say to yourself, and then apologize to your inner self. Become aware. The messages you are saying to yourself that are mean and judgmental are never true. It is all conditioning. Not of it is the truth. Remember that every single situation is neutral. It is the judgments and stories we tell ourselves that make them stressful.

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….love…

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Allowing myself to feel vulnerable

Written by Amie on June 13, 2011 – 1:43 am -

My first instinct was to gather my stuff and run out the door

I joined a women’s group a few months ago. I joined because I want to continue to grow and learn more about myself. I also joined because I wanted deeper connection with women who are on a similar path. We have had 5 meetings so far, so we are getting to know each other better, but we don’t know each really well yet. ¬†Yesterday I went to our meeting feeling very positive. We started out just catching up with each other. ¬†Then we listened to a short excerpt from a woman who specializes in attachment theory and bonding. We were about 5 minutes into the talk when I suddenly felt a deep sadness that I have never felt before in my life. I couldn’t stop crying, and I felt scared. The pain I felt in my body went very very deep. My first instinct was to gather my stuff and run out the door.

Feel the Feelings

 

This felt new and scary

Instead I went into another room and just cried. I still didn’t know what I wanted to do; stay and feel vulnerable, or run. A year or so ago, I might have completely shut down by hiding my true emotions. Yesterday I felt so raw with emotion, I couldn’t have shut them off even if I wanted to. I don’t know why I was feeling so raw with emotion. I did have a craniosacral session the night before, but it doesn’t really matter why. The bottom line is, I stayed with my emotions, and I stayed to be with the supportive, accepting women in the group. This felt new and scary. I felt so vulnerable. I have some close people in my life that I can be vulnerable with, but it is still not easy for me. I have to feel completely safe with the people I show myself to. If there is any question as to whether or not I trust them, I shut myself off from connecting any deeper.

The old recordings going through my head

After the talk was over the group was meeting back in a circle to talk about our experience. I could not stop crying. I didn’t want to stop crying, but yet I felt scared to be crying my eyes out in front of everyone. Being vulnerable can be so scary, and we have been conditioned to believe that showing emotion and being vulnerable makes us weak. Many of us have been taught that it is something you do if there is something wrong with you. Even though I felt scared and I wasn’t sure how this whole thing was going to play out, I was able to watch my thoughts. I told myself that I should pull myself together or I would ruin the day for everyone else, I told myself that I was just trying to get attention, I told myself that the other women would think I am crazy, and I asked myself what in the hell is wrong with you. The difference in yesterday vs. a year or two ago is that I didn’t follow those thoughts this time, I just noticed them. I said to myself, wow, look at what I am telling myself, these are some really old recordings showing up in my head. It made me feel so good that I didn’t believe these darn untrue thoughts and beliefs, I was just an observer. This is one of the most important tools we need in order to heal depression. We become an observer of the mind rather than a full believer in the stories and thoughts.

We are supposed to be there for each other

I found out what happens when I decide to stay with my strong emotions rather than try to make them go away or run from them. I felt what it is like to be surrounded by loving people who saw me, accepted me, nurtured me, and listened to me. The best part is that they still want to be my friend, they still want me to be around, and they never once gave any indication that I should stop being who I am! What an incredible gift they gave me, and I gave them. By showing our vulnerability, we make it safer for others to show theirs. We are human, we have emotions, and we are supposed to be there for each other just being a conscious witness. We have been conditioned to believe that if we allow someone to show their emotions and be vulnerable with us, it means we have to do something for them; we have to “fix them”. This is not true at all. People just want to be seen and heard, they want to be validated and told that they matter. Being vulnerable opens up a new line of connection between people. Hiding your vulnerability shuts off your aliveness.

Take a risk and put your foot in the water

I think yesterday’s group was a growth spurt! I felt like a new person after I left. I was very tired, but I felt really good inside. I was still feeling fragile and vulnerable, but it felt good. I now know it is safe to be vulnerable with people I trust. Before yesterday, I had one toe dipped in the water so to speak. This time I took a risk and stuck my whole foot in the water. It is important to risk being vulnerable emotionally with people you trust. It is the only way to grow; to show your true self. The way through depression is to gather as many tools as possible that will assist you becoming alive again. Learning to be vulnerable is a huge step, but it is so very important. I have to reiterate that the people you decide to show your true self to must be trustworthy and you must feel safe with them. Taking a risk can be hard, especially if you have been shut down for a very long time. Take baby steps. Open your heart just a pinch and tell someone something you normally wouldn’t share. Even saying “I love you” to someone you think already knows it. If you don’t normally let yourself say that to the person, try it this one time. But only if you feel safe and you trust the person enough.

You are loved…….you are perfect just as you are….there is nobody else in the world who is just like you……what you have to say and what you feel is important to the world…….be gentle with yourself……xoxoxoxoxo to you all.

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