Depression as a gift and learning to stay in the moment

Written by Amie on January 12, 2012 – 7:57 pm -

depression was the best thing that happened to me 

I now know *for sure* that depression can be the greatest gift you will ever receive, if you make the choice to come back to your truth and express who you really are. In my opinion, and I think I have said this before, the majority of people walking around today are numb and are depressed. The people who are courageous and who are sick of feeling numb, are the ones who will recover and then go on to help others wake up. I know the consciousness of our planet is growing by leaps and bounds right now. Depression is the soul’s way of waking us up to the truth of who we really are. The truth is every single one of us is pure love. I know this without one doubt in my mind. We are all connected and we are all part of the whole. We all have pure love within us and we all have the capability to be full of joy. I really don’t even like the word depressed because it has such a negative connotation. I can honestly say depression was the best thing that happened to me because it forced me to find my true self. The true self I love unconditionally.

I didn’t know that being present in my life was another option

I want to write about my experience with learning how to stay in the moment. In the past, I didn’t understand what this meant. Even after I read the book, “The Power of Now”, I still don’t think I understood what it meant. I had been in my thinking mind for so long I didn’t know that being present in my life was another option. Once I began waking up and feeling more alive, I began to *really* understand what being present to my life really means. I am sort of “thinking out loud” here because at this point, I am not sure if I will be able to explain the feeling I have about this topic. I will begin by talking about why this topic feels alive in me right now.

everything that happens in my life is because it is what is supposed to be happening

For the past year or so, a certain *knowing* has become a part of who I am. That isn’t very clear, is it?! I will try to describe this feeling. It is a deep knowing I have that helps me trust that all is well. Everything is as it is, and will all work out for my greater good. I am not saying I won’t have disappointment and sadness etc. Everything that happens in my life is because it is what is supposed to be happening. I’m saying, for the most part, I no longer add my “stories” or commentary to situations and experiences. I follow what is happening without trying to analyze it or judge it to be right or wrong. The reason this feels alive in me today, however, is because my old conditioning came back to me in the past few days and I was reminded how it feels to become disconnected from this source of knowing. When I start analyzing a situation, trying to guess the outcome, or trying to figure out the reason behind something, I lose the connection from myself and this *knowing*. The mind (or the ego, or the pain-body) has an agenda to keep me in my conditioned pattern of staying out of the present moment. Just remember, this is something that takes practice if you have been living in the past or the future (in your mind) for a long period of time.

trying to distract myself from my truth or my feelings

When I go into the past or the future in my mind (or some people try to keep themselves so busy so as not to have time to feel), I am not living from my truth. I am living in a made up story with the intent to distract myself from my feelings. When I am distracted from my feelings, depression can very easily creep in and carry me back down. I haven’t been in a deep depression for quite awhile now, but I can feel the feeling in  my body of what I know to be the beginning of falling down into a deep dark hole. I am so grateful to be aware of this pattern. The minute I become aware of what I am doing (trying to distract myself from my truth or my feelings), I remind myself of what is happening, and I am able to come back to what is true.

how to bring yourself back to the moment

I must emphasize to you to please be gentle with yourself while learning this new skill. There are times when, in order to protect ourselves for one reason or another, we must distract ourselves. It is okay to do this if you need to. The important part is that you are aware of doing it. The more you allow yourself to stay in your truth and to be in the moment, you will need to distract yourself less and less. Also, when I talk about staying in the moment, this does not always mean trying to figure out *why* you were avoiding feeling or why you were distracting yourself. Let go of needing to know *why*, and just let yourself feel what is there in your body. The most important tool you have and that nobody can take away from you, is your breath. Breathing and paying attention to your breath will always bring you back to the moment. Practice this right now. Stop reading and just close your eyes and feel the air coming through your nostrils. Feel it flow back out. Now pay attention to your body sensations. Is your stomach tight? Were you holding your breath? Go back to “watching” the air move in and out of your nose. Focus on this. Release the tightness in your body…watch it flow out. Again, no need to figure anything out. Just be an observer. If you find yourself drifting off in your mind…be nice to yourself and say…I will start over. Then focus on the air moving in and out of your nose. If you want to add something to it, you can say to yourself…I am breathing in love (or peace, or whatever you want)….I am breathing out fear (or negativity, or whatever feels true for you).

for example, try this: “I am sitting on a chair”, or “my feet are feeling cold”

Another way to come back to the present moment is this: If you catch yourself doing the analyzing thing…just acknowledge it first…by saying…oops, I am distracting myself right now. Then, tell yourself what is real right now in the moment…for example…if your mind is saying something like, “oh my gosh, why in the world did that happen to me today, this is just crazy, unfair etc.” (and if your pain-body is as mean as mine used to be, it will go further into this: “I must have done something wrong…what is wrong with me…why would I do something so stupid?”) Sound familiar? That was all too common in my mind when I was in a deep depression. The way to start getting out of this conditioning is to state what is *really* true in the moment. Look around you and point out something that is indisputably true. For example, try this: “I am sitting on a chair, or, “my feet are feeling cold”, or, “I feel my toes moving in my socks.” (What is not true in the moment ,or ever for that matter, are the stories you have made up about why you are feeling bad. Test this theory by asking yourself to prove your story. Can you prove it without a doubt?) All of these things (the chair, your feet,etc) are happening in the present moment. This helps bring you back to right now, and then you can focus on your breath. Until a person becomes aware of their thoughts, it is nearly impossible to heal depression. Depression is alive in you because you are not living in your truth. Depression is the pain of your repressed emotions fighting against the truth of who you really are. Your repressed emotions cause an imbalance in your body. Depression happens because you are repressing the true essence of who you are. Shame and guilt keep your true essence from coming out because you were conditioned to hide your true self.

“When we understand that the ability to live with any situation is not in what happens, but in our relationship to ourselves and our own minds, we are free. Absolutely, breathtakingly free.” ~ Geneen Roth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Depression and the stories we tell ourselves

Written by Amie on June 6, 2011 – 10:52 pm -

You will not believe this…let me tell you

I was just thinking tonight that if we are not aware of our thoughts,  it is so easy to convince ourselves of just about anything. For example, if you are hoping that a friend will call because you miss them and really want to see them, but then they don’t call, the stories begin in the mind. “I bet she just doesn’t want to see me”, or “gosh, I wonder what I did to make her mad”, or “I hope she wasn’t in a terrible car accident and nobody told me.” Have you ever found yourself doing this? I would venture to say that everyone has done this, and most likely on a daily basis. All of these thoughts have a few things in common. They are very likely not true, they bring us out of the present moment, and they try to make us at fault for something that isn’t even true. The mind likes to bring us out of the present moment. It is the habit of the mind. It is also very common in people with depression to go to the worst case scenario in most situations with the blame being on themselves.

Here comes that feeling of blackness again

I wanted to mention the above because I thought it would resonate with most people. I want to take it one step further and point out the stories we tell ourselves about our depression. When I was feeling horrible my first thought was usually,” here it comes again, I will never get rid of this.” And I believed it. I believed it completely. I believed the stories in my head. They had been there for so long, I didn’t know to question them. I see that this has to be the first step on the path to getting through depression. We have to become aware of what we tell ourselves, and then we must give depression a voice. We have to learn to watch the mind and the crazy untrue messages it tells us.

How to do this?

Even if you are convinced that your depression has nothing to do with your thoughts and beliefs or that you don’t say mean things to yourself, try paying close attention for just one hour today. Write down everything that goes through your mind. The key is not to judge yourself. Just look and watch and observe and record. You may be shocked at what you write down. Most of us have an endless loop of negative thoughts and comments going through the mind. So many messages we picked up along the way. The majority, if not all of them, are false! If you don’t believe me, take one of the thoughts you wrote down and prove it’s truth. Prove to yourself it is true. It doesn’t count to say something like, “I can prove that I am stupid because I failed that test.” So you failed a test, how would that prove you are stupid? It doesn’t. There has to be 100% solid evidence that your thoughts are actually true. Good luck proving any of it.

A place of familiarity

Once I became aware that my thoughts are beliefs were not true, I felt a new freedom and excitement! I felt as thought i could start my life again. I learned to question every single thing that went through my mind. I threw them away if they weren’t true. Was it easy? No! Do I still struggle at times? Absolutely! But the difference is awareness. I am aware of my thoughts, and this makes all the difference in the world. Awareness is the first step. Awareness leads to presence. The present moment is all you have for sure, so why not learn to stay in it? The things you are telling yourself about tomorrow or last week or the things you are saying about why your friend hasn’t called-these are ALL just stories your mind is making up to keep you in the place of fear and a place of familiarity. That’s all. A story, just like in a book. Once you can step back and watch your mind telling you stories, you begin to view them as just that. Healing from depression can be hard work, but it is so worth it! If you allow yourself to become aware without judgment, you will begin to open yourself up to the truth of what is inside you. Pure awareness and pure beauty and love. I hope this doesn’t sound to “frou-frou”, as I know what it feels like to be in the bottomless pit. However, I do want to give you tools and give you hope that it can and will get better if you are willing to dig inside yourself to become aware of what is really being said.

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