See situations and people as they are, not as you wish them to be

Written by Amie on December 15, 2009 – 1:44 am -

Same thing, but expecting a different result

It took me a very long time before I realized why I would end up depressed after being  in certain situations. I still struggle with this, especially around the holidays. It is more often than not I would have high hopes and expectations of what I wanted a situation to be. Even if I had been in a certain situation numerous times before, I would go into the situation again, thinking it would be different this time. I guess it is similar to the definition of insanity, “doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result”. I don’t like to be that harsh on myself though and say I am insane. Clearly I have been close to insanity at times, but now that awareness plays a huge role in my life, the insanity has taken a back seat. LOL

I want to control things!

Before I started healing from depression, I couldn’t figure out why I would become more depressed when I was in seemingly “festive or happy” situations. I would blame myself saying there is something wrong with me if I couldn’t be happy in a situation that I “should” be. Once I started becoming aware of my inner critic, my very judgmental inner critic, I started seeing a glimmer of reason. I started seeing that I wanted people and situations to be different than they really were. I wanted them to be more aware, I wanted them to grow emotionally, I wanted them to see me for who I am. In some ways this may look as though I wanted to control things. I guess maybe I did. I would set my expectations pretty high. *This* would be the time that everyone would be more conscious with each other, *this* would be the time that the atmosphere would feel peaceful. The result would be the same. I would come away more depressed, and very disappointed.

Why can’t they just…..(fill in the blank)

Meditation and awareness practice (trying to stay in the moment) have helped me tremendously. If I allow my thoughts to stray to, “gosh, why can’t they just…..(fill in the blank), I suffer. Not to mention I am also being judgmental of the person I am trying to change. How do *I* know they are supposed to change? I don’t. We all have a different path. Even if all of our paths lead to peace (hopefully) and joy (hopefully),they do not look the same. Each one of us has unique experiences, and we are all on our own path. Even though we are all connected, our paths look different. When I look to someone elses path and think they should change it, I am looking *outside* of myself, outside of my own inner peace, and I am not accepting things for how they are.  When I focus on the external, instead of the internal, I also suffer. My answers are *always* internal. I have the answers I need in order to find my own path to healing, but only if I stay in the moment.

Easier said than done

This practice of seeing people and situations for exactly as they are is much easier said than done. If you are with people that you are close to or that you know very well, it is even trickier. There is probably a lot of history with your relationship,  and it takes a strong awareness practice to get yourself through it. For me, I do a lot of talking to myself in situations where I find myself wishing things were different. I have friends that have had to cut themselves off from certain situations and people until they are strong enough in their practice to be able to handle the *same* situations differently. It is not easy. When we are hopeful that someone or something will change, it keeps the hurt alive. When we drop our expectations, and just be with who they are *right now*, and let go of the outcome, we can release ourselves from the hurt. Again, there may be certain situations that you need to distance yourself from altogether in order to heal. This is not being selfish, this is setting healthy boundaries and taking care of yourself. If you don’t do it, who will?

Nurture yourself

It is ok to take care of yourself and nurture yourself by doing what is best for *you*. This can be done in a way that is compassionate with others, but that sets a boundary. Nurturing yourself is imperative for your journey to healing from depression. You do deserve this, and you have deserved it all along. I would feel confused so often, because I thought I was far along in my journey; I assumed I was strong enough to handle situations that were difficult in the past. What I forgot to take into consideration was the fact that if there was history with the person or people I was going to be around, I would most often revert back to the self I was when I was with them. I would become my child self again, with unmet needs; or I would become the unconsciousness friend self. We have so many “selfs”. Until awareness becomes a very strong presence, we may revert back to the self that is applicable to the situation we are in. This is very normal, and part of the healing process. I experienced some relief once I really understood this, however. My pattern was to beat myself up for not being able to “stay strong” when I really needed to. I learned to be easy on myself. It took my years to carve out these patterns, healing from them doesn’t happen overnight. I know I am healing when I can see people for who they are, whether that is who I want them to be or not. I am able to have more compassion for each person’s journey.

You are Loved

Accept yourself exactly as you are. Be gentle with yourself, healing from depression is hard work. You are exactly where you are supposed to be, healing at the exact speed you are supposed to be.

Featured Videos has an inspiring video called Finding Joy Movie. Enjoy!  Here is a larger version of the featured video. Some people wrote to tell me the featured one is too small.


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Posted in Awareness, Depression, Meditation | 2 Comments »