Monday, April 11, 2011

Stuck in the Mud

Staying in Depression

Depression comes and goes, and returns.

It is one of the most unavoidable aspects of our lives, yet we somehow embrace it and invite it into our lives once it rears its ugly head.

We try hard to release ourselves from its grasp. but sometimes it's as though we are stuck in the mud, or the quicksand, of depression.

It is when we become stuck in our depression that our own lives become detrimental to our well-being and development.

Depression comes and it goes, ebbs and flows ... just as the ocean. However, it is merely one component to the cycle of life.

Once we understand and embrace that reality, depression can actually serve as a teacher.

It is when we allow ourselves to become trapped by or get stuck in our depression that it becomes detrimental to our well-being and development.

If we notice that we feel closed-off, resentful, heavy-hearted, or that we try very hard to avoid being hurt again, or lose again, there may be a part of us that is still stuck in depression, often shutting ourselves off and staying away from the loving embrace of our friends and partners in life. Perhaps even giving up on faith and hope.

We can become trapped by depression for many reasons.

As children, it was natural for us to cry, throw a tantrum, and allow the experience to move through us. By fully feeling our pain in this way, our emotions would wash us clean, leaving us open and available to new experiences.

As with the ocean, the salty water of our tears would cleanse us.

However, with age we might determine that expressing emotion is no longer appropriate. So we develop a variety of coping strategies to deal with our discomfort.

We may teach ourselves to pack away our feelings down or to run away from them.

Perhaps we begin to believe that tightening up our shells and staying closed and unwilling to try new things will keep us safe from heartbreak, clear of rejection, and free from failure.

We might even become so accustomed to pain, rejection, and failure that the thought of being without it scares us.

However, if we continue to hold onto our issues longer than necessary, we are expending a lot of energy that could instead be channeled into making our life experiences more positive.

It is when we notice that we are continually connecting with the same familiar patterns of pain that we need to consider embracing our feelings and letting go of our hurt.

Whether our pain is from childhood or from an experience last week or today, whether it is loss of health, loss of income, or loss of home -- or fear of such a loss, we need to give the situation and experience room to move. Once it does, we can then connect with the source of our vital energy, the spirit that exists within us and can lead us through our darkness and into the life we are meant to love in, laugh in, and live in.

With love & light,