Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Depression & Spirituality

Some days it's hard to get out of bed, to get dressed and get on with the day; we're human and its only natural that we have 'bad days' from time to time. And yet it seems that even in our incredibly progressive state of mind on the whole it's still rather taboo to talk about depression, or bi-polar or other emotional/chemical instabilities. People generally don't want to talk about these things as they have negative stigmatic connotations attached to them, and I think it's about time we stop trying to "Grin and Bear it."

Depression is a vastly overused term, when honestly I think it's the human condition to feel "depressed" from time to time. We live in this 3D reality which is very vivid and at times overwhelming - our senses are constantly being bombarded by technology, media, sights smells and sounds. We each have our own daily tasks to grind through, and sometimes that grind can feel like yet further futile and inevitable steps towards mortality. How are we to make it in this world without feeling bummed out every now and then?

And if every now and then is more often than not, that's cool too. Seriously, I have had 'chemical imbalance' most of my life, and have been on and off different anti-depressants since my early teens. It doesn't mean I'm a negative person, or pessimistic; it doesn't even mean I cannot manage my moods, or create my own happiness. Depression isn't a by-product of a lack-luster life; it is a simple dip in neurological chemicals combined much of the time with things, people, or events which just make you feel like crying and eating a pint of Ben and Jerry's.

Everyone feels blue from time to time, whether it's emotional and you know what's bumming you out, or it's chemical and you don't know why you just feel so sad, you aren't an odd man out; the majority of human beings can relate to how you feel; some just won't admit to it.

Spirituality isn't about transcending sadness, and living a joyful happy life 100% of the time; if that's what you want out of Spirituality then you're doing it wrong :) Spirituality is about finding the balance between all polarity, and walking the middle path with wide awareness. And that will require more self-aware discipline than most humans have. I've seen some Spiritualists talk about negative feelings as though they're akin to evil, and how we must arduously beat back these negative feelings until we are victorious in mastering our ego! Pucky. I've also seen Spiritualists try to make extremely judgmental comments about people who are feeling sad or low, telling them that they are simply receiving from the Universe what they put out so they must be putting out nothing but garbage and sorrow. Also - PUCKY.

Sure, the Universe is a gigantic Xerox machine sending us copies of what we emit, if you buy that I have some swamp-land in Sedona to show you... This intimation by Neale Donald Walsch in the Conversations with God books is warm and fuzzy and it feels good when one's feeling good; but there are too many inconsistencies for it to be a properly operating aspect of Quantum Mechanics.

I'm sure we've all seen dozens upon dozens of examples of how the Law of Attraction seems ill equipped to sum up our reality; it sure scratches at the surface but it's missing out to some massive degrees: not everyone gets what they give. That is just a fact. If it wasn't a fact, we wouldn't have cliche's like "Only the good die young" and "good things come to those that wait" and "the meek shall inherit the Earth". No, it's pretty plain that while the Law of Attraction sure does have some relevancy in our lives in certain ways, it doesn't explain how greedy manipulative people thrive, and how honest hard-working humble people can suffer. And I know there are plenty of Spiritualists who would go on to suggest that this is because our souls decided to learn about these things before being born; I too ascribed to this whacked out state of mind for a long while. But I highly doubt any soul wants to learn about sexual abuse as a child. I can't imagine any spirit floating in the ethers thinking to themSelf "I'd like to better understand Love, so I will live a life full of hate and hardship and abuse. And these challenges will help me better understand Love."


New Age Rhetoric is detrimental to your emotional health :) Are we really to believe that suffering is the best way to learn about peace? Sure, we do learn a lot via adversity, and I'm the first to point out the marvelous teaching techniques of all manners of life experience, but I cannot accept for a single second that we are expected to be violated, mistreated, abused, neglected or abandoned in order to be a more awake and aware sentient being. It's just ridiculous.

Sadness, sorrow and depression are just shades of the emotional palette; and we all paint vivid scenes in our emotional lives. Some people have a better handle on their emotions than others, and this doesn't make them better people, just better at coping with emotions.

I honestly think the longer something sits in the dark, unexposed, ignored and not talked about, the worse it will fester and ooze. So not talking about our sad days is damaging, as all it will do is create a little more sadness to add to the pile.

I can say with some certainty from my own experience that it is natural to feel sad, or lonely, or depressed at times. And if you cannot cope with your sadness then there is no harm in asking a doctor to prescribe you an appropriate medication to help with your chemical balances. These imbalances are the direct result of a society living off of processed foods, pollution, radiation and the myriad other toxicities we are bombarded by in our "advanced" civilization.

We live in an age of information overload; where we are desensitized by the media, and live amidst such atrocity on our planet yet turn a blind eye to it because it is just so rampant. And we're expected to smile serenely, knowing that the little starving children in Africa dying of AIDS wanted to experience this level of suffering for his soul to advance?!?

A truly honest spiritual seeker will see beyond the warm comfort of this particular set of new age notions, and know that breathing blissfully in ignorance of others suffering is NOT the path to Nirvana. True peace is unattainable in the human mind and body, but true moments of peace are abundant and swelling forth in each moment; more joy is derived from helping others than sitting atop ones spiritual pedestal feeling "perfect" in everyone else's imperfection. So all the new age sheeple can continue to ring their Tibetan Singing Bowls and talk about Prana while eating their Big Macs behind the comfortable anonymity of their computer monitor, and feel righteous and Ascendant knowing that their soul has made all the "right" choices. And when the "rapture" inevitably doesn't happen and they're left scratching their glowing heads in curiosity wondering why they didn't go up to Heaven for one-on-one back-pats by the Ascended Masters, they maybe will realize every moment spent in inactive acceptance of tyranny was a moment wasted in a life misdirected.

We all get sad, and we can all talk about that sadness honestly and openly without fear of judgement, because anyone who tells you they don't get sad, they feel joy and peace all the time, is full of sh*t. It isn't possible. Even Buddha himself must have experienced moments of sorrow, how else would he have had such great insights for transcending sorrow?

Do Christians think Jesus sat back on his Spiritual laurels and counted his blessings? That guy was apparently out healing the sick and feeding the hungry every day. He didn't have to, he was already the son of God, he was pretty much guaranteed a clutch spot in Heaven, don't you think? But he still went out of his way to do good things for others. If he wasn't driven by a glory seeking agenda, what do you think compelled him to act this way?

Perhaps it was a genuine and true love for people.

When we genuinely and truly love people, we can accept them, warts and all. Happy or sad, we're all so similar, sitting on this big rock spinning in the outer regions of space, trying to make some sense out of the unknown. Our society is confusing, our governments are corrupt, our finances are dwindling, our technology is over-taking our ability to understand it. And our children are hungry, and don't have warm boots, and have no one to tuck them in gently each night. Is it any wonder we're not all sad from time to time??

The thing I've learned through my own moments of sadness or depression, is that it will always pass eventually, and that I cannot escape my negative or painful thoughts. So I now greet them head on, and the first thing I ask myself when I am confronted by something painful within me is "is this rational?" Does it originate from something I can actually change? Or is it just the "blues". I wake up feeling blue from time to time, with no known reason, and rather than try to "cheer up", I just spend some quiet time with myself (whether I'm alone at home, or driving, or shopping, or working) letting the feelings follow whatever natural flow they will. And if it becomes overwhelming and I can't handle it any more I talk about it with my husband, or my friends. Bringing pain into the light of day and talking about it usually helps to alleviate it, by virtue of just getting it off your chest.

So the next time someone tells you to cheer up, or get over it, or let a smile be your umbrella, feel free to flip em middle-birdie and claim your right to feel how you feel. There's no shame in it. Sadness will always eventually give way to happiness. And then the cycle will reset. May as well be comfortable in your own skin while living between the tug-of-war polarities on Earth.

And failing that, medication isn't a bad option. It can often help to regulate chemical imbalances within a few months.

I'm Dee, and I'm a life-long occasionally depressed woman. And I'm okay telling you that, because I'm okay living with it.

1 comment :

  1. Your blogs always seem to come at the perfect time. I have had this line of thinking for a long time (that we should all be able to be as we are at any given moment), but people seem to scoff at or turn their eyes from me when I am sad or depressed as if it's contagious. Thanks for sharing. It brought a smile to my face on a very rough day. <3


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