*** This 4-part article series explores the ways aspects of fear, depression, and desire impact our happiness and spiritual evolution. Part 2 is an exploration of Fear in context within our Life unfolding. ***
Here, we will explore Depression – how it manifests, what causes it, and possible ways to move beyond its grasp on our perception.
However, before I write more about this sensitive subject, I need to say to those who may be feeling depressed to the point of contemplating hurting themselves or others – please call a crisis center immediately or go to a local hospital! Even if you feel completely hopeless, please take that step to reach out….
Those who have experienced depression know that it is much more than just feeling sad. Instead, it is as if you are gradually being swallowed by darkness and the world grows more distant. The disconnect from Life registers as indifference, either in prolongued periods of sleep or excessive risk-taking, or both. It is difficult for non-depressed persons to understand the tremendous inertia that can set in with depression, or the irrational thought that overpowers any impetus to connect to others.
Depression and broken trust are closely related. Who betrayed you? Was it an adult in your childhood? A friend? A co-worker? A mate? Was it a series of events that made you distrust the very process of Life? Energetically, trust is a bond forged from etheric matter. When that bond is broken, the pain is quite real and registers in the physical pain centers. A partially broken bond is as painful as a broken limb. Yes, depression can be physically painful, and this pain is not imaginary.
Past-life or childhood pain morphs a person’s nervous system into a painful configuration early. Such children are to be carefully watched and nurtured, and properly confronted as they fight to hold on to the pain – despite the agony – to prove to themselves that Life will fail no matter what. They can be helped to release from a failing perception of Life, which may be a messy process. While it is tempting to believe that compassion is nice, consider the energies you are facing when Life is being blocked and denied. “Nice” will not always work and must be replaced with skillful, assertive strength to address such situations. Nevertheless, there must be warmth and a loving presence through it all that radiates safety and ultimate freedom. The end of the tunnel must be well lit to get one out of the tunnel.
Teens are especially susceptible to depression and suicidal ideation. Most adults have forgotten how confusing and tumultuous teen life can be, while the brain is still forming and the coping mechanisms are lacking. If teen depression is untreated, it can turn into a persistent condition.
Fear at all levels can erode and break trust and connection. Loss of connection can turn into a deathwish. Death is not desirable because one wants to die, but because the pain of living and continuing with experiences is too great. Anxiety is a close cousin of depression, sending signals of self-preservation to the brain that senses danger: “Leave now. Get away. Hide. Avoid.” Anxiety is the mechanism of beginning to shut down your field to various aspects of life and avoid overload.
People fear reincarnation because they feel exhausted by pain and discomfort of one life – let alone the possibility of multiple lives. They plead to be released from the entire cycle, to be erased, to cease to exist completely. It turns out, the gate out of pain lies directly through the pain. Erasure of Life force is not possible, but freedom from limitations is! Mastery of experience is the only key, not death.
Many make the error of guilting suicidal individuals into living, trying to remind them of those who need them, who will miss them, who will be hurt by their absence. However well-intentioned is this approach, it makes the suicidal person feel like no one gets their pain. They feel trapped under the ice and don’t know how to get out. They see shadows moving and hear muffled noises, but that is all. It’s a lot like drowning – the deeper you sink, the smaller becomes the light circle overhead (due to the way light bends from air to water). Then, at a certain depth, the light disappears altogether ….
Another error people make to help the depressed is to share positive affirmations, and get frustrated when these fail to produce results. They speak of love and wisdom, but to the depressed, these words are empty and hollow. Positive affirmations can help those who are already positively polarized toward life, but completely bounce off from those who are shut down. The only way to cross the chasm to depressed persons is to directly and compassionately acknowledge and talk about their pain. Listen to them with you heart until they know that you are listening – try not to talk, argue, reason, convince, or guilt (manipulate).
Just because you may be close to a depressed person, you are not required to be the one to “save them.” You are in a difficult position and need to recruit as much support as possible – for you and for them. Depressed energies are warped and tricky to handle – usually too much for any one person. Do not hold secrets for the depressed, but do let the ones who may be able to help know what is going on. Do not take on full responsibility for a person’s life, but do act to find help. You cannot violate trust of someone who has no trust in trust – their secret is a design to hold you hostage. Don’t you see?
If you are a friend or a lover or a parent of a depressed person, your pain is also great and you can easily be swallowed up by the very same darkness. Protect your own connection to Life while you find help, and then set the boundary – do not take on pain that is not yours. Simple and firm intention is all you need – no magic spells or potions! This does not imply a lack of compassion. Rather, valuing your own life is a healed gesture that resonates through All Reality and nurtures all life. Your response thus becomes a gift to All.
Depression tries to reach out as far as it can and engulf everything – this is why you need to set clear energetic boundaries while interacting with a depressed person. Remember, all aspects of life are interconnected, and can either build up the negative or the positive polarity. Depressed people will ask existential questions to prove their reality to you: “How can all be Love if I feel like this?”, “How is God loving with all the horrors happening in the world?” The truth is that answers to these questions are at frequencies that are inaudible to the depressed. The answers to life’s deepest questions are energy, and not just words. Do not engage or argue – just be.
Illness can cause depression, as vitality leaves the body. Although there are some who are well known for their positive outlook on life as their health deteriorates, they are as yet in the minority. When one is dying gradually and daily, the vortex of despair pulls one in with increasing strength. Changing lifestyle and diet to eating less processed and inflammatory foods has become increasingly important – do explore this. It may seem impossible to eat no sugar, no bread, no milk, and certain fish, but it is possible! I’ve had to go this route when my health declined and was able to restore much of myself in only several weeks.
Many spiritual practitioners go through or may be currently in the midst of the “dark night of the soul.” To transcend, you literally must withdraw your life force from the Ego, which will fight to draw the energy for constructing illusion. This does indeed feel like dying and presents all the symptoms of deep depression. Often, depression is a sign of a potential breakthrough, but there must be support present so that the situation doesn’t turn into a breakdown. Meditate only to pray and release, in this case. Do not meditate to further ignite your being.
Depression during spiritual practice is a sign that a large blockage has come lose and its toxicity is now seen and must be cleared. Ask aloud to slow down the opening and clearing simply because this may actually allow you to continue evolution later and not fall backwards! At every stage you are tested in your commitment and understanding of the value of the Life process. Knowing how to pause and allow space to heal and integrate is critical to passing this stage and moving forward. Otherwise, you may become permanently caught for the remainder of this life and not even know it.
Similar to fear, depression is shared via the Astral Plane. The number of depression diagnoses and suicides is growing. Those who are sensitive to the Astral Plane influences – which is more and more of us – may feel depressed seemingly out of nowhere, even when life is apparently working out. When struck by depression, ask where it is coming from – see it as if you are outside of it looking in. Try doing a white-light flush from the crown of your head and through the feet until you feel some release. Your physical and Astral bodies should feel still and at peace, and – here – intention is more important than the ability to see or feel the light flushing through.
So, how do we deal with depression? How do we reclaim our strength and return to trust the process of Life? Some may even wonder Why bother? Well, you bother because ending life does slow your spiritual evolution and set you back. Suicide will not permanently remove your pain – you will simply return to some realm where you will work out the dynamics that originally lead you to suicide. This will probably make a depressed person very angry, and that is why help is needed. And you helpers won’t be able to “save” everyone, but please don’t make it about you – keep working and surrender your labor to the Loving Heart.
There are countless ways to lose trust and vitality in the challenging Earth realm. To get through depression, you must literally try everything you can to restore balance and regroup. Depression is dangerous because it takes away free will and makes it seem like you ran out of options. This collapsed state is fragmented from reality – it is an illusion (or maya) because Life is infinitely creative by nature.
Counseling and medication are the first place to start to stabilize extreme moods and urges. If you have a capable teacher, they will augment your treatment with powerful insight. Even hospitalization may be needed.
Be picky about counselors and doctors, and find the level of compassion that feels right to you. But do take emergency measures swiftly! Do explore the lower dosages of medications first, pay attention when medications don’t work, and make sure that your doctor knows. You may need to increase dosages until you stabilize and then work with your doctor to decrease. Even seemingly cold and dispassionate doctors can save your life in a crisis! Remember, if you search your heart, you will find that you don’t want to stop living – you simply want to stop the pain in a healed way.
Make sure that you surround yourself wih people who can teach you to love yourself again – even if you see them sporadically. It is a myth that you must love yourself before you can be loved – many people come into our lives to teach us how to love outselves until we can return the favor. They pay it forward!
Join support groups, even if it sounds lame. You must restore your faith in the simple truth that you are not alone. This step is extremely powerful because depression relies on your isolation, and you must break its cycle. Of course, there will be resistance! Also, cut off any abusers and manipulators from your life. Remember, just like your outer life reflects your inner life, you can adjust your outer life to promote peace inside! It works both ways.
Find creative outlets – even if all you write or draw reflects your misery. But do remember to burn the negative creations and watch then turn to ash, letting go. I had one student who liked to come to my room and just sit there. I asked her to draw me something. She drew sadness – and each time, she was visibly lighter and more present.
If you are able to do so, get some bodywork done to loosen impacted emotions. Explore different massage therapists until you find one that makes you feel safe and helps you to release.
Remember to feel gratitude to anyone who steps in on your behalf – for your sake, not theirs. Feeling gratitude reconnects you to the Web of Life and reminds you how to safely feel again.
Depression is a wild storm and it is unproductive to call yourself “crazy” – which is not even a clinical term. Don’t believe me? Look it up….. Focus on reconnecting with support and flick off any beliefs that you are a burden or hateable or worthless. Get angry and fight for the recognition of the value of your Life, and you are not just fighting for yourself! You are fighting to get out of hell – literally – and everyone who makes it out gives strength to others.
Finally, allow yourself to have “good” and “bad” days – you are fighting a multidimensional battle for the human race. I fought this battle – every part of it with eyes wide open. I had post-partum depression after both of my children, and went through the dark night if the soul as part of my spiritual evolution. I was one of the lucky ones and know how difficult it is. I am grateful for all the help that I received and to all the people who believed in me.
Now I can safely say that it is good that I lived and hung on until death neither invited nor frightened me – when I was truly free to see Life for what it is. I can only wish this freedom for all.