Everyone experiencing depression will know that it is impossible to "think" a way out of the darkness. No matter how hard we try to understand depression we cannot lift the dark cloud hanging over our head. So what is depression really about? Why can’t we solve it or get rid of it as easy as a cold?
Although we may feel like depression is the beginning of the darkness, it is not. The truth is this: Depression, in reality, is the end of the darkness. This may seem impossible to believe or contrary to what others say. So if this doesn't make sense yet - that’s okay, keep reading.
Life offers every individual a unique journey to learn and evolve. If we head off track on our journey, we are given opportunities to be naturally redirected. Depression is one natural indicator of how lost we have become. When we experience depression it is highly likely that we are being given a signal that something is not right in the way we are living life - it is like a "wake-up call". It means an awakening is beginning inside. Although it may seem like the darkness is new, it is not. This is because for the majority of people experiencing depression life has always been dark. The difference now is that the awakening is making them aware of the darkness. The darkness has always been there - they just have not noticed it until now!
When a person first becomes aware of the darkness, they feel scared, uncomfortable, isolated and hopeless. Naturally people with depression may want to get rid of these unwanted eerie feelings in the same way that one gets rid of a cold or flu. It is not that simple though as these feelings arise from a person's whole being - their body, mind and spirit. The darkness is not a condition of the physical body or mind alone. The only way to find effective relief from depression is to enliven the whole being.
By taking a "whole of being" approach to depression, it can be a gateway for transforming our life into an incredible journey of meaning and self-discovery. This involves doing a bit of self-work to tap into our inner power to transform the darkness into joy. Through some self-discovery we then start to understand how we got off track, what we want in life and what would give us a deeper sense of purpose and meaning.
Often people with depression do not want to do the self-work as they simply want their life to return to how it used to be. This is impossible though because when the "the awakening" of the darkness begins there is no turning back. It is like trying to forget how to walk after you know how – you can't unlearn awareness. That's because life constantly moves us forward. The purpose of life is to learn, grow and evolve. Whether we like it or not, awareness of the darkness is there. Naturally we can take action to either "slow it down" or "speed it up" but we can never return to being blissfully unaware of living life in the dark again.
If we truly want to come out of depression, we need to get back on track and undergo a whole of being transformation (often involving some physical, mental, emotional and spiritual transformations or shifts in perspective). The best and most effective way to journey out of the darkness is to seek holistic guidance. This helps to put an end to the continual suffering, confusion, hopelessness and isolation. Holistic help includes activities for the body, mind and spirit – all three are equally important on this journey. These may include activities such as taking better care of our body; relaxing our mind and being more aware of our thoughts; connecting with the natural world around us; working out what we want in life; practising yoga, tai chi or another form of body-mind-spirit connection; meditating; and discovering the purpose of our life.
At first the truth about depression may seem overwhelming for someone with depression as self-discovery may seem like a lot of effort and a slow fix. Permanent quick fixes for depression however are extremely rare. The journey out of depression is a gradual process of increased awareness and a shift in consciousness that will continue for an entire lifetime. It's an amazing journey of spiritual evolution and freedom. As each individual's journey in life is unique, there is no set path that must be followed to come out of depression. Some common elements that may be required however are: a strong desire to come out of depression; patience; willingness to do some self-study; and courage to take a new and unexplored path in life.
Depression is not a dark mystery – it is the signal that a person is "awakening" and seeking real joy and meaning in life. This awakening is one of life's biggest hurdles and a person experiencing depression has already courageously jumped that hurdle. A life of light is already beginning for them. With some holistic help, self-discovery and increased awareness, they can get back on track, reignite their inner Spirit and start creating a meaningful and joyous life.
By Leisa Millar
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