It seems that Spring is here just in time! I love Spring and lilies and Easter! A Course in Miracles has a beautiful section about Easter and the Gift of lilies. This section of the text is about forgiving your brother by offering him the gift of lilies this season. “Forget not that it is your savior to whom the gift is offered. Offer him thorns and you are crucified. Offer him lilies and it is yourself you free.” (A Course in Miracles. Chapter 20, Section II. The Gift of Lilies)
I know “Beware of Darkness” is a weird title for a post about Easter, but I think it is fitting this time of year to write about arising out of the darkness of depression. Most of us in the Midwest can relate to a lack of sunlight and need for the newness of spring right now. The symbolism of Easter and resurrection fit in with this subject just a little too perfect to pass up.
Depression is an insidious monster, happiness, a glorious resurrection. I have been both places personally, so I do not only write from research, science, or my clients’ stories. As I was writing this blog about combatting depression, I realized something.
We are all at such different points in our lives. I can write about how to lift our spirits by changing our thoughts and actions. I can give many people a lot of helpful tips, but I feel like I am ignoring a deep and aching truth if I stay at this level. While these tips will work for some of us, they will not work for all of us all of the time.
So I have decided to start my post today with some tips on arising out of the darkness of depression and end with some of my deeper truths.
What I notice about the nature of happiness is that when my mind is ultimately pretty happy, it finds other things about which to be happy. The other day, I was feeling happy. I have this ridiculously cute dog, and she walked in the room wagging her tail so happy to see me. I looked at her and felt her love. She made me feel even more happy. Happy things were just walking through the door for me at that moment!
I looked around me and saw my little beautiful house that I love. I appreciated the colors around me and the general soothing feeling I had. When I’m happy, my brain finds more things about which to be happy and is pretty much able to ignore the things that make it sad.
On the other hand, when I feel sad, I don’t truly see my dog. I have to try harder to see her love and feel it. I don’t see the colors around me. I see the doldrums. I notice the dirt, the mess, and what needs to be done. I focus on what is wrong.
Depression is sneaky and insidious. So many times we do not realize what is happening to our minds. Depression traps us and weaves us in its web until we think it is too late. But guess what? Our depression is lying. It is NEVER too late.
You can notice your depression and witness what your brain holds onto when it happens. Then you can call it out and concentrate on purposely feeling the love again. Purposely notice the colors and textures around you. Realize that you keep noticing what is wrong and instead start to notice what is right, ON PURPOSE.
Consider that it is possible that your life is good, and there is perfect love to be found here this moment. This could even be considered your resurrection out of the darkness. The metaphysical text A Course in Miracles, might call this a holy instant.
In most cases, the techniques of which I speak above will work.
I feel so strongly, though, that there is something much deeper to be addressed here than individual depression. I believe, as a human race, we have the responsibility to hold each other up. Connecting with each other on a spiritual level is the only way to ultimate happiness.
I am a huge proponent of cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, meditation, and am a practicing yogi. I believe in the deep power of all of these things. Practicing them and making them a part of my daily life makes me a happier and more resilient person, and I recommend them to everyone. None of them are quick fixes. On a collective level these kind of practices raise the vibration of the world.
Some of us have been through great tragedy. You only have to turn on the news to know that some people go through unimaginable horrors. Most likely all of us will have at least a taste of tragedy at some point in our lives.
That is why it is the responsibility of all of us to work on finding the light in our lives when we can. This way we can pull others up when they are down, and others can pull us up when we are down. This is the eb and flow of life. We are all part of it whether we want it or not. It is actually quite beautiful and synchronistic, if you choose to see it like this.
If you have been through something very tragic, you may find that some of the things I write about are not helping you. When I write about meditation, yoga, or looking at things differently in order to feel better, you may feel very frustrated. If you have had an unimaginable horrific experience, looking at things differently probably is not going to help, and finding a yoga class might be beyond your capability right now.
These are the people to whom I write. Please know that I am holding a space for you and your pain. Please do the same for yourself. The world awaits you. The world needs you to rest and then rise, so you can hold the space for the rest of us when we fall.
I write about positive thinking and high vibes, because they work. It is up to us to raise the world to a more positive energetic level in order to help those facing true tragedy. We will probably all be there at some point.
When it is me, I want it to be in a world that always awaits my resurrection with positive expectations, with light and love, forgiveness and understanding. I want it to be in a world that sees my true potential and is excited by it. This is the world I choose, and I hope you do too.
This is a world that can handle the worst imaginable thing that could happen on this physical plane, because this is a world where no one is alone; a world where we carry each other, in the words of the band, U2.
Since it almost holy week, I find it appropriate to talk about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Christian tradition. I do not believe you have to be Christian to understand the story and see the significance in your own life. Jesus died on the cross on Good Friday, and he arose from the dead on Easter Sunday. Marianne Williamson always talks about the three days between the crucifixion and the resurrection.
Those three days must have been full of confusion, grief, chaos, and devastation for those who loved him. Nothing made sense until the resurrection. When any of us face something tragic; something that doesn’t make sense, we can think of ourselves in those three days between the crucifixion and resurrection. And remember the story is not over until the resurrection.
For all those facing tragedy: the heartbroken, the confused, the devastated, your day of resurrection will come. If you have lost faith, we will hold the faith for you until you find it again, even if it takes your entire life. Even if it takes you to the next life. It is okay. We are all in this world together, and we will not leave you alone. Love is with you always.
Peace, Love, Happy Holy Week, and here is my Gift of Lilies to You,
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Flickr, Creative Commons. cba_inc, Resurrection. https://www.flickr.com/photos/cba_inc/167462591/in/photolist-fNhN4-PD7oi9-owwLBw-jX6KTn-5eQeXp-6mzoBd-9ZYtpF-iC9cdg-bsGxwJ-3ZNAi5-3ZJi1p-3ZNDAj-3ZNsxf-4H5jgJ-4H6LMN-v1Qvt-4H5jg3-5zeBja-7Zjcvg-of5PPr-ouwQgm-7DRUZK-7DRVy6-7WEy9a-owyQER-ofvv79-2HQeNX-bufqyy-7oTM5Y-7oU4YS-oyjiig-of4QvS-7oTLaQ-6Z32R-7oTKGm-7ERqGP-7ERb1H-7Znpq7-46CRgr-8a9tKi-7oTW75-7oTVtA-8uAeAu-8Bzcz2-7ERbsZ-owhz4i-7EV4Cd-i51d9A-e7c46E-dfur84