It’s an effort nowadays to find a neutral state of being. My heart is constantly being tugged and dragged to the ground by an invisible force, which often goes unnoticed until I’m pinned with grief. The cause is always unknown but one thing is for sure: I have to fight like hell every single day.
Am I crazy? Am I depressed? Am I obsessive? Nope. I’m human.
People today are afraid to confront sadness—we think it keeps us from achieving our goals. It’s a toxic trait we try and steer away from. We stopped training ourselves on how to deal with it because we’re convinced sadness is contagious. When we’re around a friend who’s sad, our first instinct is to runaway rather than to console or listen.
I’m one of the lucky ones. I know what love looks like (some people go their whole lives without ever knowing). My body remembers how it feels, how it tastes, how it moves—a gentle surprise like a giggle in your tummy.
Tapping into love while you’re in a depressed state can be like finding your way home blindfolded. The only way is to pay attention to what you recognize: the winds, the smells, the texture of the roads, the sounds of water, of birds, of wind chimes, and our own body’s sense memory. This is how we find our way back to love, by revisiting the source.
Everyone’s brain is wired differently. Some circuits don’t allow their bodies to recognize the patterns of love, while others make it much easier. Some brains lose its circuit altogether, requiring medication for it to work regularly. But there is also a kind of social depression happening in today’s generation—one that is spawned not only by our circumstances or lack of opportunity, but by each other.
Deep down, there are people who take advantage of one’s sadness. It’s an emotional dog-eat-dog world: we don’t always need to be the happiest person in the world, but we do want to be happierthan our friends. Some might even go so far as to shove our sadness in our faces because it makes them feel more valuable.
Value is everything. We treasure it and want to keep it as high as possible, or at least higher than those closest to us. But self-esteem and worth doesn’t come from pushing a friend’s sadness further down so we appear better off; it comes from a personal exploration of why we’re here. Together.
One of the reasons why I get sad is because I feel like my life has zero value; that everything I do, all the work I’ve done; all the decisions I made meant nothing. I relive the same memories, which are emotional bookmarks, and feelings of regret, guilt and shame resurface—again. In a matter of seconds I’m back to square zero.
There is a well of shame everyone has inside and it’s usually the only place we’re comfortable floating—not because it’s safe, but because it’s habitual. It’s the only well we’re used to treading, so naturally it becomes a refuge. Little do we realize that this is the very thing keeping us from finding love.
Depression is something all of us deal with. Getting out of it is the hard part, which is why it’s time to create a new well to dig from.
It hit me one morning as I was staring blankly into a computer screen. My painful past bubbled up to meet me, and all my shame, guilt and regret along with it. I started to tread inside my depressing well, when I stopped: Why do I visit sad memories to remind myself of how invaluable I am? Why must I always use them as an excuse to prove my assumptions right?
Why can’t I tap into happy memories to prove my assumptions wrong?
I dug into the happiest of times: the laughter, the adventures, the moments where I was completely free of fear and worry. Suddenly familiar feelings started arising—I recognized them because I’ve felt them before. They were joy, peace, and love. I channeled them.
I channeled them until I forgot why it was I was sad in the first place. I gave them power, so naturally they become powerful. I’d chosen not to tread in a well of sadness, but rather use that sadness to fuel me towards a stronger current of hope and faith. Before I knew it, sadness became the engine to finding myself again.
Don’t let depression win. Never bow down to invisible forces caused by nothing, fueled by nothing, owned by nothing, to make you believe you are nothing. The truth of the matter is you are so much more than nothing. You are light diming itself inside a cave of thoughts.
It’s time to let love win.