I was asked to write about depression, so here’s my perspective on it:
Few years ago I heard that in Canada 1 out of 2 people suffers from depression. I was a little puzzled by such statistics, considering Canada a country that offers many options and opportunities. Looking out for a definition, I found that depression is considered a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.
Hmm, sadness could be the opposite of happiness?! If you’re sad, you have a tendency to loose interest in anything else than what you’d expect to make you happy.
I’m a strong believer that happiness comes from within, but I was not like this for a long part of my life. The first glimpse into “Who’s responsible for your happiness” I’ve got from the discussion I had with a man who had a very jealous wife. She could make someone’s life a nightmare, but not his! 🙂 They were married for many years, so I got curious how he could be such a joyful man in these conditions. “Your happiness is YOUR responsibility!”, he told me simply. I was recently divorced, after 13 years of a marriage that didn’t feel right (to me). I felt unhappy most of the time, even I was doing what the Romanian culture told me to do: get married, have children and stay in a marriage to raise the children with both parents.
The words of the wise man stayed with me, and I start to understand them better when I’ve got into coaching (2006), focusing also on my own self-growth.
Expecting your happiness to come from someone or something else (external to you), will always be a source of unhappiness. Why? Because it’s the human nature: as soon as we have/obtain something … we want something else (more, less or different)… and we become unhappy again, chasing a new dream… and so on. Or, we’re unhappy if we don’t get what we want, even sad and loose interest in what else we can do. Given such conditions, no wonder why depression founds an attractive ground to “flourish” in today’s society. Isn’t this the case of many people you know? Or do you recognise yourself in these “scenarios”?
On another note, happiness it’s a feeling that we experience from time to time (even just for a few seconds), but we usually associate it with the external stimulus or situation that is present when we get that feeling.
But THERE IS another way to look at happiness! What if happiness shows up when we experience something that really resonates with who we really are? (not with what society makes us believe)
Wouldn’t then make more sense to find happiness by looking inside first?
That’s for sure a perspective that anyone has access to, and in this way our happiness would no longer be dependent of the external world: people that cross our path (or not), things we have (or don’t have), etc.
A while ago I wrote a blog post based on a coaching session I did. It ended up being obvious for the client that the feeling of happiness resides inside… she just needed to get in touch with it whenever she wanted! But putting her attention on the external world she had to deal with daily, and not getting the expected results, she believed her unhappiness came from there.
Do you want another example? Why same song could be loved by some people, while others are left indifferent or hate it? Because that specific song resonates differently with different people, according to who they really are or what they need in that moment in order to move forward (even with a small step).
Some people categorise the emotions as bad or good, but there is a whole scale of emotions. When we move in that scale toward the right it is a progress, an evolution, even if it might not look like this with by the good-bad approach. Going from Sadness to Suspicious, for example, it is an improvement that allows further improvement. Disregarding or considering Suspicious as bad can only send the person back to Sadness, and get stuck there (if not getting worse in time). From Suspicious, by changing again the mood or perspective, we can reach the next level to the right, and again… until we reach what level we want. The Sedona Method seems an easy method to use in this regard.
In my daily meditation practice I noticed waves of light and positive emotions showing up, making me feel good for the rest of the day. It gives me also the calmness required to go through tough times. It’s another way to access happiness from inside… when you connect with who you really are, a “piece” of that vastness sea of Consciousness that connects us all. And when we feel connected, Sadness cannot stay with us for a long time.
In my opinion, people who feel depressed are temporarily disconnected from who they really are, and don’t know how to reconnect with their inner Source. Our role, if we are around them, is not to disregard their feelings or cheer them up (which could be a too big jump on the emotions scale, leading to the opposite effect). The best way to help could be holding the belief that this is just a phase that will pass, if we allow it to be expressed. It might lead to other emotions, but as long as they are emotions situated in the chart on the next column on the right, the depressed person is moving toward a better frame of mind… toward getting better! If some medication for depression blocks such expression, it might even prevent a positive evolution instead of allowing it to happen.
On a final note: as human beings we are permanently evolving (it’s part of our journey in this life). Think about how different are you today comparing with you as a teenager! If we don’t constantly upgrade our perception about the world, we might get stuck in our familiar thoughts, and disconnect with what’s really out there.
I consider being curious the best way to get unstuck, learn something new about the world and ourselves. And when we are in such a frame of mind, depression has no place to get in or stay.
What are your thoughts about depression? 🙂