We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them – Albert Einstein
Podcast Recommendation to listen to in conjunction with this blog post: Think, Believe and Manifest Show with Constance Arnold, Sunday, August 31, 2014, titled “Depression and The Law of Attraction.” Constance gives tips for people experiencing depression, how depression impacts manifestation, and how to move from depression to a place of wholeness and happiness – a must listen-to Podcast, even for those who are not depressed.
Albert Einstein’s quote is a poignant reminder when we dwell in our problems, we stay in our problems. We have to shift our attention to what feels good, which is where the solutions lie.
There is nothing in this world so grave and depraved that requires us to live in darkness, despair and suicide contemplation.
A few weeks ago, my mother declared she was in a good mood and it was because she chose to be. When she woke up that morning, she was in a bad mood, but she told herself she was going to decide to be in a good mood instead. When I called her the next day, she reported she was still in a good mood. I expressed to her how good it was to hear her say she decided to be in a good mood. She shifted her focus from her sour feelings to feelings of joy and gratitude. The key words are choice and shifting focus.
We, as humans have the ability to choose and the most powerful choice we have is to choose how we feel in any given moment or situation and not to be a victim shrouded in negative emotions. I know some will argue depressed people do not choose to be depressed – but I beg to differ. Please understand to know a depressed person is to have been one. I can say with certainty that depressed, downtrodden people have the ability to choose.
We have to move from victimhood to victory. We do that by reclaiming our power of choice.
In my early teen years, twice I tried to kill myself. I didn’t feel worthy of love. Through counseling and deep soul searching, I was able to reclaim my self-worth. I was blessed with teachers, counselors, family and friends who reminded me what a wonderful person I was – even when I chose not to feel so wonderful. In time, I found the inner strength to validate my self-worth from the inside out, instead of the outside in.
Before it was too late, I came to know God’s love. He had plans for me and I had plans to co-create with God. I began to lean on God’s love during the darkest of times. He revealed I was in a season of darkness, and it was time to move towards the light.
I shifted my focus from what made me sad, to what gave me glimmers of hope and happiness. I made a choice to reach out for help. I chose to feel a little better each day, even though most days were bleak and physically painful to endure. Through the tears, I found a few tucked away smiles. Laughter was like gold – the more I could laugh, the better I’d feel.
I was diagnosed with all sorts of issues – clinical depression, anxiety disorder, PTSD. The doctors prescribed medications that numbed me to any feelings. I suppose numbness was better than deep and chronic sadness, but I wanted to feel again!
By age seventeen, I was no longer going to allow the depression to be my future story. Against doctor’s wishes, but with their close supervision, I weaned myself off antidepressants and I continued to see a counselor who taught meditation techniques. My life has never been the same since I made the choice to live.
I am not minimizing depression, but I do have to remind people to we all have a choice. Life can sometimes be dark and lonely, but that is still a choice to feel that way. Instead of seeing light, you’ve chosen to see darkness. Instead of feeling just a bit of gratitude and peace, you chose to feel anxiety and pain. You can choose differently in any given moment to feel a little bit better and if you can’t, then by all means, choose to reach out to someone to help throw you a lifeline. I knew I needed to choose a new way of coping, because I wanted to be able to feel ALL of my emotions, ALL of the time.
I know people who benefit greatly from antidepressants – and I am not saying to wean yourself off like I did or to feel shame for taking them. Medications are a blessing for those who need them. Over time, I grew to a point where I knew I did not need them anymore. I could trust my feelings again to guide me.
I decided to reclaim my power over my body, mind and spirit, instead of relying on doctors to tell me how I feel and drugs to numb the very gift that makes me beautifully human. That choice I made still resonates with me. I marvel at my seventeen year old self’s courage to tell the doctors no more pills. I was taking control of my life ship, no matter how stormy the waters got.
Today, I love myself, no matter what people or circumstances have to say about me. There are times when I’m stressed or down, but my happiness base line never dips to a point of self-loathing and self-harm.
My peaceful resolve and abundant happiness stemmed from great pain, so, I know of what I speak. Some people assume I’ve had it easy because of my sunny disposition I hold today. What they don’t know is a series of choices got me to where I am – not easy-living.
When you or a loved one are having a rough time, remember your/their freedom to choose how to feel in the next moment, which will lay down the foundation for how one will feel in the next moment, and the next. No matter how bleak a life situation may seem, remember your power to choose – moment to moment. Remember God is love and you remain eternally worthy of It.
*Not every depressed person is suicidal, but it can be a slippery slope. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please reach out for help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK. Suicide attempts are a cry for help – listen and take swift action.