Depression and anxiety: so many of us suffer from it at some point in our lives. I’ve been going through a bout of depression, although mine is not chemical that I’m aware of, but situational…
We all have an identity. Mine is female, just short of 5’3″ with curly hair and blue eyes that can look green depending on the light. It’s at moments charming, tends to get ahead of itself when feeling outspoken, and from an early age was classified in its report card as a “day dreamer.”
When my character was around 8, she would look out the window and watch the Colorado plains clouds roll by, pondering life in her young mind. She was stressed out too often for her age. Her step-father was dealing with his own demons and was later classified by psychiatrists as having manic depression and bi-polar disorder. She had a wonderful mother that loved her to pieces and did all she could to support her daughter’s healthy development, despite the circumstances.
That little girl developed into the 34-year old character that makes up me, and with it came the baggage I packed on my back through the years…
A few year ago this character began to break apart. Looking back, something very strong and very quiet started to dismantle its life path. But rather than just take a new path, my self began to experience a great, internal storm. “I” created a master plan, unbeknownst to my conscious ego, that would bring my self to its knees. My self began to deteriorate emotionally. She withdrew from friends and family. I’m not sure how obvious it was because my character can flash a pretty smile when needed, but I know those closest to me saw a pretty heavy breakdown…
Yesterday, I went into a very deep meditation. The journey began with extreme anxiety as I thought about how fake I perceived my self to be. I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t. The pain was in my gut, like all of my energy was bleeding out of me. Then it welled up into my chest and into my head, and I felt this extreme anger. I was so angry at my self for being constantly afraid. Afraid of what others thought of me, afraid of not making the right choices, afraid of not doing much of anything in life. I became so uncomfortable that I got up to take a bath and prepare myself for dinner. I just wanted out of this experience and to do something normal.
As I got in the bath though, the anger welled up and flowed out of me in silent tears. It was then that I had the strangest experience: I didn’t feel like Jami anymore, and in fact I was not. I was the soul in it’s purest form, and I felt that I was carrying a cumbersome suit of flesh. My body was not “mine” at that moment; it felt more like a vehicle I was sitting in. I didn’t feel male or female. I didn’t feel my self. Sounds crazy, but it was real.
I realised that this being that was truly me disagreed with the decisions my self had made. It also resented the attachment other people my self had become attached to, and who in return were very attached to it. Resented is not really the right word, although that’s the only emotion my mind can describe it as. I guess in the end it can’t resent, as it knows it’s perfect and will move on.
So many decisions we make in life are due to fear of the uknown. Attachments to others, attachments to jobs, or attachments to habit alone. Our true purpose often requires we let go of these attachments, which makes us very uncomfortable. This struggle causes depression, and then so often we scramble to solve that depression with superficial remedies.
I think depression, in this sense, is so important to our true development. It’s a wake up call from our soul that it ain’t having it anymore. Enough is enough.
This soul that lay in the bathtub had a bigger purpose, and the very reason I was going through all of this drama of fear and anxiety is because it is forcing my self to see that it has something else in mind. It is telling me that if I am brave enough, it has a higher purpose that can bring me true happiness. And that happiness for not for my self alone, but for all of the people I come into contact with.
The new age movement has plenty of whackiness as any other form of spirituality or religion does, but one thing that I see over and over again is that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, not the other way around. I believe it, and I feel it increasingly in my daily life. We have so much more potential than we think we do. Jesus said that, by the way.
I mentioned in my last post that I am reading a book about revealing the shadow self. This is just another word for the ego. I would like to sign off with a few quotes:
“Wholeness isn’t real until the hidden conflicts in your life are resolved.”
“We need to be clear: choiceless awareness isn’t about giving up on what you want. It’s about shifting your allegiance away from what the ego wants to what the universe wants.” (see definition of choiceless awareness)
“Only choiceless awareness brings the conflict to an end, because when you reach this level of consciousness, what you want is also what you need to do, for your good and the good of the whole world.”
“We are fortunate that there is another way to view the world, not from the ego’s perspective, but from beyond the ego, where wholeness exists. As the ego’s hold is weakened, there’s a subtle fusing of “I want to” and “I must.” To act as the dharma – the will of God – would have you act totally naturally. You’re simply being yourself.”
“The ego mistakes surrender for death…surrender is not of the mind. You cannot think your way there. Instead, you must journey into pure consciousness, before words and thoughts arise.”
“The shadow is a thing of denial, resistance, hidden fears, and repressed hopes.”
These quotes are from Deepak Chopra, and in summary he says that in order to become a whole person, where ego and soul unite to be a vibrant human being, we need to completely acknowledge the dark sides of our ego. Surrender to it; embrace and forgive it. Ask what makes the shadow come to life. Share your feelings. Change the collective shadow by changing your self. Practice meditation.
I recognise that these thoughts may seem very out there without full context of my experience or reading the book. I would highly recommend anyone experiencing the same do everything in their power to learn how to meditate and acknowledge the self/shadow/ego.
The book is called “The Shadow Effect” by Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford and Marianne Williamson.