Since the start of this year, and for 4 months following that, I have been battling with feeling depressed. And even though I thought I had overcome it during the first few months, its devastating effects lingered and haunted me in subtle ways.
It wasn’t until a series of personal struggles and more episodes of emotional breakdowns that followed did it eventually “crack” me and had brought me back to a place of serenity.
This is a slice of that story.
I have been writing and rewriting this article on and off for several months, each time exposing different details and insights. With every version, I would allow self-doubt or excuses to overtake me, I would then scrap the piece and start over.
Truth be told, I was embarrassed. I didn’t want anyone to see me this way. I was ashamed at who I had become. I felt lost. I was struggling with everything and I had to “stand up” again.
Then it occurred to me that, sharing my struggles with you is a good thing. It exposes my own battles, the techniques which help me overcome them, and what I have learned through the experience.
It also shows you that all of us are in this together, in that we all dip into the pitfalls of life’s turbulence, but we always recover, and often as a better person.
Depression doesn’t heal overnight, and even though we experience heightened states of happiness during the healing process, complete healing takes time and a lot of loving patience for yourself.
I am a believer that things in our lives happen for a reason, a purpose greater than ourselves, often greater than what we can fully comprehend.
When “bad” things happen, we have two choices, we can blame and prolong our victim identity, sinking deeper into our victim story, OR, we can choose to see the experience as a gift, an opportunity for personal growth, to expand our self-understanding, to expand our capacity to love ourselves, and to expand our capacity of compassion for others.
I choose to see what happened to me as a gift. The Universe loves me so much that she gave me a series of challenges that knocked me down. She knows that I have within me, all that I need to stand up again.
I choose to see what happened to me as stepping-stones to learning incredible life lessons that I wouldn’t gain any other way.
I choose to see what I experienced as a pathway of awakening, to discover the sacred within me, which also lies in every one of you.
I choose to view the events that lead to what I experienced as an act of compassion from the Universe so that I can share my understanding to others experiencing similar pain.
Life is really very good, but we forget sometimes that we have choices at every step of the way. We have the choice to act or react. We have the choice of perspective. We have the choice of stepping back, taking a deep breath, and then moving forward deliberately.
We have the choice of creating, with the power of our mind, how we want the story of our lives to go.
Every moment of every day, we have a clean slate, in which we can decide what our future will be. If we don’t do so consciously and deliberately, we simply bring what was once in the past into the future, and repeatedly live in the pain of the past.
Every time we tell someone our story of pain, where we play the victim, we are creating the same pain in our future. So, if you want a future free from pain, a future free from the past, tell a different story. Stop complaining, stop looking for sympathy from others, stop dwelling on all the unfairness that life has put you through.
Life is very short, and it is very beautiful but only if we choose to see it as such. Do you really want to waste the limited time we have on this planet by dwelling on something that happened in the past, which is no longer real? Or choosing with deliberate intention to live life fully, to appreciate the everyday miracles we once took for granted, to focus on things that make us happy and fulfilled.