Wednesday, June 27, 2012
A few years back I had been experiencing brief and unexplained periods of what I initially identified as "depression". I had been, no doubt, influenced by our society's misguided perception of emotional response, And I'm not just referring to the segment of society that is blindly parroting the medical "advice" doled out by prescription happy shrinks. There are some other experts", more benign and well intended, spiritual in their approach; the feel good, Law of Attraction, New agey folks. Not only influenced, but perhaps misdirected?
I won't bother myself, or my readers, to speculate upon their intentions and it's unrealistic to attempt to cloak an entire group of people with one definitive blanket even if I were to try. What I am able to speak to is my internal processes and reactions to the messages I hear again and again from both schools of thought.
The most clear, and harmful implication is fairly consistent- a full range of emotion is somehow undesirable.
Anxiety and Stress are probably two of the most often maligned emotions and yet they are as common as any other, especially in our society that forces us to live in systems that are generally at odds with Human rhythms and patterns of survival. Some of us, due to life circumstances, "poor" choices or other influences learned to function on a high level of stress at an early age. We become accustomed to stress and anxiety to the point that it becomes the driving force by which we get up each day and do the things we are expected to do. To a certain degree, this can be okay. some of us a wired for a little more high voltage than others. Some of us adapt our wiring to accommodate a chaotic childhood or a series of challenging life events. I am one of those people. But as I've grown older and a little wiser, I have come to understand the benefits of a more quiet mind and a peaceful existence. You would think this would be a fabulous breakthrough of enlightenment and joy, right? Wrong. Just like any unused muscle or tendon will rebel at physical therapy, crying out in pain as our brain tells us "this can't possibly be right. This quack has no idea what they are doing!" so it goes for our emotions. Unfamiliar movement is uncomfortable, even if it is what best for our all over health and well being.
So as I have found myself being able to relax, to be calm and content I also found myself in unfamiliar, and therefore uncomfortable, territory. Without stress or anxiety I felt unmotivated, directionless and even tired. I concluded that I must be depressed, after all it read like the checklist. Do you feel a sudden loss of interest in activities? A lack of sex drive? Oh dear! Depression!!!
Only on further introspection I realized I was missing a key component of depression, I was not unhappy, weepy or miserable, I was simply frozen, lost and uncertain of what to do with this incredibly boring sense of calm. I had found what I had been looking for now I just needed to figure out what to do with it. Which was at first basically nothing. I simply had to let it Be. By letting it Be and allowing myself to sit with it, it began to become more familiar and more comfortable. Even though busy bees of thought made several attempts to invade my new found place of peace, I reminded myself that if I didn't swat at them they wouldn't sting. They would become bored with my boring little life and fly away.
And so I've learned over the years to be okay with Calm, to resist the urge to call it something else, like depression, because doing that was giving it a name that would demonize it and would mean it needed to be eliminated from my psyche (oh our minds can be so tricky sometimes!) The sad thing is, if I had decided that I was indeed depressed, I would have been prescribed drugs that would have interfered with my own process of working through the stretching and mental exercise that brought me to this point of acceptance and understanding. Feelings are feelings and they are all okay. They all serve a purpose. When we have limited our selection of preferred feelings, it takes some practice to work with the new ones. We just need to try them on for size, see how they fit, walk around in them for a while and break them in like a new pair of shoes.
Note: As I was in the midst of writing this post, I was given a link to another post my my friend Kat. It was nothing less than Divine synchronicity that she shared her story at this time. Great Women's minds think alike!! Here is the link, read and enjoy!!!
© 2010-2012 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard
Posted by Jennifer Hazard at 4:50 PM