A Closer Look at Depression
It had been a while since I felt depression, but it has visited a few times recently.
What once was a constant part of my life, is now an intriguing visitor. I was able to take a closer look at depression and was surprised at what I found.
What is Depression?
There are many definitions of what depression is, but I became interested in what it meant for me.
I began unpacking it curiously, noticing the contents.I decided to stop trying to change it and decided to study it, for myself.
As I let my awareness go into the deep agonizing pool, it started seeming like a container.
First, I noticed frustration coming out. Then, dread, regret, sadness, and anger.
I continued to open the container labeled depression as I realized it was holding all the little emotional reactions
I’d had throughout my day at work.
Depression was the place I put my repressed feelings when I was too busy to deal with them.
When I wasn’t able to get ‘messy’ at work, I packed them away in my steel vault. I would deal with that later.
As my depression vault became full, I would seal it with apathy, making sure nothing escaped.
Apathy was my coping mechanism that worked to protect my vault. I noticed this partnership as I unpacked the vault, feeling each emotion fully, lessoning apathy with each release.
>I also realized that each time I locked away an emotion that came up from an interaction of reaction, the more vital energy I lost.
The energy would be directed into the vault, leaving me with blocked creative channels.
The more these creative channels were blocked the more I’d feel lifeless, dead, and empty. It made sense in a way it never had.
I once looked at depression as something that just came over me. Now, I could see there cause and effect involved.
It happened gradually until it seemed to suddenly shut me down because I’d stifled all of my creative flow of energy (emotions).
At first, it felt like a bottomless container.
I feared I might be crying for months. The biggest challenge was trying to plan my emotions around work.
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What Exceptions Do You Have?
We all have places we make exceptions. These are places that we will not allow ourselves to feel…places we do not feel safe to be vulnerable.
In our society, it is generally taboo to express certain emotions at work or even in public so we carefully monitor ourselves closely.
We decide ahead of time which emotions are acceptable to feel in certain environments.
Then, we repress any others that might come up.
Do you see the control in this?
It is a learned coping mechanism meant to keep us safe, but it does not actually serve us.
What happens when the majority of our lives are spent at work or in public? We repress some of the most beautiful aspects of ourselves.
This does not mean we are all going to become highly dramatic in every moment of our lives.
Drama is usually an overreaction to something that has triggered our container of repressed emotions.
Once we learned to unpack and clean out our containers, we can acknowledge our feelings in the moment without the dramatic fireworks. It can be a simple noticing and letting it flow.
I have several exceptions including work, certain relationships, on vacation, and in public.
What are your exceptions?
This Is Your Life
The truth is, every experience you have is YOUR life.
It is presented to you for you and co-created by you. People come into our lives to remind us of who we are and who we are trying not to be.
If we can embrace all of it, we will find happiness and wholeness.
It is not be denying certain parts that we find contentment but by accepting them. In each of us is light and dark. We all contain beauty and ugliness.
How to Find Freedom
- Breathe deeply and notice how your body feels.
- Acknowledge any areas of tension or resistance.
- Be willing to go into them by using the mantra “I am willing”
- Honor what you are feeling “I honor you…” Be gentle with your process as you would a child if they were upset
Thank you for reading. I hope this has been helpful.
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Misha Almira is a shamanic healer. meditation teacher, and full time blogger.