Monday, May 04, 2009

solid ground....


We tend to see depression as the enemy assaulting us by trying to crush our spirit. Is it the enemy or it is rather a friend whose strength is trying to push us down onto the ground where we are safe to learn to stand again? There is no more safer place to be than on the ground, laying low forced to recognize the bare truths of our own nature.
Our nature with nature, felt again on solid ground.
We are programmed, however to see depression as evil and demonic....an enemy living in a place where our own minds turn against us, rather than as an honest friend guiding us to a place where we can learn to heal. We come from the ground, can we not go there to find our way again?
Our churning thoughts fight depression through intellectual struggles, theories, reasoning..... trying to unlock the key to the mystery behind our perceived falsehoods....what we believe others see in ourselves. The battle of who I am versus who I ought to be. Could it be that we are so busy battling the enemy we can't hear the voice of our own life speaking? How can you hear "I love you" when the intellectual battle is raging in deafening silence?

Our egos slash away outwardly at depression through denial, anger, entitlement that it can't happen to us....but mostly its a protection from the fear of someone recognizing our incompetencies, our lies. The winning ego believes it has to keep up the persona rather than plunge into the frightening darkness of the unknown even if there is a slight chance that peace could dwell there. We focus on our limits rather than recognize and acknowledge our gifts..... the gifts we were born with....the gifts which harbour our authentic voice.

Depression as a friend? It can be the ultimate in disconnection, but it doesn't have to be. Could we not allow this friend to help scrape away the plaster molding of the masks to reveal what Thomas Merton refers to as our "true self?" If the ego self inflates, and the intellectual self tries to clobber depression with theories, and the ethical self berates it unforgivingly....how can we ever scale it down to what is real?? True Self...bare naked, vulnerable, beautiful, imperfect, real and wrinkled!!! No falsehoods there..... I wonder if depression sometimes is the hand of our true self, pushing us down to the ground where it is safe to learn to stand again....to a place that smells, looks, feels, tastes and sounds real. Earth.


Paul Tillich described God as the ground of being. I like that description and it makes me think......maybe depression offers us an introduction to God? Maybe He's down on his knees sowing seeds into the ground and would like some company? Maybe if we meet him on our knees He will help us learn to grow inward and downward as a means of living rather than outward and upward?

And maybe, just maybe Heaven is found in the hallowed ground beneath our feet.

10 comments:

Selma said...

What a profound post. I have often raged against my bouts of depression in the past, feeling like it was some kind of assault. But I can see how it might be happening in order to pull me back down to solid ground, to help me find the 'me' I should be. Very insightful and well written.

Brother David said...

Interesting - I like that.
Ont the ground; where all things are real.
We should take our shoes and socks off more often.

Awareness said...

Selma....thank you. I was trying to look at depression in a different way, so that I can offer it to clients I see. My post came from this perspective and I wrote it as a means of trying to find the right words. I'm glad it may have helped you see it another way too.

David...where its real, yes and where we can get our footing again. I think we should remain barefooted. It's always been my preferred state.
Depression is such a disconnected foggy state. It leaves us so disoriented....looking out there for answers unable to even receive most help from others.
I read recently about a man who was struggling with depression...that it seemed to come right out of the blue when it happened. He wrote about how disconnected he was from others who were trying their best to offer advice and even to reassure him that he was an intelligent caring man with many gifts. Every time someone offered up these accolades, he felt more depressed because he felt like a fraud. He couldn't see himself in that light, and had put up masks etc to cover up how he really felt about himself etc.
Then, a good friend started to drop by regularly and all he did was massage his feet knowing there was feeling in them. While he massaged this man's feet, he would comment about the tension he was feeling, or the change in emotion he was feeling.

It made me wonder if the massaging rejuvenate the feeling so that the man with the depression could feel the ground again.

swile67 said...

wanted to pop in quickly to say hi...i'm finally back blogging! am trying to get updated with my blogline reader and all my bloggy friends including yours. your new-to-me tulip header brightened my day, along with all your posts! i LOVE tulips and what hope they bring! have a great day...hope you are well my sweet bloggy friend!

Awareness said...

Karyne...Welcome back. Good to see you.

Rachel said...

Thank you for this. I've been struggling with bouts recently where I'm unable to "snap out of it" as encouraged by others - I spend energy (what I have) trying to fight it, get passed it, subdue it...maybe there's another way. It feels kind of scary not to fight it - it's like it'll win...but if it's not my enemy that might not be such a bad thing.

Awareness said...

Rachel...I was thinking about how much scarier it is in some ways because we are programmed to see depression as the enemy we have to expend our energy fighting...the shift to see it any other way is a process of letting go of our beliefs and coping mechanisms for something unknown. surrendering melts away our defences doesn't it?
But, whenever i think about the comforting reassurance of knowing the ground below my feet is solid and dependable when everything else feels like its against, I think about how this option may be more affective.

urbanmonk said...

yes! yes! yes! Good one Dana:)

Awareness said...

Thanks Monk my friend. :)

ljcl0206 said...

That was beautiful.
I could easily relate to the mask you spoke of. I believe that the best way to tune into God's message is when we are humbled.
I'd write more but I'm too busy trying to pull my jaw up from the floor!
"solid ground..." Such an awesome post! :D

I feel like lying down on the floor right now and look at the ceiling, with a smile. :)