This first lesson is divided into three sections to help you create a focus around your healing. The first is to name our intention and give ourselves an opportunity to choose a healing path. The second is to explore the deep roots of why we are depressed. The third is to identify what unwanted parts of our life are holding us back from our higher self.
Part One: Name your intention.
Are you ready to heal?
You must answer YES for any guidance or therapy to help. If you aren’t ready and willing to heal your depression than nothing in this book will help. The hard truth is real sustainable healing starts within your own mind and body. It starts with you making a choice.
I wasn’t ready for a long time, but there came a day when I realized the only thing I was ready for was to heal. Without healing my depression, grief and fears I knew my life would never feel whole. I would never find that healthy balance that would allow me to follow my dreams and make a difference in the world.
Be prepared. You must set your intention and take action if you want to heal. Ending depression doesn’t happen overnight. You might feel great after reading this or doing a few actions, but if you don’t commit to long-term action your depression will return. I’m speaking from my own experience. For most of us depression is a lifelong issue. It may never go away completely, but we can continue to live through each stage and move forward for better health. Each time we’re able to stop depression from taking hold we become stronger.
Life is filled with stress, failures, grief and loss. These will knock you off-balance and bend you into a pretzel, but with intention you can untangle yourself and return to your core. Remember that you are in control. Remember that healing takes time
Say your intention out loud and repeat it three times!
Write it in your journal.
*Keep your intention with you by writing a note and putting it in your wallet or bag.
*Example of intention: “My intention is to heal my pain with loving kindness toward myself. I will use tools that will strengthen my mental health. When I get angry, frustrated or sad I will use compassion to remember that I am on a healing path and healing takes time.”
Part Two: Uncover Your Roots
For me the root of my depression was in the trauma of grief and violence. By not allowing myself to acknowledge this I caused my depression to grow. Instead of seeking help I convinced myself that what I had been through wasn’t anything special and I needed to toughen up. How sad that we are so convinced that to seek help we need to go through something extra traumatic.
It is vital that we change this perspective. Violence and loss is not something unique, we all experience these two issues on some level which is exactly why we need to seek help and guidance. By acting like what we’ve been through isn’t bad we continuously live with pain. We thereby ignore an opportunity to heal. Why stay stuck in pain when we could be living a healthy life?
I’m learning to examine my fears, judgement, loneliness and anger. Ask yourself, “What are the underlying reasons I feel this way?” Explore each train of thought as deeply as you want. This is a tool I found in the book “A Path With Heart” by Jack Kornfield(1). It’s a good book for deepening your meditation practice and has plenty of stories from him and others experiences with meditation and mindfulness.
Through this process I’m able to understand the root which gives me a feeling of control. By examining when I feel fearful, but I’m not in actual danger, I find that it’s always triggered by something like violent media or stories I’ve bought into. By examining when I feel anger, it is usually because I feel entitled to an outcome as opposed to accepting what I can’t change. By examining my loneliness, I can see that it is rooted in grief and the fear of losing more loved ones. I’m still working on examining when I feel lonely. This process takes time. For some emotions, it may be easy to find the root and others not so much. Be patient with your progress.
What are the roots of your depression?
Write it in your journal.
Part Three: Name Your Unwanted Addiction
Depression isn’t when you have a bad week and it’s not going through a period of grief, it’s much broader. It’s mental, emotional and physical. It’s a natural coping mechanism that stays with you long after you need it.
For all those years of depression I carried a lot of shame. By not seeking help I allowed my pain to worsen to a point where it consumed me. Over many years my passion for life and confidence in my abilities dwindled. I was terrified of the world even though I craved the opportunity to explore. I acted in ways that didn’t resonate with me. These actions showed up in different forms. I was drinking a lot, spending time with people who I barely shared any commonality just so I wouldn’t be alone, doing activities I didn’t really enjoy, living a lifestyle that filled me with nothing and hating myself.
I had never looked at myself as an addict. Though I certainly drank too much alcohol in my teens, it was always something I could go without for months and as I got older it was no problem for me to stop. Still I do have addictions or ‘bad habits’ if you prefer. I name my addictions codependency and passive aggression. I often refuse to admit this to others, but they are a part of me nonetheless. I’ve been working on these issues for years and it is an ongoing process. Like any habit it’s difficult to change.
The point of naming your addiction is so you can focus on what help is right for you. Once you have named your addictions, use the Resources Page to guide you or talk with your healer/doctor/therapist.
What are your addictions?
Write in your journal.
Return to the E-Course Main Page for your next lesson.
Feeling overwhelmed from this lesson?
Need a fun break?
Grab your crayons and print free coloring pages from my Coloring Book page.