There is a lot to process in this human experience and only so much that our conscious mind can hold at the time.
That’s why we are wired to form beliefs about each event that enters our reality and to label it as ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘neutral’ or else, so that every next time we encounter it, the energy expenditure to process and react to the event will be drastically smaller as it will come from a program installed in our subconscious mind at the moment we were first met with a certain phenomenon.
From one side, it is a very useful mode of operating, but from another it can be detrimental if our beliefs and meanings we assigned to things are not in alignment with who we want to be and where we want to go. We may spend so much time, energy and effort pushing in one direction, trying to manifest something our conscious mind fully wants and dreams of, but because of those subconscious limiting beliefs - we are failing over and over again and seem to be stuck forever.
Well, before we attack those subconscious limiting beliefs and start blaming all members of our closer and wider family for filling up our heads with so much bullshit from an early age - let’s understand that those beliefs have just one goal in mind: to keep us safe, to allow us to survive. They might be doing it all wrong, but that’s their ‘intention’, so to say. If you have a belief that rich people are bad, superficial and dishonest (even if you are not completely aware of that particular belief), of course you’d prevent yourself from earning the money you want and deserve, because there’s part of you that thinks that becoming rich will bring those characteristics to you and then you will be judged by your friends and family members the same way you judge rich people now, which means you will be excluded from the tribe and left alone, which means - death. At the base of every fear is the fear of death. As ridiculous as it looks at the first glance, you may easily confirm that once you dive into your shadowy halls and start dismantling those fearful beliefs.
Now, as I said, we have beliefs about everything and anything and sometimes it takes large amounts of self-awareness and self-honesty to bring those to light in order to reevaluate them, see if they really serve us and, if not, replace them with a belief that is in better alignment with our Higher Self. (Seems simple and quick to do when put this way, but it takes quite some practice and repetition until the mind is reprogrammed. However, it is worth the effort.)
We also have beliefs about the emotions. Belief creates automatic emotional reaction to an event, which would mean that we have emotions about the emotions. Think about it for a moment. Per example, when you feel jealous of someone and then there comes that guilt glued to it, because you have a belief that jealousy is bad and unholy. So, instead of feeling just jealousy - you get 2 for 1! Jealousy and guilt together - what a treat! In this case, however, you have two emotions of lower frequency which makes it somewhat ‘easier’ to digest. The same is when you have two emotions of the higher frequency coming in pair, per example you feel courageous about the new adventure you are about to embark on and proud of your courage, because you were taught it is a noble and highly valued characteristic.
The ‘problem’ occurs when we have one emotion of higher frequency with undertone of a lower frequency emotion, or viceversa. It is not ‘a problem' per se, but it may be an obstacle when we want (or think we want to) attain certain emotional state, but that underlying emotion (which has its source in a limited belief and meaning we gave to the principal emotion somewhere in our past) kind of trips us up.
I have that thing going on and I became aware of it only few years ago while I was talking to my psychiatrist, telling her how things are great and I feel so happy, inspired, excited, but at the same time - anxious and terrified as fuck. “Why are you afraid?” she asked. “Because I cannot feel this good. The higher I go, the lower I will fall afterwards. When there is so much good stuff happening to me, it means I’ll pay a damn expensive price very soon.”
I don’t think I was even aware of what I was saying at the time. I knew it was ridiculous and I probably laughed it off (“he he, I am so silly”) and we decided that I’d just enjoy it while it lasted and when darker times came again, we’d deal with them.
Needless to say, that ‘decision’ didn’t change a thing, and the underlying fear, that sensation of ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop’ everytime things go really well for me remained, never allowing me to fully experience happiness, joy and excitement without the muddy waters of feeling unsafe, unstable and in danger.
On the other end, pain, feeling down and being sad felt comfy and safe. I was saying to everyone, myself included, that I want to feel better and more joyful, but on subconscious level that wasn’t true. If happiness and joy are unsafety, anxiety and living in the state of constant waiting for the shit to happen, and sadness and self-pity are warm, safe, ‘there’s nowhere down from here’, peaceful and familiar - of course my brain wants me to feel safe!
Remember: unsafety means danger, danger means possibility of death. Here we go again - death. It all comes to it. And how would I (or you, if you identified yourself in this story) allow myself to be happy if 95% of my brain connects happiness with death?
You see how it works. Be aware, friends. Do not rush headlessly in the direction of your so-called goals, fuelled by cheap, short-lasting motivation given to you from someone whose set of beliefs is nothing like yours. It takes hell lot of energy, gives you flaky results and leaves you frustrated at the end of it all.
Observe and question your thoughts, peel those layers, get to the roots. Choose lovingly which plants have to be removed from the garden of your mind and which you will plant at their place instead.
Awareness always comes first.
You are your greatest teacher and mentor. And the bigger the ability to be honest with yourself, the bigger the power you have to reprogram anything that doesn’t align you with your Highest Vision and the highest potential of yourself you came here to embody.
If it’s true that we are all piece of God that has within all the information, all the wisdom and all the guidance that we may possible need while walking this Earthly path - why and do we even need spiritual teachers, gurus, books and podcasts? Can they teach us something new that we already don’t know?
The answer is: No.
But let’s tackle one at the time. We don’t NEED spiritual teachers in a sense that they’d bring forth some new information that we already don’t know. There is no NEW information. When we resonate with a teaching, it feels good and familiar (!) to our soul, not because it is intellectually correct, but because it stroke a cord of recognition within us. It activated a dormant source of knowledge that already exists in our being. We grow fond of a particular teacher or guru because they reflect the brilliance and wisdom that exists in us as well, yet they have that confidence and firmness in the Truth of their teachings that they can step up and spread the information, embody it in a way that feels good to those who support the teachings as it solidifies their adherence to a certain viewpoint or vision of a Truth.
Notice that I am saying ‘a Truth’ and not ‘the Truth’, because there are millions of truths, all equally valid, all equally true and untrue. So, instead of fighting and trying to prove your point to anyone holding a different belief system, accept that they cannot simply switch perspectives and find resonance with your Truth just as you cannot do the same with what’s Truth for them. When you forcefully try to impose any Truth, whether it is upon yourself or someone else and it feels tight and constricting in your chest area - just drop it. It doesn’t serve anyone. The moment ‘a supposed Truth’ creates a closing sensation in the body, it means it is no longer true. We can feel right away whether something is true or untrue for us and the best way to honour that gift is to stay constantly aware of the sensations and walk away from whatever feels limiting and constricting. Truth feels expansive. Opening. Light.
So, we don’t really need spiritual teachers, especially not in the manner we usually seek them, which is from the energetic setpoint of powerlessness and victimhood, expecting they’d save us and give us some divine medicine for our suffering. Many who look for guidance in another human being with the expectation of being saved and miraculously healed without doing their part of the work, end up disappointed, resentful and hating the person as they didn’t live up to their expectations. This is because the change happens from the inside out - and yes - spiritual teachers, gurus and healers can be of great help in the sense they would trigger the light of remembrance of our own innate power, pointing us to those shadowy places where we stored our wisdom long time ago, so we can reopen it and use what’s within to cure and heal ourselves. We do the work, they give us a map. Do we need a map? We could probably find our way to our destination sooner or later, but it would definitely take much more time and effort. However, giving the map is not same as walking the road and that’s what we often dismiss and then blame teachers for the inefficiency of their methods. Can you feel the flavour of the cake by eating the recipe? No. You have to make the cake. You have to walk the road. Choose whichever map you want, but walk it. Or go without a map. But walk it. The worst you can do is to accumulate the maps and complain they are flawed and useless before even lifting your butt off the couch.
Walk the road.
Do we need spiritual teachers? Yes.
If we are to be completely honest, by the time of puberty, most of us is already fairly disconnected from our inner truth and guidance system and operates from deeply ingrained subconscious programming and the saddest part of it all is - we are in larger part, if not absolutely, unaware of it.
All of the answers and wisdom reside within us, but we cannot cultivate enough silence and stillness to gain access to them. And that is where teachings, books and podcasts come in, which again are not solution and salvation in itself, but a key to unlocking the treasure chest resting in the structure of our own cells. It may take time to find a key that works with our doors and, more probably, we’ll notice that we need more different keys and some that worked perfectly well yesterday, today no longer fit at all… It is all good. It is all part of the process. Just remember that even though you used someone else’s keys to unlock the chest of your internal wisdom - that wisdom is yours.
You have the knowledge.
You have the power.
There’s no shame in seeking reminders externally - that’s why we are here all together, to support and help each other. However, do not give your power away, not even for a split second. Do not wait that someone else saves you. They cannot do it.
Only you can.
I love you.
I am the treasure I’ve been seeking
nightflies I’ve tried to grasp for
rainbows which flavour I missed
in vain attemps to save them for later
I am the warmth of the sunrays
reflected in the gaze of another;
the sparkle of the sand
filtered through the fingers
swallowed by the hollow of
as the eyes were busy
by an unfocused wander
I am the love I’ve been craving
the peace and understanding
the emptiness I proclaimed eternal
proved to be none other
than my own resistance
to the Truth of
Oh, the places I went
and sugary words I devoured!
touches that left my skin aching
even worse than before
all in the need
of that soothing embrace
that never was supposed to come
from any outer space
I am the treasure I’ve been seeking
light at the end of the tunnel
words I’ve been needing
and so foolishly
searched in the voice of another.
If you are not grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you’d be grateful when that what you desire finally manifests into your life?
Yes, you can roll your eyes.
I did, as well, probably each of 10000 times that I heard or read this phrase, because it doesn’t make sense to our minds that live bounded to this linear time-space reality and love to attach the ideas of happiness, joy and fulfilment to some future point in time (and often some other point in space and some other versions of ourselves).
What happens then is that that point in future remains forever there - in the future, and we end up wasting our present complaining, being miserable, feeling lacking of something/someone, in the expectation and at the same time in disbelief of the possibility of better times actually coming and our “luck” turning around. And the truth is: nothing can change and ‘turn around’ before our energy does. And energy exists in the Now, so it is only in this present moment that we can change anything and everything, because as soon as we switch our energy, we enter a new parallel reality that contains different past and future and different version of ourselves. The external circumstances arrange themselves to match that new energetic setpoint of our energy field and we witness a completely different reality.
Do not try to change external circumstances before you adjust your energy. Or - try, and find out for yourself that it won’t feel better. Even if you let go of your current friends, move to another country, change your career, ‘fix’ your physical appearance, break up with your spouse… once the initial excitement of those bold and abrupt external changes subsides, you’d be left with the same shitty emotional state and emptiness that made you do all those changes in the first place. You will realise that you feel exactly the same, if not even more bitter and frustrated, ‘cause all the expectations you put in those external changes proved themselves to be without any foundation - and now you don’t know what else to do to fulfil that excruciating emptiness.
Go inward. Work on your energy. Find a good-feeling place within you wherever you are, with whomever you are and cultivate that place daily. Make it a practice. The most important practice of your day. Dettach from the false idea that external stuff can make you feel a certain way. They can’t. They are extra, something to add and to show you where you are at vibrationally at any given time.
How do I know all these stuff?
Because I felt it all on my skin and spent days and weeks and months and years asking myself what the hell was wrong with me, why can’t I ever make this dark, empty feeling go away. I’d always let my mind guide me through seemingly logical ideas how to attain that feeling I was craving, so I changed and changed and changed, and moved away and moved once again, and modified each segment of my external reality, covered the broken walls with pretty paintings instead of targeting that brokenness first, instead of peeling off the layers and looking what’s beneath asking to be healed.
Go inward. That’s the only advice I wish someone gave me when I was younger.
And now I’m giving it to you.
I’ve been crying a lot recently.
Even though I’ve always been someone who cries quite a bit (at least compared to what other people let me know of their crying sessions), it is not that often that I am visited by these enormous waves of all kinds of mixed emotions that break through and send me to sometimes hour-long trips in which I am gasping for air, bending in rushes of intense pain, swimming through seas of sadness ocassionally getting pulled by the strong currents of rage, anger and despair. Once I reach the shore, I feel physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, but relieved - or at least partially relieved (which means there’s another trip in plan for me in a couple of hours or maybe the next day).
If you have ever read anything I wrote, you’d know how much I’m against any form of emotional supression or avoidance. It never resolves anything, it pushes things aside where they grow stronger and uglier just to explode in the worst possible moment or otherwise leak into your day-to-day life in form of weird habits, addictions, depression, opsessive eating habits, passive-agressive behaviour… you name it. You will have to deal with them now or later, in one form or another, so in my opinion it is better to face them head on and have the clean slate for living more joy-filled life later on.
Having said that, the temptation to give in to some numbing or distracting tool when you are dealing with such strong avalanches of emotion several times a day, is high and real. It can be really tiring. What’s even more tiring, other than feeling all those painful emotions bumping into the walls of my physical vessel while trying to find their way out, is the mental process that kicks in everytime I embark on my tearful release journeys. What the fuck is this? What’s wrong with me? Why I feel like this? Is it because of _____ or ______? How can I stop this? I am psycho, I am hopeless, I am so deeply fucked up, will I EVER be stable? I am so ashamed of myself blah blah blah… It goes on and on, making the pain escalate even more and making me go purely hysterical, half pitying half hating myself until I become aware of that voice and start separating myself from it and tell it to shut the fuck up, it is already hard enough. It is a damn taugh job to stay mentally strong in order to distinguish the mind’s voice from your true essence when you are in the midst of an intense emotional turmoil - so props to everyone who manages to do it, I admire you, guys.
I imagine that stupid voice’s speech doesn’t differ a lot from one person to another (at least from what I’ve heard) and I am hundred percent sure there’s always the phrase, that obvious and logical and practical, but oh-so-fucking irritating, phrase that I, myself, am guilty of pulling out 9 times out of 10 when I see someone crying and the phrase is (you guessed it) -
Why are you crying?
Why are you crying? It is a normal, logical question in a world when situation A necessary leads to emotion B, in every person, no matter their age, personality, character traits, sensitivity, accumulated emotional trauma, hormonal imbalances, past life experiences etc. etc.
Well, let me tell you something. We don’t live in that world. We would like to, because it would be easier for us to grasp and hold onto something stable in order to understand what the fuck is going on around and inside of us, but we don’t.
Tell me if I am missing something here, but I don’t think we can ever truly understand why a person is having an emotional release in form of crying (or any other) nor that there is a “reason” in the way we like to think there is. It is probable that even the person going through it doesn’t really understand it, but forces themselves to go over with a fine-tooth comb through everything that preceded the explosion, looking for that trigger that was responsible for the meltdown, but… that trigger is just that - a trigger. The accumulated emotional charge was there from before and once it was too much to be held inside - it had to be let out and cleansed. It is actually useless to try to detect the “cause”, ‘cause there are so many and at the end of the day… does it really serve you to understand it? Will it help you prevent more suffering in the future? How can you be sure of that? How can you even be sure that you traced down every single ingredient of your emotional vomit? There’s no way to be certain of that.
And I believe there’s no purpose in doing that.
I am telling you that, because I tried. I tried so many times to understand, to dissect, to judge myself, to hate myself, looking for the cause, the source, the…the… SOMETHING that is at the root of the pain that emerges periodically and abruptly. The other day, while I was in midst of it, third time around in the same day, my lungs aching, my lips and eyes red and swollen, grasping for the 15th tissue with my left hand, exhausted as shit and slowly but surely out of strength to deal with it… I saw a word. The word. My word, the word that I need the most and that’s why I tattooed it on my left wrist.
Surrender…surrender…surrender… I started whispering it to myself and noticed the silence spreading through my head, the brain emptying out. There was a moment of peace, the suffering subsided and then I felt a stab of pain coming from my womb… and I allowed it. I surrendered to it. I cried and let it come out through my eyes, letting the energy leave the space of my body.
We don’t have to understand it. We don’t have to try to explain it. We don’t need to feel guilt or shame for not having a palpable “reason” for our emotional meltdowns. We just need to let it occur, let it come and go, without placing any label on it. It may seem an impossible task to do, but it makes the whole thing immensely, but IMMENSELY easier. Because once the storm is over, you take a deep breath, you feel a new space that has been liberated and you go on with your life, enjoying more serene days, instead of overchewing and asking why of the storm over and over again. It doesn’t matter.
Stop asking why. Stop trying to understand it. Stop resisting it, fighting it. Stop trying to make it stop and give in to it.
Surrender to it.
And thank it for cleansing you and taking away those dead parts of you that you no loger need.
I love you.
Yeah, but… we’ve been together for 5 years already…
Yeah, but… I’ve already left 9 years of my life in this industry…
Yeah, but… I’ve been playing piano since I was 3…
Yeah, but… we’ve been friends from the time our mothers were pregnant…
It is so deeply ingrained in our human psyche to measure the value of something in proportion to time that passed since that very thing came into being. We embraced so religiously that system of evaluation that we fail to notice when things start to fall apart, lose their scent and flavour; when friendships become toxic and disgustingly forced; when the career we chose ages ago is sucking all of the juices from our bones, pulling us slowly into addictive and self-destructive behaviours; when our partners cease to show up as they should or even worse - start to cheat, abuse and treat us poorly; when pleasurable hobbies turn into pain-inducing tasks; when our eating habits devoid our bodies of energy instead of doing the opposite… The examples are numberless and once put down, black on white, they seem almost ridiculous.
Why would we do that to ourselves? Why are we staying in situations that do no longer bring us joy and fulfilment and more often than not, provoke us pain, apathy and profound discontent?
I’ll tell you why.
Because quitting is for pussies. Because anything worth having takes time. Because when going gets tough, the tough get going. Because there are lows and highs to anything and after the storm, the sun must appear. Because we have to struggle. We have to suffer, bleed and sweat to be respected, to be valued, to be seen as persistent motherfuckers who do not run away with their tail between their buttcheeks at the first sight of difficulty.
That’s what our society and culture taught us.
And if we never took time to question and test the accuracy of those concepts in real and specific scenarios, they may seem actually quite firm-standing and logical, easy to be integrated and programmed in our humbly developed brains which then start to operate according to these programs, directing our behaviours and reactions through different life situations.
But is quitting really so BAD as we proclaimed it to be?
“Of course it’s not”, you may be replying in your mind at this moment, “quitting cigarettes is good. Or junk food. Or watching porn.”
But that’s not the quitting we’re talking about here.
I mean quitting the “good” stuff, the socially celebrated stuff. Like those 10 years you’ve been waking up at 5am to go to your swimming classes, or 6 years you’ve been dating the neighbour from the street parallel to yours, or those 8 semesters studying civil engineering, 18 months being vegan, 678 euros of singing lessons, 11 years as managing director… Is there a possibility that quitting any of these things might actually be good and serving and how to determine when it is so and when it is actually detrimental to our overall wellbeing?
And what is the difference between quitting and giving up?
Is there any? Or are those two one and the same?
I quit loads of things in these short 24 years I’ve been around this Planet. Almost too many to fit in such a short period of time. Name a sport - I tried it, gave it a year, 3 or 7 and quit. Faculties? Friendships? Boyfriends? Hobbies? Choose a category and I’ll write you a list of my quits within it. I would have probably quit even more things, like switched schools or changed my birth name, if only my parents allowed me to bring forth those ideas to reality at the time. But they didn’t. Luckily? Who knows.
What I was about to say is that I always held a fair amount of shame regarding my, what was slowly but surely developing into, ‘habit of quitting’. I thought of myself, as I heard it being said to me and to people behaving alike, as impersistent, as of someone who lacks self-discipline, quitter, indecisive, unclear, inconsistent, without direction, “someone who changes their mind as the wind blows” - like they say.
Having taken a more attentive look at my “quits” versus the things I saw through to the end, I realised that I actually don’t give up so easily, I can be the hardest-working person in the room and get up hundred times when needed, BUT - and here is the crucial piece of the puzzle - if it is important TO ME, if it is in full alignment with my heart and soul, if it matters and resonates on a deep, intimate level.
If it is something that I was pushed into doing by others or by myself (but motivated by others’ expectations or thinking it will bring me some approval, recognition or ego-boost) there’s a pretty high chance I will give it up pretty early on. Also, there were times when I was really in alignment with a thing and thought I would definitely dedicate it next 3 or 4 years, but… I changed. And we all do. We are in constant change and what resonates and sparks our inner fire at 15 will probably not be the same thing that does when we are 18. Or to some it will. And that's perfectly fine. We are all so unique and different and the sole act of comparing one’s journey in whichever area of life to another’s is useless and at times even detrimental as it makes us believe that if someone we admire does the same job for 20 years, we should do so too; or if someone has a long-term relationship with their highschool honey, it makes ours 10 months romances invaluable and somehow wrong.
That’s exactly why it is so important to stay in tune with our inner guidance and be completely honest with ourselves when things start to feel “off”. Your automatic reaction may be to quit whatever it is as soon as you feel some resistance rising up or it may be the opposite - to notice the resistance and dullness and decide to ignore them without further exploration and question posing, ‘cause you were made believe that that’s how it is “supposed to be” - painful, hard and struggle-inducing. Neither the first nor second option will serve you in a long run - not without the examining what is underneath the resistance.
And here comes the difference between quitting and giving up - at least my understanding and definition of the two. When something’s really important to us and we want to grow and continue on the path of it, it is usually when we are about to uplevel that the resistance appears. That resistance simply shows that we are about to leave our comfort zone and expand, yet there might still be some limiting beliefs we are subconsciously holding onto that make us doubt whether we are really capable of upleveling. We may have the belief that we are not worthy enough or good enough to go to the next level, that we do not have what it takes. The image of us on that upscaled position, once the obstacles at hand are surmounted, excites us and inspires us, but we doubt ourselves and are afraid - so we give up.
Giving up is letting go of what we value, wish for and/or hold important due to our lack of self-confidence, self-worth or any other limiting belief. We want it, yet we talked ourselves into thinking that it is not for us but for someone else. “We don’t have what it takes.”
Quitting, on the other hand, is a willing and conscious decision to let go of what no longer resonates with our heart’s desires, what doesn’t bring us joy and fulfilment and leaves us emotionless or even bitter when imagining ourselves doing that thing or being with that person in few years’ time. When we quit something, we usually don’t look back and think “What might have been if I stayed/continued/pushed through”. We are calm and firm with our decision ‘cause we left something that was no longer in alignment to pursue something else that was pulling us in its direction.
Quitting, therefore, is one of the best things you can do to honour your soul and make the best use of your time and energy while you are here. It benefits you and it benefits everyone else involved, as when we are half-heartedly somewhere nobody benefits and we are lying to ourselves and others, unnecessarily depriving everyone involved of the opportunity to switch direction and find something that is in better alignment and will bring higher feeling-states into their lives.
However, make sure to go through attentive soul-search once faced with the resistance regarding carrying on with anything in order to have the clarity on whether the end-date really approached or you just fell prey to your subconscious limiting beliefs and fear of upleveling.
Lots of love,
Anyone who has ever struggled with depression or any other mental health issue knows how incredibly important and at the same time unbelievably hard and nerve-wrecking is to gather the courage, pack the pride away, take the shame by the hand and - seek the help we need. It may be easier or harder depending on our beliefs about mental illness and the amount of judgement we place on it, as well as how the topic is treated in our community and what is the profile of people we decided to reach out to. Whichever might have been the case for you, I think you’d agree that just the thought of opening ourselves up about the painful state we found ourselves in is overwhelming and terrifying and it is most often shame and fear of the reaction we’d encounter if we opened up to someone, that keeps us delaying looking out for support and help.
I get it. I’ve been through it and it took me years and years until finally admitting, firstly to myself and then to others, that I couldn’t get out of it alone.
But, there’s another aspect of mental health journey that I’d like to address here and that is: What if we already “conquered” the depression, went through psychotherapy, been on medication, did all the holistic, cognitive-behavioural, mindfulness stuff, came out the other end as a “depression survivor”, as a winner of a kind, placed that label on our forehead… and then it hits again?
How to deal with THAT amount of shame, self-judgment, feelings of failure, guilt for having spent so much time and money on helping ourselves just to come back to the starting point all over again? How to find the courage within ourselves to suck it up and go to the people who saw us coming through to the other side the first time around and say: ‘That depression thing, you remember? That I officially left behind x years ago? Well, it’s back again. Your efforts didn’t result, it seems.’ In lots of senses, the other time around is ‘easier’ (better the devil we know than the one we don’t) as we probably collected a wide range of tools to cope with it when it comes, but that doesn’t mean that it is ever ‘easy’. Having the tools is not what saves you, it is applying them - and sometimes, we lack the strength to even open the drawer where we stored them, let alone put them to work.
I talked a lot about depression here and I believe I’ll continue to revisit this topic many, many times again in the future. At one point, however, I felt sick of myself for bringing it back up all the time and I thought that it is better to leave it alone, let it drift away with the rivers of the past. I thought that maybe through talking about it over and over again I am perpetuating the pain that would otherwise naturally die away, if I just didn’t pick at it all the time. Then it occurred to me - it is not part of my past. It is still present in my now. It will continue to be present in my future probably as long as I am here on this Planet.
I heard a girl recently comparing this state - when we just came out of one depressive episode, but there’s a possibility of getting into another one somewhere down the road - to the so-called “cancer remission.” What is cancer remission? It is when a person who survived cancer does no longer have detectable signs and symptoms of the disease, yet there’s a high probability that cancer still exists within the body and can get activated in the future. Therefore, the person is asked to take the utmost care of themselves in order to prevent the reattack to occur.
We can also think of it in terms of having a genetical predisposition to develop a condition, illness or behavioural pattern. Although the genes for a thing exist in our cells, it depends on myriad of different influences whether the genes will get activated or not. People like to use this “bad genes situation” as an excuse and opportunity to slip into the victim role of shitty circumstances, but actually we still have a high degree of personal and decision making power when it comes to whether the thing will manifest itself or not. We cannot neglect the cards we had been dealt with - we just need to learn how to consciously play with those and how to find the hidden perks they possess even though they may be hard to detect at first few looks (and perks are ALWAYS there, trust me).
I came to believe that depression lived inside of me since I was born. As far as my memory can reach back, there has always been some sense of darkness, some doom lurking from beneath, sucking the energy away from my brain, filling it up with fog, making me lethargic which was often seen and labeled as lazy, shy or ungrateful by the adults around me - and I would believe it, as I didn’t know it could be anything else. I accepted that I was just a lazy, grumpy, never-content kid. It got fully activated when I hit puberty, around the age of 12. My mom found my first suicide poems and drawings and took me to a therapist office from which I faked myself out after just one session, succeeding in convincing everyone that I was ok, that it was just for the sake of artistic expression. And my life as a “high-functioning depressed person” went on, supported by my self-medicating habits that I picked up when starting the highschool, but which power to keep me up on my feet gradually paled away. Just when I moved away from my hometown and started Uni is when things hit the very bottom and I was left with no choice than reaching out for help.
And I got it.
I got all the help I needed, all the love, support, comprehension and compassion when the person in question couldn’t possibly grasp on what I was feeling. I was in psychotherapy for 4 years, took antidepressants, changed my habits and lifestyle, let the people who were toxic to me fall away, worked on my thought patterns and after a long and bumpy journey - I felt I was finally cured. I proclaimed the battle officially over once I quit my medication completely, seeing that act as of big importance and meaning, because if I no longer need the tool for fighting something, it means that the very thing I was fighting is no longer present, it no longer resides within me.
But it does.
It is hard as fuck to admit that, but it sure well does still live inside of me. It may be asleep at this very moment while I am going joyfully and high-on-life through my days, but I can feel its calm breathing in the undertone of my heartbeat at all times. I know it is there. Sometimes I can feel it moving, opening an eye and slowly waking up. Sometimes it wakes up during the night, while I’m asleep, and I enter the morning with my throat clenched in its merciless grip and heaviness resting on my chest that disables me to take a full breath in.
And let me tell you something, guys. I used to get extremely, extremely angry, disappointed and ashamed of myself when this would happen. My mind would go on a rant, calling me all kind of ugly names, telling me that I am useless, incapable and undeserving to live, ungrateful, impossible to be aided and saved. It would tell me that I am a shitty person as I have so many people that would kill for me, that sacrificed so much just that I’d feel well and here I am again, swimming at the bottom of the dark lake. You should have probably stayed on medication for the rest of your life as it doesn’t seem like you can make it on you own. Oh no - wait! Even medication ceased to help at one point, so not even heavy chemical stuff can keep you normal. You are HOPELESS, useless, you should better just… blah..blah..blah…’
It is exhausting.
If there’s any fear and shame about admitting that you’re struggling the first time around, it is 1000 times worse every next time, especially when you made everyone believe you are over it for good. I am deeply aware how much my parents suffered through the lowest points of my mental health issues and just the thought of admitting that I sometimes feel bad again and how hearing that would make them feel breaks my heart. So, I don’t. I cannot handle it. I avoid, I don’t answer calls when a day is particularly rough. To protect them and to protect myself, as well. There’s enough self-judgment on my end already that I couldn’t possibly deal with someone trying to fix me and offering unsolicited advice when I don’t want any. In those instants, however well-intended the person trying to help is, all attempts at trying to change your current state seem like invalidating the way you’re feeling, provoking a new tornado of guilt and shame. Those who went through similar would know what I’m talking about.
So, what to do? Not reach out for help?
Don’t go to Chinese restaurant for nachos, Christine Hassler says and that insight is so crucial when it comes to seeking support. Explore from every angle the state you are in and get to know it intimately. Experiment with what helps you in those moments and what doesn’t and - probably the most important thing - talk with your symptoms. Ask them why they are visiting, what message are they bringing, what are they pointing your attention to.
I worked a lot during the last year or so on befriending that aspect of myself that I here for the convenience-sake call ‘depression’ and I found it being closely linked to my sensitivity. I am an extremely sensitive human that just recently learned to cherish that trait as one of my greatest gifts, while for the biggest part of my life I tried to shut it down and get rid of it in any way I could think of.
However, being that sensitive, I have to take very good care of myself if I want to feel good and be at ease with myself, my life and my surroundings. And whenever something is out of alignment, that little animal resting at the bottom of my chest will start to stretch its pawns, yawn and start to wake up. My depression is my alarm system and it is a damn good one. It never fails to warn me when I lose the connection with my Soul, when I leave some area of my life unattended for longer spans of time, when I neglect any aspect of my wellbeing.
So, what I try to do now is to work with my depression instead of working against it. I recognize it when it wakes up, I thank it for coming and try to scan through all sections of my inner and outer life to see where’s leaking, to locate the position of the hole it entered through. At times, it is very easily detectable - lack of sleep, not enough alone time to recharge my introverted self, bad quality food, saying too many times ‘yes’ when I want to say ‘no’, accepting conditions that don’t resonate with me, neglecting my creative life, neglecting my sensual side, denying myself fun and play etc.
Other times, though, I cannot trace it down as hard as I try to.
And then I pray.
I pray for clarity, I pray for faith and trust, I pray for seeing the lessons and learning from this state I find myself in. And of all the things that helped me during my mental health journey, the biggest was and will always be - Spirituality.
Spirituality that I encountered within my own self, through my own experience, not the one they tried to impose from without. Spirituality that holds a safe space for me where I can go back to every time I need, that allows me to see the bigger picture or, if not see, at least feel that there IS something that I am not seeing and that it is all in Divine Order even if my limited vision cannot grasp it.
And then I surrender to it. And I breathe. And soon enough the Sun lurks again behind the grey clouds and lighter period sets in.
Yet I never let myself forget the little animal living at the bottom of my chest and that I have to bring myself back into alignment moment to moment if I want it to stay calm and asleep.
Sometimes it happens we devote ourselves to a project, a person or a cause, we put all of our energies into it, shed blood, sweat and tears until we’re completely empty and depleted, just to find ourselves faced with the harsh truth that the final result of all of our continuous efforts led to - nothing.
We failed and failed miserably, ended up ghosted by a friend or a lover we treated with utmost care, lost a dream job in a split of a second or not succeeded in getting one we worked so hard for. We lost money we invested in business that failed, spent hours studying to end up unjustly failing thanks to a frustrated professor that never liked us, poured all of our love and dedication to save the person who never wanted to be saved in the first place.
We gave our everything and ended up with nothing.
Or at least that’s how it looks like at first glance.
I know we all had those moments in life, when all of our efforts suddenly seem futile and wasted ‘cause we didn’t end up getting what we wanted or expected. I know the frustration and rage and bitterness that sprout from those situations and at least for a period of time make us not want to venture into anything new that requires dedication, because… what for? We may end up with nothing once again.
And shame. That particularly bad-tasting shame that comes with failing at something others saw us devotedly hustle for and now we have to deal with cynical questions on the topic, false pity trembling on the edge of suppressed smiles from people who just love seeing others fail as their own sad lives are so deprived of any mention-worthy endeavours that involve even minimal risk-taking.
“It was all for nothing. All the hours, days, weeks and months spent __________ and now it doesn’t mean shit.” I heard myself complaining endless times, mentally or verbally to anyone willing to listen. I’d shut up when they’d try to comfort me with arguments that even they themselves weren’t completely sure about, as “It will all pay off one day. Every skill is valuable. Every lesson may end up being useful in certain moment in future.” Yeah, right. Having no other choice, I’d force myself to swallow the pill that contained not more than cheap artificial sugar to push the clouds to the side for a couple of hours, hoping that the bitterness and disappointment will evaporate over time.
Then the shift came.
I cannot quite recall whether it happened during one of my meditations or in those weird, floaty spaces right before falling asleep when you are not fully and properly here nor there, but I saw it and felt it so clearly and it all suddenly made so much sense. It resonated in that deep, further-explanation-not-needed way that only the real Truth is able of resonating within our Souls.
So, let me share it with you.
One of the principal laws of this Universe, as you probably already know, is the one of Cause and Effect. Everything is subject to this law, whether we are always capable of seeing it or not, whether the Cause preceeded the Effect in this linear 3D time or it happened viceversa - the two are inseparable.
Therefore, every concentrated, focused and well-intentioned energy expenditure has to end up in us receiving the same. You will reap what you sow. We throw this phrase around all day long (usually in a threatening manner to warn someone who’s about to take some integrity-lacking enterprise), but have you ever really pondered more deeply upon its meaning and explored the layers and layers of wisdom held within it?
There are many what we called “good persons” who live by this phrase, but do so out of fear (“Karma’s out to catch you.”), as if Universe/God/Source was some bad guy just waiting for us to fuck up, so it could throw whole lot of crap our way and make us pay for it.
Throw that fear-based belief right now into thrash and open yourself to understanding, or should I say - knowing (you already know that inside of you), that the law of Cause and Effect doesn’t have to do anything with rewarding and punishing, there is no “good” or “bad” - they are just our human inventions that (we believe) make us easier to navigate through this life-experience. It is all simply about reestablishing balance.
What goes up must come down. When will it come? We don’t know. In which form will it come? No idea. But it will come. There’s absolutely no doubt about it. You cannot control it in any way or try to make it come down faster, but what you can do is - trust.
You can sit down after a long day in which you gave your best, in which you put your heart, brain and stamina into an endeavour you hold important and worthy, even though the final destination is no more than a question mark wrapped in a fog at the end of a long, abandoned road. You can still sit down and be calm, because… you sow. You swung the pendulum to the left and it will make its way to the right, eventually. You can be sure about that.
However, make sure that your mind and heart are open to noticing the fruits of your well-intentioned labour once they start to enter your reality, as they may not have the form, colour or scent you were expecting them to have and you might miss them and falsely start seeing yourself a victim, “the one that pulled the shorter end”.
The last thing I’d like to address here is the critical importance of the intention that sits at the bottom of our action. We may work our little asses off, hustle all day long and still reap some low-vibe energy. That is so because the sole action doesn’t mean much if the intention behind is rooted in fear, hate, revenge or any other place of low frequency. This is a vibrational Universe where the “concrete”, physical action is but a delicate mask enveloping the vibration that the intention holds.
So, get clear on your intentions before doing anything and make sure you are operating from a place of love, compassion and desire to uplift - then you’ll be able to rest peacefully with sweet knowing that what you planted is soon about to peep through the soil.
How does it happen that something we love to do so much simply ceases to be the priority and falls into the background of the everyday rat-race while we’re trying to keep up with the pace of our life and the world?
What it is that pushes us away from our medicine in times when we need it the most, blurs our sight and tricks us into thinking that there are more urgent, more important stuff to be done than connecting to our inner flame, the Source within us, the soul?
Ironically, what happens in those situations, when we deny our soul the medicine it needs, when we let ourselves fall off the track for a day, two, three, a week… it gets harder and harder to swallow the pill. Days pass and the resistance increases, we don’t even want to open the pill container, let alone take those pills that would bring our soul back to life. So, we hide the box in the dark, humid place and forget about it - even though, let’s be real - we never really forget about it.
It stalks and haunts us during those restless nights, it appears in the foggy visions at the dawn when our minds are not yet alert enough to shut the images down, push them back to the black hole where they emerged from. Paradoxically, the more we avoid the medicine the more present it is in our lives - the dance of the starved soul and the ever-increasing resistance to feed it never stops, bringing the unexplainable malaise and excruciating pain that we cannot track down to its source.
Feed the soul and things will fall back into place, I heard.
Yet, I didn’t obey.
Until I was forced to.
Even now, when I finally sat down and took time to write - which is my medicine, my sacred tool of understanding, releasing, expressing, connecting with my soul and my inner wisdom - even now I feel immense amounts of resistance. However, I know I cannot continue delaying and avoiding - there’s only so much starvation a thing can handle before it completely withers down and God only knows if and when will it be possible to bring it back to life again.
So I write. I am trying to get quiet enough to hear the voice of my soul again against the loudness of my mind’s bullshit. It is hard. I am trying to remember the tone of her voice as I left it behind for last few months, swept away by the events, emotions and general overwhelm of life. I put aside writing ‘cause it felt too much, it felt too much to feel, to process, to see the things black on white, to feel the realness of the tornado that passed over just when I felt I reached the calmer ground. I was feeling too much and being vulnerable, even if just in front of myself - seemed like too big of a challenge at the time.
What I want to say to you today, dear friend, is…
Make feeding your soul the priority.
A starved soul cannot wait too much before it starts to decay, infecting the rest of the body with its poisonous fumes, stealing the colours, one by one, from our world and turning down the vividness of our perception.
Then it takes tool on our emotional and spiritual wellbeing, washing us over with the waves of sudden and inexplicable rage, frustration and bitterness, coming finally to the densest of all - our physical body. Aches and pains start to pinch from here and there, even to those of the greatest health up to that point. The sparkle in our eyes dies out from one day to another and soon enough we fail to remember it was ever there in the first place.
Finally, a starved soul decides to enlarge the territory of its dominion, desperately wanting to fill the profound dark hole that it is, so it starts to suck the energy from around, making us act out and treat unjustly and badly those around us, even if they come with nothing but love and openness lurking from their pockets.
A starved soul will do anything and everything to satiate its emptiness, yet there’s only a scarce palette of options that can really feed it and each one’s palette contains different set of colours, so you better get to know what yours are and you better get to use them often - as often as you can - until it’s too late.
Because a starved soul can wait only as much before it starts to decay.
I envelop my fears
in a high-pitched giggle
bottle up my tears
so I can save them for later
I collect my screams
in the space of my hips
and I smile.
and I talk,
while I smile
and I talk faster
terrified that one of the gaps between the words
would be large enough for you to
catch a glimpse of my wounds,
I’d be forced to let those guards fall
unleash the screams
from the dark depths of my hips
and let them outvoice
of my well-thought phrases.
And I talk faster
each day faster
until all you can hear
isn’t but a rustle
of the dead leaves
of my silenced