30 Nov Depression is positive feedback that a better life is waiting for you
What you are looking at is a labor of love and an act of love towards myself. It’s an act of taking action to live an authentic life, filled with choices that reflect joy instead of settling for less.
If you can relate, or if you are unhappy with your life but don’t know yet how to create a better experience for yourself, read on. You’re not alone, just as I am not alone.
Feelings of depression are not the enemy, they are positive feedback. They are markers of an inner compass that tells you when you’re off course. You can learn to listen to your inner feedback and find a way of living life in a way that expresses your full potential. You can be authentic, authentically you. You don’t need to do anything to deserve happiness, it will find you once you uncompromisingly honor the truth of who you are.
My previous life fell apart in 2017. My husband and I rented a house by a Southern Californian beach, we had lots of rescue animals, I started publishing books, my fitness business had just taken off after adding a Master’s degree in counseling psychology. Yet when I drove to San Diego on occasional weekends to visit a friend, I felt like a balloon that was ready to pop at the smallest strike, and it would pop with a massive nervous breakdown. Only, I couldn’t have told you what was wrong. Life looked so perfect from the outside.
A series of events left a pile of shambles. I was violently attacked in public twice. We lost the house. We were homeless for seven months, and that’s two working adults who couldn’t get a rental in the housing crisis of Los Angeles. I wrote about that time in “Keep Smiling, Your Teacup Is Levitating” as I was house-sitting for a client.
From the outside, it looked as if life had conspired against me. Things were “going wrong”. Friends and clients were telling me how sorry they were that something so terrible had happened to me. But “things” hadn’t “gone wrong”. It was feedback, inner wisdom, and intentions that had manifested on the screen of my outer experience.
Life was showing me that I was on the wrong path. I had no idea what I was doing wrong, but a part of me below conscious awareness knew I had made choices that didn’t lead to the exuberant joy of authentic expression. Life can look so pretty from the outside, but the person living it can feel numb with suppressed suffering and not even know why.
When “things go wrong” and life falls apart, the personality parts below conscious awareness are having a hay day. It’s as if a part of us screams: “No! Stop it!” Well, then we’ll sure stop.
I’m still not out of the woods. We have an apartment again, and the animals are back from where they were boarded, but the depressive feelings continued weighing me down until I felt almost immobile. I visited Germany, my home, and returned after three months of what seemed to be a recovery from strain and burnout.
A German song by Ton, Steine, Scherben says that when the night is the darkest, is the time when the morning is nearest. I looked at my life, and my vision began to clear.
I had made choices that led to misery. I had fled my home country out of fear, hid in a city in the US I didn’t like, held on to a marriage that wasn’t working, created a business that wasn’t my dream, remained stagnant because I didn’t think I could make a living in a way that didn’t drain the life juice out of me, and committed various other offenses against myself such as ignoring unshed tears.
I wanted to write books about love and growing from life’s challenges, but I was filled with so much shame. The shame said that I was a phony, a wanna-be, someone who couldn’t get her life in order. How was I going to announce my books with confidence if I was filled with shame?
What you’re looking at is a labor of love, the work of loving myself. I am chiseling away at making authentic choices that honor who I truly am. I am a writer. I am someone who is at least determined not to be held back any longer by her fear of poverty, her digital illiteracy, and her pet-peeve issue of “I am not good enough yet”.
Hell yeah, I’m going to do it anyway. I’m going to write, and I’m going to publish my next novel, a sequel to “The Creed” called “The Creed – Siren Song”.
Hopefully, it will inspire you to do the same, loving yourself through your fear and doing what you must do to be fully alive. Hopefully, you will be able to relate to the characters of my novels as they go through growing pains to become who they truly are. As they learn to love themselves enough to be able to love another, as love is the greatest of all.
If you are going to take anything from today’s post, take this with you: Can you define your personal meaning of happiness and if so, are you happy? Do you love your life? Do you get out of bed in the morning with a smile on your face because you can’t wait to get started on your day? If not, listen carefully to the feelings we all too quickly label as depression before we tuck them away. They are not the enemy, they are your friend. What are the depressive feelings telling you?
They might just carry within them the answers you were looking for.