THE POWER OF GRATITUDE
I'm So Grateful for So Many Things! But for a Very Long Time I couldn't find anything to be Grateful for.
The 5 Actions that Helped me Survive Depression
When I was 28 years old, I was taken over by the Pitch Black Monster called depression. From one day to the other it felt like my body turned into stone, my feelings numbed-down. Completely drowned in the dirty swamp of self-hate and nothingness.
It took me 10 years to get out of it. Granted, not every day was completely horrible. But many were.
During daytime I worked in an office - nobody at work knew anything about me - when I came home despair washed over me. I spent many nights hiding between the couch and the curtains. Not knowing what to do with myself.
I had lots of therapy, it helped a little but there were a couple of things that really helped. And I want to share those with you.
Not because I'm a therapist (if you ever need help get it immediately!), but because my depression taught me deeply valuable lessons that I think this will help everyone to get the Most Out of this Precious Life.
This is my List of Actions that Healed me.
Gratitude changed everything for me. God, it was hard at first. I bought a journal and made myself come up with at least ONE thing I felt grateful for. Every evening.
But I often couldn't come up with anything. So it became the really small things. 'A women smiled at me in the tram' or 'I smelled a rose'. Once I was able to be (a little bit...) grateful for the really small things I slowly started to feel more.
* Be grateful for the small things first.
I have spent thousands of hours on my meditation cushion. At home, in the sanggha, in meditation halls. The best thing it brought me was creating a distance between what I felt ( emotions) and how I react to it (my actions).
I'm not a meditation master at all, but the NOT believing everything that goes on changed my life.
I'm urging you to take 5 minutes every day. Just sit on your chair and observe what happens within. Without judging anything. Without jumping into action. Just sit, breathe, observe.
Take 5 minutes a day to observe without taking action
3. CONNECT TO A POWER BIGGER THAN YOU
I connected with the Buddha. I visualised his presence and made him my protector. Whenever I needed extra love, power, kindness. I visualised him like sort of like a Really Big older brother.
Your protector can be anyone. Nowadays I connect with angels, my Inner Queen, the spirit of my father, it's amazing how many protectors we all have!
* Find your personal big brother or sister, From the spirit of Maya Angelou to Mother Earth. You are not alone!
4. BE WITH THE PEOPLE WHO LIFT YOU UP AND WHO SEE YOU
I have had all kinds of therapists, psychiaters and what have you. They were all really qualified and the talking helped. (So much talking!!)
But the people who really impacted me were those who communicated with the 'Complete, Buddha Nature, Perfect Human Being, Lovable Me'.
Instead of communicating with the broken person in front of them.
We have (at least I did that) this tendency to be attracted to the people who communicate to the broken part within us. A coach who says Tough Love is the way to make you do things, a spiritual leader who is very eager to help you get rid of your ego. Maybe that helps. Maybe not.
To me it were the people who hugged me, the people who Really Saw me who really helped me.
* Be with the people where you feel seen
5. LOVE THE LITTLE GIRL WITHIN. KINDNESS IS EVERYTHING
Everyone who is familiar with depression, or who has experienced deep sadness (I guess that's all of us) knows this feeling of numbness AND maybe you also recognize how incredibly mean we can be to ourselves.
To me connecting to that little girl within, that precious sweet lovely child, helped me to stop the 24/7 Inner Mean Talk. I wanted to protect her, and the only way I could do that was by being kind! By the way, connecting to that precious child helped me to feel less alone. I can highly recommend it!
* Be kind to yourself first because you are a beautiful, perfect, gorgeous humans being.
Thank you for being part of my life and for Being You!