People often contact me in despair, saying that they find no joy in life that they don't want to live anymore, can I help them?
Having gone through a few dark nights of the soul I completely understand. I remember about a year before my awakening how I used to lie in agony upon awakening, wishing I could sleep a little bit longer so that I wouldn't have to wake up into this world. This world full of so much pain. My sleep was the only place where I could rest, where I could be someplace else but here.
Looking back there wasn't really anything wrong with my life, I definitely had some challenges at the time but none that could actually justify the pain that I was experiencing.
I would wake up and start to think if this was the day I would kill myself. If today was the day. I would go through the possible options on how I would kill myself. My preferred way was to possible drown myself in the river. But I always stopped myself short when I came to the part that someone would have to take care of my dead body. If I could have my way I would just have liked to vanish in to thin air. Just disappear, be gone.
It was at this time that I started to pray, because with my agony also came all the existential doubts and fears. Would I just disappear when I was gone, was there no more to life than this?
I was raised in a atheist family that never spoke about faith or beliefs in anything higher. I had read a lot about religions and studied quite a bit of philosophy but in this agony everything seemed hopeless and as if life was a punishment. This is when I came upon the book An Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda. Through his words I started to pray, I asked to be shown if there was a God. If there was meaning to it all, that I please would be shown.
I also came across the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and I ended up posting Post Its all over my house with messages like 'There's only Now' , 'There's no other moment but Now' to remind myself to not dwell in the past or the fear ot the future. I started to meditate again after having had a break for a couple of years. I started to practice Kundalini Yoga again as well as going for runs in the forest after have been quite sedentary for a longer period of time. I also started to change my diet which included no dairy or meat and lots of green smoothies. All these changes happened quite simultaneously I realize when looking back and all of them made me feel better.
All the suddenly I wasn't feeling like I wanted to die anymore. I actually was quite happy about life and about waking up in the morning. Oddly enough the challenges that I was having was still there but they weren't causing me agony anymore. I wasn't letting them. I was actually starting to feel quite happy and content..
I'm writing this not to point any fingers, because I know that everyone has their own path. I also know how hard it is to activate yourself or even think that there is a way out when you have already fallen into the big black hole. I also remember how I used to think that I was this sad depressed person, that I've always been her. That this is who I was and always would be.
Because we always live in the moment and all emotions all feelings are also in the present moment. We cannot remember how joy feels like anymore when we drifted far enough away from it. This is also important to remember for people that are friends or family members to people that have fallen into depression. They don't know how to get out because they simply forgotten how it feels to be happy.
What I found helps and I believe this applies to everyone considering the statistics and by reading and talking to other that have experienced similar bouts of depression. There are 3 specific things that I would like to highlight:
1. Physical activation, start to move your body. It helps to become present and in your body again. There's a lot pleasure in your body but it can also store a lot of negative emotions and the physical activation will also start to move chi, life force energy and it will help to move denser energies from your body. Physical activation will also promote happy hormones such as endorphins.
2. Mediation and mindfulness. Its hard when everything feels like pain and agony especially when you go within. But the only way to heal is to feel it and to become aware. You will find that when you allow yourself to feel, when you become aware of your thoughts, you will also become aware that your perspective upon whatever it is that's bringing you grief is the cause of the grief and its not hurting anyone but yourself. If you can become aware of your thought patterns you may also change them. Through changing your thought patterns, you're re-programming your nerv patterns and you will change your life. Its really that simple but yes it requires active mindfulness.
3. The diet. Changing my diet and including more greens, more vegetables, not eating dairy or meat changed my life more than I could ever say. When we eat animal products we also consume the hormones that the animal had. Our body doesn't distinguish between animal hormones or human hormones, they are accepted as they are.. As hormones are the bodys way of communicating, the hormones are basically little messenger telling the body what to do. So when we consume animal products from an animal that's been scared or is sad or hasn't been treated well, we absorb these hormones as our own. Eating a vegan/vegetarian diet is not only better for your heart and your overall physical health but also extremely good for your state of mind.
I would also like to include as a very important side note that social engagement is very important for recovery. Finding likeminded people, or just spending time with people that loves you and accepts you for who you are. Physical touch, hugs or just having a massage is very healing.
What strikes me the most looking back was that as I started to pray, little guidance came to me as inspiration. Wanting to be in nature, going for runs, finding blogs writing about how eating green smoothies would change my life. Following that inspiration that guidance gave me so much and even though it may not seem like 'guidance' for me it was. These little incremental steps led me to my awakening, to finding 'Source' within me. All these little steps led me here.
Know that you are worthy of Love, that you are worthy of guidance, that you are always supported, that you are never alone. Not even in your darkest moments, you are never alone. Having gone through that dark night I am also grateful for that pain because without it, I would not be where I am today, I would not be who I am.
The way to 'get over it' is through it. The way to it, is through it.
Much Love, Kristina