Human beings are always in search of happiness. Since our early years we are programmed to determine happiness by things external to us; we have to achieve certain goals, be better than the person next to us, be popular, have lots of money or hoard more material things than we actually need. We are taught to measure success by how coveted our position in the workplace is, how desired/attractive our partner is and how many “friends” we have; it matters not whether or not those so called friends actually know us or not; what seems to matter is that they are there to fill our “empty time”. We have been made to feel inadequate unless we live by such faulty standards, so we spend our whole lives trying to fit in, fighting with ourselves, forcing our soul to remain quiet so we may feel we belong; at the end we are left with nothing but a shell of who we were created to be.
Fortunately for us the universe is always trying to balance everything out. While we are out there trying to fill our loneliness or competing to become “the best”, the universe increases our desire to want more; more substantial things. You may wonder why in the world would the universe conspire to do so…simple: if it doesn’t get you to listen one way, then it’s going to overwhelm your desires so you may end up feeling frustrated because nothing feels like enough!
That is usually when many people who have not endured heavy psychological trauma hit depression; they feel empty no matter how much they do to silence the quiet voice which emanates from their soul. Depression (regardless of trauma or not) hits in order to force us to look in, to stop– to search for what really is happening within us and to confront old hurts, erroneous beliefs or destructive behaviors. It’s the universe’s ultimate way of helping you rediscover yourself, yet we have been made to look at a person experiencing a depressive episode as someone one should run from, someone who is ill and needs “meds” to cure him.
In modern times we have sadly forgotten the proper role of an Analyst/Psychiatrist; erroneously twisting Freud’s teachings on EGO. We have separated what he used to refer as “Soul talk” and turned it into something entirely different from its roots. Freud like Jung and many others, never intended for an analyst to be turned into a pill prescriber who simply numbs people’s pain. It is true that in certain cases medication is needed for those whose are genetically more inclined to experience paranoia, periods of psychosis, etc. or to momentarily help those whose mind is out of control due to trauma or severe stress–in those situations medication has its purposes yet it is still not the best solution. Medication in those situations can be of great help as it calms the person long enough to start digging through the “rubble” of their life in order to help them find themselves–in other words, it helps them be present (relaxed) during therapy.
The worst part for a person experiencing depression is seeing others “run away” or to endure their judgement; either out of ignorance or maliciousness. Usually those are the ones in denial of their own issues; a person experiencing a depressive episode then becomes a mirror to their own unresolved wounds which we all have but many prefer to turn away and pretend they aren’t there. We forget none of us have gone through life without some type of dysfunctionality; even within those considered to have had a “privileged” or “ideal” life.
When we run away from looking in, we ran the risk of becoming empty shells, cookie cut versions of what a human being is supposed to be; where nothing brings us happiness, only pockets of joy which are experienced briefly only to once more go in search of something external hoping to once more fill the void. We are left feeling incomplete, unworthy or that we are missing something; it matters not how much we look for it on the outside our inner thirst cannot be satiated. Most people quietly experience that dreadful empty feeling, it is at that moment they buy the lie their “false ego” presents them with; their “false ego” keeps telling them they need to go in search of the next empty adventure to fill that void or to go obtain material things, or worst yet to engage in self destructive behavior in order to either numb the pain or to be falsely accepted.
The “false ego” has a very conniving trap, it pushes people to seek but never to find. That is why our search becomes never ending and in the process we end up suffering even more. Since we have been molded to avoid feeling pain, to run from depression and instead to search for what is external to us, when we are faced with the loss of the external, we lose our footing and the fragile sense of who we are. That is the tricky roulette “false ego” plays– when we lose a possession, status, or a relationship ends, we tend to blame the other rather than to observe our part in it. Similarly when we obtain something new or fall in love again, move up in the world; we lose the feeling of joy quite quickly to be replaced by the fear of losing what we have obtained. We buy into the delusion that our identity is determined by the external. This happens because we have been conditioned to believe we are not good enough, that we don’t deserve that which we have achieved, that we are sinners from before we even came into this world and therefore have to constantly be pleading with our surroundings, God or universe in order to get permission to feel truly alive.
We talk about a loving father yet approach such a concept as meek individuals who have to constantly be denying their wounds, running away from their pain and dark parts, out of fear of being punished. We then cover such a delusional concept with a false idea of forgiveness; a forgiveness of words not reflected by actions. A tyrant’s forgiveness where the tyrant sees himself as perfect and demands amends not realizing his own shortcomings. No wonder we go around the world trying to prove our worth to ourselves, to others, to a universe or God; who never demanded it or expected it in the first place. We are raised to see ourselves as stained rather than miraculous, as dirty rather than clean, as meek rather than powerful; no wonder then most people have a close heart to what unconditional love and elation really are.
As you can see, depression, pain or any of the so called “bad” emotions are not the enemy. When it comes to experiencing pain or depression we have failed to understand their real message, it means you are ready to face your shadow. It means your soul is tired of running away from self or from old hurts and is aching to be healed, to be let out, to be what it was created to be. We close our hearts to life and turn our back to its medicine; on top of it we blame life for not loving us enough to keep us always elated, when it is us who chose to turn our back, running from facing the falsity of our “programming” and “teachings”.
We would do anything to achieve happiness through external things, not realizing it is our birth right; we don’t have to fight fort it, we just have to be willing to walk through the periods of pain without shame or guilt and enjoy the long lasting effects of doing so. The more we do this, the less we judge the next painful or depressive episode therefore giving ourselves permission to be. It is interesting, how the more I started not to judge my pain, my depressive states, the faster I walked through them. The more I stopped shaming myself for experiencing depression or hiding from others because I wasn’t having a “good day”, the more I started to embrace myself, love myself and fear pain less. Pain is still pain but it is trying to heal me not hurt me. There are times I am still afraid to walk into it but I do so without the anger that used to be there; without seeing myself a less than others.. Imagine how sick our society has become to judge someone for working through their wounds and to label them because they chose not to hide and pretend they are always ok. I am not always okay and that is part of life, is part of my human experience and part of self growth. I rather walk through my wounds to later experience a more clear state of mind. Once that period is over, I get to experience healing, peace; a joy unlike anything external could ever give… it’s called integration. It matters not whether one is a singleton or a multiple, we all experience division within us due to life’s duality, therefore we all are here to try to integrate ourselves back to our original form otherwise known as REAL knowledge of self.
Maybe you are feeling unworthy, lonely, depressed, tired of fighting to obtain something or to achieve a sense of self. You don’t need to, let the pain wash over you, understand that you are worthy of all the things you desire. You don’t have to fight over them, you just have to start seeing yourself for who you are, miraculous, worthy of that job, that partner or the love you want. Those are extras, you don’t have to fight for them, they will become part of your life as you give yourself permission to be you not what others expect of you. You have bad days, so what?…there is nothing wrong with you experiencing pain, life is trying to heal you, so you don’t live in pain long term.
Life is about being positive but not in a way that is unreal. Being positive isn’t about being a cheerleader, always smiling, always acting as if nothing is wrong, that is denial. Positive isn’t about hiding your “negative emotions” ;which I call “teaching emotions” ; for the sake of fitting in. Being positive is exactly that “BEING” positive, NOT “FAKING” positive.
Being positive is looking at both sides of life and knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel. Being positive is embracing your “dark moments” and still hold your head up high for having walked through them. There should be no shame because you are feeling sad, depressed, angry, etc….they are emotions which point to parts of you which are unhealed or need work.
If someone should be ashamed, let it be those who pretend their lives are always fine, those who show no humanity or kindness by running away from those in pain, those who judge your anger or sadness while they secretly hate others or hide the parts of them that need healing. Don’t ever be ashamed for being you, for being human, for having the courage not to dwell in your pain but to walk through it. Walking through your pain ISN’T living in your pain. If you are not using your pain as a crutch, as a sympathy act, as your way of having others tend to you while you simply blame the whole world for how wrong your life is, then there is no reason why you should feel ashamed to experience low points in your life; those are part of life, part of self growth, ultimately part of our human experience.
It is in looking in an facing the parts of us we do not like about ourselves or the parts of us which were hurt and require healing, that we can find a real sense of happiness. As you start to heal you won’t go through life searching for happiness externally, you will eventually become it. That should be our ultimate goal. A full sense of self, so real, that no matter whether someone else is there or not, won’t matter, just like it won’t won’t matter to compete with others. We would then be able to really enjoy our achievements because they came from us, for us. We then would be able to really love another because we have truly discovered self love.
I am not there yet and 99% of the population isn’t either. There are so many people out there who talk about success or the proper way to love someone yet their lives do not resemble what they preach. I am not there but I am working towards it–accepting there is no “there”, because it is all about perception– while I work on my healing, I choose not hide my moments of pain or frustration for the sake of being accepted by others, neither will I play victim.
I hope with all my heart for those of you who are in pain, who are angry, who are disappointed, depressed or awakening, that you too keep showing yourself as you are, keep embracing and giving love to the parts of you that need it most; it is by giving ourselves permission to be who we are that we truly help others give themselves permission to be who they really are. You will make mistakes, you will get hurt again, you will fall but you will also laugh again–you will experience love, you will shine, learn from your mistakes and develop wisdom. If you want to stop feeling empty in your search for happiness, then understand that all you have to do is embrace the hiccups and let happiness find you!