You may be somewhere deep in the depths of depression, anxiety, trauma, or illness. And more than likely you are thinking, feeling and believing that you are never going to find your way out. You’ve accessed help, your doing what the medical specialists tell you, maybe your taking medication, having therapy and trying to exercise, eating better, trying to reframe your thinking and noticing your thought patterns. But you’re still feeling the struggle, your still exhausted, your still feeling alone and your probably doubting if you are ever again going to be okay.
I understand. I’ve been there many times. Questioning, doubting, thinking and believing that finding wellness and feeling alive were things that were way out of my reach. There were so many times when I was doing everything I was ‘supposed’ to be doing and it felt as though I was making absolutely zero progress. I’d become so frustrated because I had made the commitment, I was doing the work, I was going above and beyond what the experts were telling me to do and I was still in pain, I was still severely depressed, I still couldn’t leave the house and it was still a struggle to wake up each morning and find the energy and motivation to get out of bed.
Here’s the thing that I needed to continually keep coming back to, and perhaps this will serve as a gentle reminder to you. This is not about ‘fixing yourself quickly’. I desperately wanted to wake up one morning and be ‘cured’, but had that of happened I would have missed the opportunity to truly heal myself and to find the gifts and blessings that were being handed to me. This is about finding your way back to your purest state- to return to your natural state of LOVE. And for that you need TIME. Time to re-learn how to be. To stop running from yourself, to stop numbing, to stop letting other peoples words and actions influence how you feel about yourself.
This process of returning to perfect health and returning to source energy- your highest self- is about digging deep within- finding yourself again. Returning to the person you have always been, accepting that who you are – just as you are- is more than enough. You are finding your way back to who you really are and more often than not that means becoming comfortable with sitting in the discomfort, accepting where you are, and knowing that nothing has to last forever.
To move back into our natural state of wellbeing, we are asked to do many things. The first is to shed the things that no longer are of service to us. Particularly, we are called to escape the lower energies of ego. Wayne Dyer writes in ‘THE SHIFT’,
‘Taming the influence of the ego is the beginning of the second birth. By taming the ego, we elicit the support and assistance of our origination Spirit, and we come to notice synchronicities happening in our life. The people we need appear, circumstances come together in a way that assists us on our dharma path, and financing becomes available that was never there before’.
For many of you reading this you may wonder what ego has to do with depression, anxiety and suicide. You could be thinking that mental illness has nothing what so ever to do with ego and Spirit, because it goes against everything that we think we know about mental illness. But in fact it has SO MUCH to do with it. When we are living aligned with the lower energies of EGO, we have actually moved away from our natural state of love, and aligned ourselves with fear. Ego is so entwined in every part of our daily life- the way we are raised, the education system, the way we interact on a social level, societies expectations all contribute to the level and depth of our own personal ego- that most of us are simply unaware that there is another way ‘to be’.
Here are some of the ways in which ego dictates depression and anxiety;
- Ego causes separation and convinces us that we are alone and unsupported and that nobody really understands who we are; or what we are going through- a huge contributing factor of depression. As we begin to return to spirit (love) we become aware that in actual fact we are connected to GOD, to Source and we are never truly alone.
- Ego causes us to compare our lives, our looks, our possessions to those around us, to feel as though in some way we have failed or missed out and that others are living a better life than we are. When we return to love we come to know that the life we have been given is exactly what we needed to enable us to return to Spirit. Where we are in life right now is exactly where we are supposed to be (and we now have the choice to choose something different).
- Ego tells us that we have to do well in life, that we can’t fail in any way (or have an illness or diagnosis), and that we are wrong if we are different to the people around us. Ego constantly causes us to think that we need to make others proud of us and show everyone that we are worthy and capable. It means that often we focus heavily on money, achievement, success, looking the right way, and fitting in (having a partner/children/acceptable job etc). And; if we don’t have these things that we become less than- irrelevant and invisible (or we need to over compensate in other areas). But in fact Spirit/God/Source loves and accepts us just as we are, no matter what we do or don’t have.
- Ego tells us that we have to be strong, to keep going no matter what. To stay in control for the sake of our children, our partners, our family and ourselves. That any weakness or feeling like we just can’t cope is a major fault within ourselves. Ego also tells us that nobody will ever be able to help us. Spirit tells us that we are human and we need to feel and acknowledge our emotions. There is much beauty to be found within the messiness, if only we choose to approach the pain differently. Source will lead us to the right people in our healing journey that will help us heal the UNDERLYING reasons behind our health struggles.
- Ego tells us that we have to think our way through life, control and figure everything out in our minds. That it is normal to be stuck in fear and worry, to think excessively, plan and control our way through life rather than listen to our own internal guidance system and trusting that we are all supported if only we tune into the higher energies. Source reminds us to ‘feel’ our way through life and to become aligned. To let go of the need to know and to trust, as opposed to ‘thinking’ and ‘planning’ our way through.
- Ego tells us that we shouldn’t trust our own intuition. That we should believe what others say about us (parents, teachers, relatives, medical specialists, colleagues) -that there IS something wrong with us. It plays on our own self doubt and intrinsic inner belief that we are not quite right, rather than accepting that God has made us perfectly just as we are (yes- flawed and imperfect). That, we are all unique and different; and that each of us views life through our own unique lens (which is neither right or wrong -just right for ourselves).
- Ego tells us that it is wrong and selfish to look after ourselves first, that we must put others first, that we don’t need firm boundaries and our needs come last. Source reminds us that when we make peace with ourselves, take care and nurture ourselves, and re-align with our higher selves then we can do what we are all here to do- Serve others.
- Ego tells us that the dream we have for ourselves within, will never be achievable. It convinces us that we are not smart, pretty, confident, skinny, rich enough to achieve what it is that we really want. Ego allows FEAR to win every time. Source reminds us that when we align to the truth of our higher self, and when we focus on feeling good and having fun (while letting go of the attachment to the outcome) then the life we have imagined is always available to us.
- Ego tells us that how others treat us and what they think of us really matters. Ego might tell you that if the girl that you have a crush on doesn’t like you, or if your partner leaves you, or if your boss makes you feel invisible, or your sibling always has to have a go at you that in some way you are deficient. Ego makes us feel bad about ourselves for being who we really are, to convinces us that if we were better/richer/smarter than others would treat us with the love and respect we deserve. It allows others actions to dictate how we feel about ourselves. Ego wants us to mould ourself, fit in, stay small and stay quiet. Source reminds us that we come back and realign with our higher self there is no need to worry or be concerned by what others think of us and that we don’t need to be affected by how others treat us and make us feel. That really we are free to live our lives (and speak) as we choose as long as we do it from LOVE (this does not mean recklessly walking away from people who matter (partners, kids, parents) and pretending you don’t care what anyone else thinks -that is actually shutting yourself OFF from love).
For me, when I reflect back to the times I was highly suicidal EGO was always present. I was so ashamed that I had fallen so far, I cared so much about what others thought of me, and I believed that I would be living with these diagnoses for the rest of my life (and hence thought of myself as a second class citizen, but also couldn’t bare the thought of living the rest of my life trying to manage and live with the severe symptoms I was experiencing). The fact that I was completely alone, single, had limited friends, was unable to work/socialise/exercise (due to my illnesses), and that my life looked so different to everyone around me only contributed to the feelings of shame and resentment I had about myself. I thought I had no reason to be alive, and I convinced myself that my life would never be any different to what it currently was. I was exhausted from trying to hold it together and I was fed up with thinking that one day my life was going to suddenly fall into place (I’d been holding on to hope for a very long time). In the midst of heavy depression these things all seemed like very valid reasons to take my own life.
It took time to understand and comprehend and to look at things from a different perspective (time is something that when your suicidal you don’t feel like you have). These beliefs were strong and unrelenting and deeply embedded within me, but I was able to I held on to my belief that what I was going through was for a higher purpose- which enabled me to work through the process of changing my beliefs from and EGO perspective to a LOVE based perspective. I wonder if this is where you too can begin to ponder a different way for you?