Saturday, November 10, 2012

Down in the Dumps!

Down in the dumps happens when life calls us to turn inside and listen. Usually we're so caught up by emotional commotion and outside dilemmas that we haven't listened to what's going on inside us.  So....we get depressed....the psyche's way of saying slow down, listen, and let's see what's what!

Depression actually is trying to rescue us from ourselves. It tugs us inside soul so we can take a deep look into self. Of course, we're usually scared to go deep into the heart of things. That's why we're caught up in the outer drama and commotion to begin with. It seems so much easier to skate on the surface of things, thinking that things just happen. Well, things do happen and there's always something to them.

When we take time to see what's what, it's not unusual to find out that we've been out of balance. Maybe, we've been trying to run from emotions, or relationship problems, or perhaps we're going down a wrong direction in life.  To keep taking a wrong direction ends us up in needless and often total misery.

Depression is a helper. It helps us to get something out of going into the dumps.  A parent told me that after months of being depressed they gave into the fact that they were working too much and spending too little time with their children. They listened to the message that the depression brought and were saved from themselves! Their depression eased as they learned to live a more balanced life.

Going down and into the dumps gives us an opportunity to learn, make adjustments, and emerge shaken but perhaps a little more enlightened.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

What's eating at me?

What's eating at  me is something we can ask whenever we can't get over or through the bad feelings that keep swirling through us. We try and shake them off, talk ourselves out of them, try all sorts of therapy gimmicks, take mind altering drugs,  do too much yoga or meditation, or try a geographical cure...just move somewhere else and everything will be better. The fact is that something is eating away at us on the inside because we are running from psychic shadows, things we need to know and face about ourselves.

Running, running, running from the shadow is about as helpful as seeing our actual shadow under the noonday sun and attempting to flee from it. Sure pops up right up again. Wherever we go the shadow follows. It's made up of pains and possibilities. Stop and ask yourself, "What is it I really don't want to face about myself right now?" Chances are your unconscious will send something to the front and center of your mind. It might be, "Let go of that know it's never been good. Move on." Or, the quiet inner voice might say, "Take time, slow down, spend time with her (him). It's what'll see things through for you." Other insights could include, "Take care of your body...Slow down, you move too fast..." So, running from the shadow, what's eating at us, is best dealt with by quieting ourselves, listening to what the psyche has to say.

What's eating at us shows up in dreams as shadow figures, dark beings, who hold healing potential. William James, father of American depth psychology, wrote that authentic mystic revelation is "philosophically reasonable."  The shadow frightens us, we want to run; but if we take time and face what's eating at us we can discover reasonable alternatives to less than healthy or whole attitudes in our life. Bad feelings eating away us give us a chance to face ourselves and find out scary stuff that in the end might just prove reasonable and helpful!