All my life, I’d been given one diagnosis after another.
Dysthymia (persistently low mood).
Therapist after therapist offering me a prescription pad, telling me my biology was bad, never asking me — do you want to learn how to love yourself?
You’ve had some serious losses — have you grieved them?
Are you eating healthy foods? Are you exercising?
Never saying to me — I believe in you. You are worthy.
Or perhaps the most important thing, the words my heart unknowingly longed to hear — It’s okay that you’re sad. It doesn’t make you damaged.
I’m not speaking badly about therapists. They’ve helped many people. I’m only sharing my experiences to highlight a problem, not with therapists, but with society.
My father and sister had died one year apart from each other, and in response I felt inconsolable pain and isolation. Is that depression? Or is it grief?
Who is sick?
The person who navigates trauma and isn’t shown a healthy pathway through it and gets stuck in the process of feeling? Or the society that says you must navigate through life’s many pitfalls and never skip a beat?
The society that says: “You’re wrong for feeling this way, and your wild infinite nature fits in these checkboxes that says you have this disorder. Let’s give you pills so you don’t feel any pain.”
I think society’s ideals are damaged, not the people who feel.
Not that society is evil. After all, we are society, and we are not evil. We are simply scared of pain.
Something I noticed when I had cancer was that people often encouraged me to be positive. Soon, I realized they didn’t want me to be positive for my sake, but for theirs. Because pain is scary.
How do you respond in the face of your own suffering? And how do you respond in the face of others’?
People who hide from their own pain — which is most people — will do anything to avoid the boldness of another’s pain.
Changing your relationship with your feelings, to start feeling them, honoring them and recognizing them as valid and worthy, not only changes your life. It changes the world.
A world of people comfortable with their own suffering is a world of people comfortable with the suffering of others.
This isn’t a world with more pain. This is a world with more love. Compassion. Healing. Truth. Connection. Authenticity.
A world where, if you’re having a bad day and someone asks you how you’re doing, you don’t feel compelled to mumble, “fine,” all while your heart hurts.
Those moments are missed connections. Missed opportunities for enriching the experience of being alive.
Missed opportunities for not only understanding yourself at a deeper level, but understanding the world around you.
When I spent all my energy resisting my feelings, I felt so lost. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted. I didn’t even know what I liked and what I didn’t. Download the meditation below to release emotional pain.
Emotions are the keys to our souls.
Feelings are important messengers that give us all the answers we long for.
Answers to questions like, What does my intuition say? Should I stay or go? What move should I make next in life?
You can’t numb pain without numbing happiness, and when you turn off one emotion, you become a ball of repressed emotions. Or worse, you feel nothing at all. Numb.
The increasing number of people considered “depressed,” isn’t because sadness is an epidemic. It’s because we’ve lost our way.
The sadness is merely a signal that something is off. A blaring signal we ignore because we’re so busy hiding the emotional pain and judging ourselves for feeling it.
Would you ignore a painful body part? No — you know it indicates a potential injury. Emotional pain is the same. It’s a sign that something is off.
Even bigger, more exciting, painful emotions are opportunities to evolve and expand.
Did you know that in decades of research, not one single scientific study has conclusively linked depression to low serotonin? A great article on Health Ambition reveals simple, natural ways to boost serotonin without medication.
In fact, newer research says depression develops not in the mind at all, but as inflammation spread throughout the body.
Science may look at the body as detached from the mind and spirit, but I don’t. I’ve lived it. Experienced it.
What causes inflammation? Stress.
What causes stress? Hating your life. Not loving yourself. Blaming yourself. Saying mean things to yourself. Denying your emotions. Feeling like your flawed. Eating horribly. Never exercising. Feeling detached. Surviving painful experiences.
It’s a vicious cycle, and the only way out is through. To feel, honor and listen.
We’re not sick. Not diseased. Maybe some people have a medical condition that causes depressed moods, but I’m guessing that most people who are considered depressed have some type of unhealed trauma or something in their lives that needs to shift.
Sadness is not a sickness, but a call from your soul to witness your heart’s longings.
So the biggest question, those days you’re in pain, what does your heart long for? Sometimes your life has to shift and other times, you must shift, but the answers that emerge from looking within are always profound.
What is your relationship to your feelings? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
All the best,
Download the world’s most powerful meditation for emotional healing.
Most meditation techniques focus on the breath. This brings you into your body