How can one possibly say that depression is a gateway to inner peace? When we are depressed, it feels like peace is something only enjoyed by others – never by ourselves. We feel as though we are stuck in this state forever, destined to feel awful. We wake up with a feeling of dread and go to bed feeling the same way.
Yet we can view depression as an experience that can assist us to evolve and to become more whole. This state of being alerts us to the fact that we have disconnected from who we really are and that something is not right with the way we perceive our reality.
When we are fully connected and are comfortable with who we are, and have self-love – there is little room to experience discordance. Life flows in a positive direction and we experience a deep sense of inner wellbeing. In the moments when life does throw us a curve ball, we know how to positively reframe the experience.
Depression as a Gateway to Inner Peace
In this way, depression can be viewed as a gift. It forces us to journey within to root out the illusions and negative/false beliefs we have created about our self. From here, we can make changes to our self-beliefs and the way we interact with others and our environment.
In days gone past, certain indigenous cultures viewed ‘mental illness’ as a spiritual initiation. Members of the tribe sat in ceremony with the sufferer, supporting them while they processed the unintegrated aspects of self. They journeyed with them as they experienced a shamanic death i.e. the death of the ego. The person experienced rebirth and a stronger whole sense of self.
It is a shame that the modern world views depression as a weakness and shuns those who experience its symptoms, because love and understanding is the key to healing.
Many of us cannot know true happiness and joy until we have known the depths of despair. It takes an enormous amount of courage to delve into ourselves to unravel who we are. When we understand and accept the dark and light sides of our nature, we grow and evolve in the most profound ways possible.
When we come out the other side of this process we experience extraordinary self-love and peace. The experience of depression can be a key that unlocks this door.
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In our modern world, the conventional treatment for depression is via medication and engaging in therapy with a psychologist or psychiatrist. These conventional practices however, often only focus on the mind and emotions. A person with depression is encouraged to talk about how they feel and to explore solutions with the therapist. This approach can take years and many ‘clients’ remain stuck and frustrated in their experience of depression.
Depression is experienced not only in the mind and the emotions but also physically and spiritually. One needs to explore all of these aspects to allow effective healing to take place. The sufferer needs to be treated as a whole being. Profound changes will occur if they are guided correctly, with non-judgment and love.
If we positively reframe our perspective about depression we can help ourselves and others to obtain the peace that we desire.
Much love to you on your journey.
Teagan is an International Yoga Teacher and Life Coach. She specialises in treating anxiety and depression. Click her to see her on online program ‘Conquer Your Depression With The Power of Yoga & Meditation’