I was depressed from an early age. As a child, I always wanted to be dead. Life didn’t seem worth living. One night, when my parents were asleep, I went to the kitchen to get a knife to cut out my heart, but I was too small to reach the sharp knives – I didn’t even know where they were kept.
When I went back to my bed that night, I heard a voice say, “What makes you think it would be any different if you were to die?”
I had to admit I had no guarantee. But I saw the implication was that I would have to live through those early childhood years again – no way! – and so I have stayed. My teen years and early twenties were no better. But after that, each year my heart has grown more full and rich and happy. I have no external possessions to brag about, but peace of mind and joy are my priceless treasures.
Depression is not irrational, it is an accumulation of legitimate, yet unreleased fears, angers and sorrows. Much of our society does not allow grieving and does not offer anything much better than “You are born. Life is for suffering. Technology advances. And then you die.”.
Religion often makes life on earth sound like a prison sentence, a valley of tears, after which – if you are perfect (and who among us could claim that?) – at any rate, if you are perfect, you get to go to “heaven” and experience something that might or might not be all that much better than what you have known on earth… but there are no guarantees and there are many hoops to jump through.
What finally brought me out of my depression was the discovery that when I was very very quiet, I could feel my heart.
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer… no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back. ― Albert Camus
Another way to say that is, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” It is! And it can be known NOW. But only one thing can exist in one place at one time, so as long as we hold on to negative feelings from the past, we do not feel that beauty that already exists in our own hearts.
I came to understand that I had something important to do here on planet earth. Until I released all that old baggage, until I released everything that was blocking me from feeling my heart, I might just have to come back over and over and do it all again. What a horrible thought that was! And so I began to do my work and began to let go of that old and ugly fear, sorrow, anger… and am still engaged in that process.
We are fortunate in this age to have lots of help – from people and healing systems like Jed Diamond, Byron Katie’s “The Work”, Gary Craig’s “EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique”, Hale Dwoskin’s “The Sedona Method”, and many others. It’s all about healing – letting go of fear/anger/sorrow. It’s why we’re here and why “stuff happens” – so that we feel the old stuff and release the past – to “forgive”, which is “for giving ourselves peace of mind, joy and health.” Feelings got stuck when we held our breath in fear. So whatever feelings come up, breathe into them… that’s how we tell ourselves that we’re safe here and now.
Release one little fear, tension, today, here and now. You will be so glad you did. Then move to another… and let it go… until all the fear is gone and only love remains.