A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article called Understanding and Lifting Depression, for the popular Tiny Buddha site.
Eek, depression. Did I really want to talk about that?!!
Well, yep – turns out I do! But it got me thinking about something that people say to me from time to time
How do you write about such personal things?
Which is an interesting question?
How do ANY of us talk about intimate things?
How do we open up to loved ones?
How do we ask for help when we need it??
Here’s how I do it …
1. It’s Not Personal!
Feeling insecure and going through challenging experiences are universal themes – they aren’t personal to me, or you – they happen to us all!
When I share a difficulty I have, it doesn’t occur to me that people will think less of me. Why would they – we’re all the same, the only difference is that I’m talking about mine.
I truly believe we’re are all wandering through life, trying to uncover feelings of calmness and confidence, to experience the love we feel for ourselves. Which is why the details of your life are different to mine, but essentially our stories are the same.
Oh how tempting it is to judge ourselves and think we’re not good enough, that we need to do more, learn more, become more; that our lives should be more simple or ‘successful‘ than they are or that we should feel more calm and peaceful.
The alternative view, which I prefer is that …
at any given time we are perfect and that everything that has happened to us to bring us to this point in our life is perfect too.
My life looks nothing like anyone else’s and certainly nothing like I thought it would! But it’s mine and it’s perfect for me. Just as your life is perfect for you – no matter how messy or different it is to what you thought it should be.
Do you remember when you were a teenager and life was so simple, so black and white?
I do. I knew everything back then.
But then as I’ve grown I’ve come to understand that when we judge ourselves or others it’s because we’ve forgotten the simple truth of perfection.
We may also have forgotten that we all try our best ALL of the time.
Here’s the trick to this judgment thing … if you don’t judge yourself then you don’t worry about others judging you – which opens the way for you to be yourself, to share your fears, desires, trials and triumphs with other people.
4. The Good Bits
There is a sense of freedom that comes from having come to the awareness that who I am is okay and that painful times or adversity is not a sign of weakness – in fact, some of the most wonderful things are born out of painful times.
But it’s more than this, because the truth is – the bits of ourselves we’re tempted to hide are usually the bits others find most interesting – because chances are they are the same bits they’re not sure about sharing!
Which reminds me of a similar sentiment I heard recently, so becauitully expressed by Lori Deschene, founder of Tiny Buddha, in a talk called Authentic Connections in a Networked World. (Video below)
This is one of the most delightful talks I’ve seen in a long time – honest, authentic, warm and wise. It you have a minute and feel like being a little inspired, check it out!
Happy practicing not judging yourself! And don’t forget, if you find yourself being judgmental – don’t go judging yourself for that either!! It’s all okay.
Oh, and if you’re nervous talking to someone you know, a professional can be a good first option!
PS: Here’s a poem about depression I wrote ages ago, and still kind of love.