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Depression from a spiritual lens

"One of the difficulties with the term 'depression' is that it has such a negative connotation in contemporary society. Just using the word can be a way of discrediting what we’re going through. In modern culture, depression is more or less automatically something that is undesirable...For spiritual practitioners, I think it is important to just let that label go — it’s not really very useful; we need to look at “depression” freshly. We need to try to see its possibilities and potentialities, and even why it may be happening to us in the first place, as a critical and perhaps necessary step in our own journey.”

— Reginald A. Ray on 'Depression, Meditation, and the Spiritual Journey' from ebook 'Darkness before Dawn – Redefining the Journey Through Depression' available through@Soundstrue

If you're struggling with depression, this ebook from Soundstrue is great.

It's such a fresh look at why states of "depression" may be occurring and the problems with how our society views sadness, difficulty and states of struggle or darkness.

Here in the West, diagnoses of depression are given out without at look at what might be bothering the heart and the soul.

Taking a deeper look at what's affecting our hearts, spirits and souls is the essence of possible spiritual contributors of states like depression and personally, I think these are not explored enough.

I've always had a more melancholic predisposition...

(I'm also an enneagram type 4)...

But over the years, instead of beating myself up over it, I've learned to practice acceptance, inquire into my states with curiosity and have chosen to work with them instead of against.

For me, if I allow my depression to guide me....It shows me things such as...

  • What isn't resonating in my life

  • When I'm living in a way that isn't healthy for my mind, heart and soul

  • When I need to make changes or implement new boundaries

  • When I need to leave a situation

  • When I need to change my behaviours - (spend less time doing x and more time doing y)

My sadness and melancholic disposition used to bother me.

It made me feel different.

It made me ask - "What's wrong with me?"

It took a lot of surrender and self-exploration to understand deeper meaning of my depressed states and what they are trying to tell me.

I think what’s needed is a reframing of depression/sadness/darkness/life transitions.

Often, they have a lot deeper meaning than simply “you’re just going through a tough time” or “cheer up”.

How often are we missing the messages of these mind states?

What are they trying to tell us?

What are they trying to tell you about what your heart and soul desires in life?

About what isn't working?

How are we covering up messages of the heart and soul with medication?

Depression from a spiritual lens, has a much greater meaning than the white-coat diagnosis.

xx Shawna


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