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The Shadow Called Depression

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I facilitated my 1st session of a 4 week Shadow Effect Guided Interactive workshop last night and it was surprising to hear how many people battle with depression. I’ve seen depression in my family, myself, my friends and many therapy clients over the past 40 years. I have often questioned where does it come from. Is depression a state of mind? Is it a shadow we need to integrate? Is it physiological? Is it inherited? Is it curable? Is it possible to be without it if you’ve battle with it most of your life?

I wish I could tell you I have all the answers, but I don’t. However, it is my personal belief and experience that you can be without it for periods of time and manage it if it shows up again. I think the key ingredient is to always maintain the willingness to move through it and not resist it. One of the greatest things I have learned from Debbie Ford through the Shadow Work is “what you resist persist…. what you can’t be with, won’t let you be…..and, what you won’t own, owns you.” So, if you resist it, it will last longer. If you don’t own it as yours, it will own you. This means that it will direct and control what you do or don’t do. You lose the choice of being in charge of yourself. You become unconscious.

How do you move through depression? The best way I know how is to first recognize that it’s a story. Secondly, allow yourself to feel the feelings that it brings such as sadness, resignation, hopelessness, etc. and thirdly, make a decision to physically move your body. You also have to love that shadow part of you and find its gift. What gift is there in depression? Trust me, there is one or two. It can be different for everybody.

The gifts I have found in depression is that it has given me a reason to continue to seek for something greater and to love myself at a deeper level. It has also taught me to have more compassion for others. If you don’t know how to find the gift of your shadow called depression, please contact me for a free coaching session as I would be more than happy to assist you in seeing something you thought might be impossible!

The main reason why I wanted to write about depression today was not only because it showed up last night in the group I led, but because it also caught me by surprise today. After having an amazing night last night, I was faced with something today that floored me and I found myself feeling depressed. I recognized this shadow immediately, and I did exactly what I wrote above. I allowed myself to feel the sadness and the fear of the unknown I was experiencing. I did not resist how I felt. I didn’t try to make it better or let anyone else try to change my mood. I’m not going to tell you that I loved how I felt today, but I found a way to love myself while in it. I also made a conscious decision to allow this shadow to visit me just for one day. In addition, I stayed active throughout the day by getting a few things done and spending time with my children. I didn’t want to but I knew that if I stayed stagnant, the feelings of depression would have intensified. Debbie Ford has often said, “how can I love myself when I’m depressed?” Today, I found a way. I was gentle with myself and chose to give myself compassion instead of beating myself up. Don’t let the shadow called depression define you. It’s not who you are and there is a way to love yourself when it is present.

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