I am happy to say that you CAN overcome depression, as well as all the related emotions that seem to pull you down. During many years of feeling hopelessly lost in it and afraid I'd be stuck in that dark place forever, I prayed for help. Gradually, with a lot of inner guidance, I became aware of a different perspective and learned how I was creating my own suffering and how to let it go. Together we'll explore how to avoid depression in a moment. First...
To overcome depression, it's important to see how we create it. Although depression is usually associated with a deep, dull, downward pulling despair, sadness and hopelessness, it is actually the product of fear, which lies beneath the despair. Fear is the result of believing a self-concept about being powerless. We believe we are a victim of outer circumstances and other people.
Giving belief to any self-concept infuses it with energy. Once a self-concept of being powerless is energized, it creates the painful, debilitating emotional state we call depression. Further, the emotional state resulting from the belief in powerlessness creates the perspective – the lens – we view life from. Next, our perspective creates what we experience – the very circumstances of our lives.
Quantum physics has proven that the person who participates in an experiment changes the results of the experiment. The only way this could be true is if what we experience is dependent on how we perceive it. Ten people can observe an accident and, when asked by police what they saw, report ten very different accounts. Similarly, in drug trials participants given placebos often heal. What we believe to be true creates what we perceive, and therefore what we experience.
Below are just some of the beliefs that are birthed from “I am separate.” It is important to realize that these unconscious beliefs aren't just in YOUR mind. They are at the core of the ego mind (the part of our mind that is dreaming we are separate from our Creator and each other) for ALL of us.
“I'm not important.”
“I'm not loved.”
“I'm not good enough.”
“I'm bad and I deserve to be punished.”
“I have no power.”
“I am a victim of other people and events.”
Believing we are powerless generates anger, judgment and blame. Anger always arises from an unfulfilled expectation. We want something to happen in a certain way, and it doesn't. So we resist “what is” and believe that our happiness is dependent on experiencing the thing that we want and don't have.
We think that if only another person, a job, (and etc.) would
change, we would be happy. This keeps our happiness conditional,
based on some perceived outer event or person. In other words, it
keeps us believing we are a victim, which takes us off the path to learning to overcome depression.
Anger is an attempt to gain control. It is an attempt to gain power and always arises if we think our happiness is dependent on events or another person changing. Think back to the last time you felt anger and you'll remember you felt puffed up energetically. Anger is an unconscious attempt to make ourselves big when we feel small. It's also an attempt to make someone else feel guilty when we ourselves feel inadequate, in the hope that they will change and our feeling of littleness will go away.
Yes, it does feel powerful when we are puffed up with anger,
but it is a false power and the very energy we think we are sending
“out there,” is actually attacking ourselves and we feel it
immediately. Projecting anger at ourselves or someone else keeps us distracted from the path to overcome depression.
It is important to not judge ourselves for experiencing any of the so-called “negative” emotions. That just heaps on more self-condemnation and won't help us overcome depression. Instead, just observe the anger. We'll talk more about this below.
When we feel powerless we attempt to push it outward. Our perception of ourselves projects outward and can take the form of “that other person isn't good enough,” “that person is bad,” or “that person shouldn't be doing that.” We judge others as we judge ourselves in an unconscious (and sometimes conscious) attempt to push the uncomfortable self-judgment outside of ourselves to try not to feel it. It is actually an attempt to create wellbeing for ourselves. However, it never works because there is only One of us here. When we think we're directing negativity out to “someone else” we still feel it. There is no “out there.” To overcome depression we must see that we are always only ever dealing with our own mind.
A key to overcome depression and unwind the belief in being at the mercy of outer circumstances and people is to see that nothing happens to us without us wanting it. We've actually only ever been a victim of our own minds.
Choice is the first step in the creative process. Nothing comes to us or seems to happen to us without our choosing it. The choosing of the choice may be in the unconscious mind, but it is still there. However we are treated is how we subconsciously BELIEVE we should be treated.
When we really open our minds to this we see that we've never been a victim of any outer event, circumstance or person. This is an important realization to have in order to overcome depression. Whatever situation you were born into and how you were treated in your early life reflects the beliefs about yourself that you came into this lifetime with. The circumstances of your life reflect your spiritual workshop for this particular lifetime.
To overcome depression it is helpful to become aware of what your particular workshop is. To do this, just look at the dynamics of the relationships of the people around you when you were born and in your childhood. However you felt you were treated, and how others in your environment treated each other, reflects how you believed you should be treated, in alignment with your concept of yourself.
This workshop repeats over and over again in the events of our lives until we see how we create our experiences with our underlying beliefs. You may have noticed that you seem to keep interacting with people reflecting the same themes you experienced with your mother, father, siblings or whoever else was around as you were growing up.
If we stay in the perspective of “I'm a victim of that person or this situation” we are powerless, literally. That perspective gives all the power for our happiness to someone or something that appears to be on the outside of us. It is impossible to overcome depression or any kind of suffering while holding that perspective. The Source of our true power, peace, and happiness is within ourselves. That is the ONLY place where we can access the love and connection we sought on the outside. We'll go into this true peace and power together shortly.
First, let's look a closer look at how we create our experiences.
“What I see reflects a process in my mind, which starts with my idea of what I want. From there, the mind makes up an image of the thing the mind desires, judges valuable, and therefore seeks to find. These images are then projected outward, looked upon, esteemed as real and guarded as one’s own.”
Our entire physical life is an out-picturing of whatever is going on within our own mind. What we call physical “reality” is actually a dream.
It seems like events or situations happen that cause us to be upset. However, this is exactly opposite to how it really is. Holding upsetting beliefs about ourselves within our own minds create the upsetting emotions we feel. Accordingly, the creative power of our emotional state constructs a specific perspective we view ourselves and our lives from. Next, our perspective CREATES upsetting events that match with our perspective.
It's like we have a movie projector in the middle of our mind that continually projects “out there” the beliefs we invest with energy within us. We are literally always walking around in our own mind! And all this is very good news if you want to overcome depression, because it means you aren't a victim.
Generally, if we don't like the circumstances we find ourselves in, we try to change the circumstances – get a better job, move to another city, get a better relationship, etc. However, the circumstances are the effects, not the cause. To overcome depression we need to get at the CAUSE of what we are experiencing in order to shift it.
In a movie theater if you don't like what is playing on the screen, you can't go up to the screen and change the images. However, if you realize that the projector that is projecting those images is within YOU, then you can begin to bring awareness to the thoughts / beliefs that are creating the projections and release them.
And how do we do that? In learning to overcome depression, we observe the thoughts, beliefs, emotions and circumstances from the Neutral Observer within, without investing energy in them. We begin to notice that we're the Notice-er of all we experience, not what we experience. We stop investing painful thoughts with the power of our belief. We'll go through the process together in a moment.
While getting over depression, we need to first accept where we are, or, rather, where we THINK we are. In actuality, we are Pure, Awake, Peaceful Spirit. That's WHERE we really are and WHO we really are. But as the One Child of our Creator we all are together, we wanted to know what it would be like to experience being an “individual” rather than One, so we created this physical dream in order to do that. The fact that this dream seems so convincingly “real” shows us how awesome our power of creation is!
We believe we really are separate bodies, with separate lives and separate self-concepts. However, as we begin to awaken from the dream, we shift our self-concept from just being a body to believing we are a Spirit INSIDE or in the general vicinity of a body. Next, as we awaken further in learning to overcome depression, we realize that we aren't in the body at all. The body is inside of us!
The body is in the sleeping part of our Mind where we dream we are a body, but that body is an image WITHIN Mind. To illustrate, at night you might dream you are a person / body being chased by a wild animal. However, in the morning when you awaken, that person / body you thought you were, as well as the critter chasing you, vanishes. This is similar to what happens when we awaken entirely from the physical dream. We fully remember we are Pure, Awake Peaceful Spirit and the body we thought we were, as well as the world we called “reality,” vanishes because it was just an image within Mind.
to the dream.... To overcome depression we first need to give up resisting whatever we are experiencing.
Within us, even the dream figure “us” that seems to be the main character in our dream, we can become aware of the Pure Awake Peaceful Spirit, the One Being who we all are together. We become aware of ourselves as Spirit through the Neutral Observer within.
From the Neutral Observer perspective we can observe whatever comes into our awareness. This is what I meant earlier when I said to overcome depression we start with accepting where we are, or rather, where we think we are, which is in the dream. If you're aware of a feeling of depression, observe the feeling / sensation of depression. If what you're aware of is sadness inside, observe that. If it is anger you're aware of within, watch that. We can observe whatever arises within our awareness without judging it or trying to make it go away. We simply notice it.
As we continue to simply notice what
comes into awareness without identifying with it, we begin to realize
that we are the Observer, not the emotion, thought, or sensation we
observe. As we observe these phenomena, we are no longer feeding
energy to them. As a result, the emotion, thought or sensation of
suffering dissolves. This is how we can overcome depression and
release ourselves from all forms of suffering. We'll go through this
process together in a moment. First, let's bring more awareness to how we create suffering. The more we are aware of the process of suffering the less time we'll spend getting caught in it.
At the core of all upset, whether it is depression, anxiety, feeling stuck in your life, wanting a better relationship or career, is just a thought. Just words strung together. When that string of words arises in your mind, what you do from that point on determines if you suffer or not.
The Mechanics Of Suffering
To overcome depression and unwind suffering, it is important to become aware of how we create it. When you fully expose the process to yourself you won't get pulled into it. Once again, here are the steps in how we create it:
1. First, a thought like “I'm not good enough” comes up from your unconscious mind into conscious awareness. Because it is still mostly unconscious, it can shoot across the field of your awareness so quickly that you aren't fully aware of the thought. But it is there.
2. You BELIEVE the thought. Once you believe a thought, you invest it with powerful creative energy.
3. The increased energy then creates a corresponding emotional / mental / sensation state: fear, sadness, defeat, unworthiness, victimization, anger, etc.
4. This painful emotional state then creates the perspective we view everything in our lives from. It is the pair of glasses we peer out from. We see and evaluate our world through the perspective of “I'm not good enough,” or whatever the the original words were that we invested with energy. Similar thoughts constellate around the original one, such as “Everyone else is better than me.”
5. Our limited perspective projects outward and creates physical experiences that reflect the believed thought of “I'm not good enough.”
Then we loop through the same five steps over and over again...
As we experience events that reflect “I'm not good enough,” we think about those incidents, believe our self-limiting thoughts related to them, view our experience again from the perspective of “I'm a victim,” and create more experiences that reflect our perspective of not being good enough. All long the way we believe the events are causing the upset when actually it is the other way around. The upsetting belief was already in us and created the distressful incidents.
This repeats again and again and ….. well, you get the idea. This is the basic mechanics of suffering.
You may be thinking that it seems like something just happens and then BOOM! depression, anxiety, anger or sadness are somehow just here, and you're not aware of the mechanical process I described above.
However, to overcome depression, we can slow the process down and invite into our awareness the thought that is at the root of the whole suffering loop. We can do this by asking ourselves, “What is the thought that I'm believing about myself that is creating suffering right now?” Just asking the question invites the answer into Awareness. When you get in touch with that thought, you'll see that it is some version of a limiting belief about yourself being separate. Even if it seems to be a judgement about someone else, at the core, it is really a judgment about yourself.
At whatever point along the loop of suffering we find ourselves, to overcome depression, we can view our experience from the Neutral Observer within and get off the loop. If we're aware of the initial thought that sparked the whole loop, instead of investing it with belief, we can just observe the thought without doing anything with it.
If we are aware of a painful perception that we are viewing a circumstance or relationship from, we can open our minds to the possibility that we aren't seeing the whole picture and that our perception is governed entirely by our beliefs, whether we're conscious of those beliefs or not. If your perception is telling you that you need a chocolate donut to make you happy and you go into a donut shop, you will most likely be most aware of the chocolate donuts and may not even notice the ones with strawberry frosting. Outwardly, we tunnel vision in on what our inner attention is on.
If you're not aware of the initial self-limiting thoughts you invested with belief, or of the perception that is creating suffering, then to overcome depression, bring attention to whatever you ARE aware of. If your insides just feel like one big jumbled ball of suffering, then you observe that jumbled ball of suffering. By observing it you are no longer resisting it. When you decline to resist it, you are no longer feeding energy to it and the suffering loop can dissolve.
Let's say you went for a job interview and you're not happy with how it went. You feel fear, sadness, and a sinking feeling of depression, with some anger thrown in as well. There might be such a mix of emotions that you're not even sure what you feel, but you DO know you don't feel at peace.
What can you do to prevent depression from overtaking you? Let's go through the steps together...
Healing With The Neutral Observer – A Meditation For Overcoming Depression
1. Go to a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down. Close your eyes and observe your breathing, Just allow your body to breathe itself as you observe it from within. You'll probably notice that your breathing changes in some way as you place attention on it. Just let it shift and change however it naturally does. In the moment of observing, notice that you're not the body. You are the Observer. You are the Awareness of what you observe, not the object of your attention. You are the faculty that allows you to simply notice whatever your attention is on.
2. After five minutes or so, shift your attention to your thoughts. Notice what your thoughts are but don't make them important or unimportant. Don't believe them or disbelieve them. Don't do anything with them. Don't follow them. Just observe them.
This is like being in a train station that is immersed in peace. As you sit in the train station, you watch thought trains pulling in and out of the station. As they pull in, decline to jump on one. Stay in the peace station and you'll notice each train of thought just comes and goes as you remain unaffected, just watching them.
3. After a few minutes, begin to look for a space between the thoughts, after one thought dissolves and before the next one begins to form. When you notice that space, even if just for a second, bring your attention there.
Your attention may pull up out of the space and start following thoughts again. If you notice that, don't judge yourself. Just notice that occurred then choose to bring your attention back to looking for the space between thoughts. Each time you notice that space, rest there.
This “space” isn't just a place you can visit. It is actually Who you are. It is where you are One with the Source of all peace, joy, wellbeing, freedom and love, One with all Life. Rest in this meeting with your Self as the Neutral Observer. The more you rest there, even if it is just for a few seconds at a time, you'll begin to experience, peace, calm, and quietness.
4. After awhile, from the viewpoint of this Neutral Observer, invite up the subject of the job interview, or whatever seems to be causing upset. Ask yourself, “What is the thought I'm telling myself about this? What is the judgment I'm believing about myself in this situation?”
If we're upset there is always a self-judgement at the core of it.
5. Let's say the thought is “I'm not smart enough.” So now, instead of following that thought and believing it is true, don't do anything with the thought. Don't believe it or disbelieve it. Just observe it from the Neutral Observer. It's just four words. Don't try to change the words into other words that feel better. That won't release the original belief. It only layers a better feeling thought on top of the one that causes you suffering.
Just rest in the position of the Observer and let the words be as they are without doing anything with them.
If you notice that you are “trying” and straining to do this process to overcome depression, let that go. This is actually the letting go of the “doing” and experiencing just BEing yourSelf right here, right now, in the Present Moment.
6. Notice that you're the Observer, not the thought. Observe that the thought doesn't change You as the Observer, and in fact, the thought doesn't affect you in any way. You are still the Neutral Observer, resting in wellbeing. You are what is consistent – the calm, peaceful Stillness. All that you observe – thoughts, emotions, body sensations, etc. – has a quality of movement, a vibration and is passing phenomena. You are what is still and permanent, not what is moving and transitory. Be willing to expose all of it. Let everything within be uncovered and seen by the Light that is You.
7. Observe the emotions and body sensations that come up when you place attention on the “I'm not smart enough” thought or whatever the thought is that you're aware of. Decline to believe it. Just let the words be there however they are without investing them with your belief. If you're aware of body sensations such as a tightness in your solar plexus, heart, or throat, just observe that as well. Notice that you're not the sensations you are aware of. You are the Observer of the sensations.
If you stay with this process, the upset will dissolve, layer by layer, and you will experience a deeper and deeper wellbeing. As you learn to overcome depression you may need to go through the steps several times for one issue, perhaps in several different sittings, but each time you'll release a deeper and deeper layer.
What I've just shared with you is the way to overcome depression and heal ANY suffering in your life. As you practice this, you begin to withdraw allegiance from the sleeping mind (where the roots of all suffering lie) and give your allegiance instead to the Neutral Observer, the Peace that you are.
As this shift happens within, the physical dream shifts to reflect the change. Everything we experience in the dream is a reflection of where we put our attention. If we keep our attention on “I'm not good enough” we create experiences that demonstrate that. If we choose to overcome depression and keep bringing our attention back to the Peaceful Neutral Observer, the dream we experience here begins to reflect that peace, calm and joy. And the more we rest in ourSelf as the Neutral Observer our Awareness opens into the direct experience of tender, exquisite love and boundless joy!
To know yourSelf as Peace, you first have to choose to put your attention there.
Shift your point of reference from your thoughts, beliefs and emotions to the Observer. This is Home Base. This is where you are safe, loved, free, and truly alive, One with your Creator and all Life.
The outer movie /dream constantly changes, but not You. You're the still, calm, Awareness of all of it.
To overcome depression, once you have brought your attention to yourSelf as the Neutral Observer, then simply observe whatever you are aware of – thoughts, emotions, memories, images, body sensations, etc. – without identifying with it. Stay in Home Base as the Neutral Observer and notice whatever comes into Awareness.
Just observe all of it neutrally from yourSelf as the Neutral Observer.
To overcome depression, we decline to feed it with belief in untrue thoughts, and then it dissolves!
To support you in getting over depression, I offer WellBeing Alignment Sessions, where we go into the Neutral Observer together, invite up what is ready to be released within you, observe it together, and let it release.
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