the day you decide that
you are more interested in
being aware of your thoughts
than you are in the thoughts themselves
- that is the day
you will find your way out.
- michael singerthere is something i just clued in on...that i'm eager to share.
i had one of those aha moments where i found out i've been doing something totally wrong FOREVER.
one of those revelations when someone/something finally points it out to you, that it takes everything to stop yourself from hitting your head to make sure it was working properly because you're wondering how it took so long to clue in on the first place!!!
OK...here it is:
positive thinking and forcing yourself to think positive thoughts is NOT a solution to help someone who is caught in a downward negative spiral of depression.
someone suffering from depression can actually become MORE depressed by the fact that they are unable to switch their negative thought patterns to more pleasant/happier/sunnier ones.
this is because feelings of inadequacy may arise that can pull them further down the downward negative spiral.
isn't that mind blowing???? but, now, it makes so much sense.
i've always been a control your thought-control you mind-control your life kind of person.
if i'm feeling down, i change my environment, i exercise, i dance, i bombard my head with creative, positive thoughts.
thinking positive thoughts is/was always my strongest defense against the dark forces.
BUT...the key note here is that my positive thinking strategy works for me because i have not really ever been (seriously/severely/chronically) depressed.
when someone is struggling (emotionally) and they come to me, i was always the first to try and persuade them to look at some positive/ brighter aspects of their lives.
so many people are struggling with mental health issues in our little community (there has been some very recent suicides...especially after the holidays), and now i realize that i and my positive-thinking-is-the-solution self did not help one bit.
how did i miss this important information?...clearly i had totally missed the memo!!! .
a better way is through mindfulness meditation - by practicing and getting the skills to face those negative thoughts and make some space around them.
yup...making space and practicing gentleness and kindness and patience for ourselves as we face our difficult emotions.
here is a great book i found that explains things much better than i can...
sooooo much hard work....let's do it!!!