Even though I’ve always been someone who cries quite a bit (at least compared to what other people let me know of their crying sessions), it is not that often that I am visited by these enormous waves of all kinds of mixed emotions that break through and send me to sometimes hour-long trips in which I am gasping for air, bending in rushes of intense pain, swimming through seas of sadness ocassionally getting pulled by the strong currents of rage, anger and despair. Once I reach the shore, I feel physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, but relieved - or at least partially relieved (which means there’s another trip in plan for me in a couple of hours or maybe the next day).
If you have ever read anything I wrote, you’d know how much I’m against any form of emotional supression or avoidance. It never resolves anything, it pushes things aside where they grow stronger and uglier just to explode in the worst possible moment or otherwise leak into your day-to-day life in form of weird habits, addictions, depression, opsessive eating habits, passive-agressive behaviour… you name it. You will have to deal with them now or later, in one form or another, so in my opinion it is better to face them head on and have the clean slate for living more joy-filled life later on.
Having said that, the temptation to give in to some numbing or distracting tool when you are dealing with such strong avalanches of emotion several times a day, is high and real. It can be really tiring. What’s even more tiring, other than feeling all those painful emotions bumping into the walls of my physical vessel while trying to find their way out, is the mental process that kicks in everytime I embark on my tearful release journeys. What the fuck is this? What’s wrong with me? Why I feel like this? Is it because of _____ or ______? How can I stop this? I am psycho, I am hopeless, I am so deeply fucked up, will I EVER be stable? I am so ashamed of myself blah blah blah… It goes on and on, making the pain escalate even more and making me go purely hysterical, half pitying half hating myself until I become aware of that voice and start separating myself from it and tell it to shut the fuck up, it is already hard enough. It is a damn taugh job to stay mentally strong in order to distinguish the mind’s voice from your true essence when you are in the midst of an intense emotional turmoil - so props to everyone who manages to do it, I admire you, guys.
I imagine that stupid voice’s speech doesn’t differ a lot from one person to another (at least from what I’ve heard) and I am hundred percent sure there’s always the phrase, that obvious and logical and practical, but oh-so-fucking irritating, phrase that I, myself, am guilty of pulling out 9 times out of 10 when I see someone crying and the phrase is (you guessed it) -
Why are you crying?
Why are you crying? It is a normal, logical question in a world when situation A necessary leads to emotion B, in every person, no matter their age, personality, character traits, sensitivity, accumulated emotional trauma, hormonal imbalances, past life experiences etc. etc.
Well, let me tell you something. We don’t live in that world. We would like to, because it would be easier for us to grasp and hold onto something stable in order to understand what the fuck is going on around and inside of us, but we don’t.
Tell me if I am missing something here, but I don’t think we can ever truly understand why a person is having an emotional release in form of crying (or any other) nor that there is a “reason” in the way we like to think there is. It is probable that even the person going through it doesn’t really understand it, but forces themselves to go over with a fine-tooth comb through everything that preceded the explosion, looking for that trigger that was responsible for the meltdown, but… that trigger is just that - a trigger. The accumulated emotional charge was there from before and once it was too much to be held inside - it had to be let out and cleansed. It is actually useless to try to detect the “cause”, ‘cause there are so many and at the end of the day… does it really serve you to understand it? Will it help you prevent more suffering in the future? How can you be sure of that? How can you even be sure that you traced down every single ingredient of your emotional vomit? There’s no way to be certain of that.
And I believe there’s no purpose in doing that.
I am telling you that, because I tried. I tried so many times to understand, to dissect, to judge myself, to hate myself, looking for the cause, the source, the…the… SOMETHING that is at the root of the pain that emerges periodically and abruptly. The other day, while I was in midst of it, third time around in the same day, my lungs aching, my lips and eyes red and swollen, grasping for the 15th tissue with my left hand, exhausted as shit and slowly but surely out of strength to deal with it… I saw a word. The word. My word, the word that I need the most and that’s why I tattooed it on my left wrist.
Surrender…surrender…surrender… I started whispering it to myself and noticed the silence spreading through my head, the brain emptying out. There was a moment of peace, the suffering subsided and then I felt a stab of pain coming from my womb… and I allowed it. I surrendered to it. I cried and let it come out through my eyes, letting the energy leave the space of my body.
We don’t have to understand it. We don’t have to try to explain it. We don’t need to feel guilt or shame for not having a palpable “reason” for our emotional meltdowns. We just need to let it occur, let it come and go, without placing any label on it. It may seem an impossible task to do, but it makes the whole thing immensely, but IMMENSELY easier. Because once the storm is over, you take a deep breath, you feel a new space that has been liberated and you go on with your life, enjoying more serene days, instead of overchewing and asking why of the storm over and over again. It doesn’t matter.
Stop asking why. Stop trying to understand it. Stop resisting it, fighting it. Stop trying to make it stop and give in to it.
Surrender to it.
And thank it for cleansing you and taking away those dead parts of you that you no loger need.
Yeah, but… we’ve been together for 5 years already…
Yeah, but… I’ve already left 9 years of my life in this industry…
Yeah, but… I’ve been playing piano since I was 3…
Yeah, but… we’ve been friends from the time our mothers were pregnant…
It is so deeply ingrained in our human psyche to measure the value of something in proportion to time that passed since that very thing came into being. We embraced so religiously that system of evaluation that we fail to notice when things start to fall apart, lose their scent and flavour; when friendships become toxic and disgustingly forced; when the career we chose ages ago is sucking all of the juices from our bones, pulling us slowly into addictive and self-destructive behaviours; when our partners cease to show up as they should or even worse - start to cheat, abuse and treat us poorly; when pleasurable hobbies turn into pain-inducing tasks; when our eating habits devoid our bodies of energy instead of doing the opposite… The examples are numberless and once put down, black on white, they seem almost ridiculous.
Why would we do that to ourselves? Why are we staying in situations that do no longer bring us joy and fulfilment and more often than not, provoke us pain, apathy and profound discontent?
I’ll tell you why.
Because quitting is for pussies. Because anything worth having takes time. Because when going gets tough, the tough get going. Because there are lows and highs to anything and after the storm, the sun must appear. Because we have to struggle. We have to suffer, bleed and sweat to be respected, to be valued, to be seen as persistent motherfuckers who do not run away with their tail between their buttcheeks at the first sight of difficulty.
That’s what our society and culture taught us.
And if we never took time to question and test the accuracy of those concepts in real and specific scenarios, they may seem actually quite firm-standing and logical, easy to be integrated and programmed in our humbly developed brains which then start to operate according to these programs, directing our behaviours and reactions through different life situations.
But is quitting really so BAD as we proclaimed it to be?
“Of course it’s not”, you may be replying in your mind at this moment, “quitting cigarettes is good. Or junk food. Or watching porn.”
But that’s not the quitting we’re talking about here.
I mean quitting the “good” stuff, the socially celebrated stuff. Like those 10 years you’ve been waking up at 5am to go to your swimming classes, or 6 years you’ve been dating the neighbour from the street parallel to yours, or those 8 semesters studying civil engineering, 18 months being vegan, 678 euros of singing lessons, 11 years as managing director… Is there a possibility that quitting any of these things might actually be good and serving and how to determine when it is so and when it is actually detrimental to our overall wellbeing?
And what is the difference between quitting and giving up?
Is there any? Or are those two one and the same?
I quit loads of things in these short 24 years I’ve been around this Planet. Almost too many to fit in such a short period of time. Name a sport - I tried it, gave it a year, 3 or 7 and quit. Faculties? Friendships? Boyfriends? Hobbies? Choose a category and I’ll write you a list of my quits within it. I would have probably quit even more things, like switched schools or changed my birth name, if only my parents allowed me to bring forth those ideas to reality at the time. But they didn’t. Luckily? Who knows.
What I was about to say is that I always held a fair amount of shame regarding my, what was slowly but surely developing into, ‘habit of quitting’. I thought of myself, as I heard it being said to me and to people behaving alike, as impersistent, as of someone who lacks self-discipline, quitter, indecisive, unclear, inconsistent, without direction, “someone who changes their mind as the wind blows” - like they say.
Until recently. Having taken a more attentive look at my “quits” versus the things I saw through to the end, I realised that I actually don’t give up so easily, I can be the hardest-working person in the room and get up hundred times when needed, BUT - and here is the crucial piece of the puzzle - if it is important TO ME, if it is in full alignment with my heart and soul, if it matters and resonates on a deep, intimate level.
If it is something that I was pushed into doing by others or by myself (but motivated by others’ expectations or thinking it will bring me some approval, recognition or ego-boost) there’s a pretty high chance I will give it up pretty early on. Also, there were times when I was really in alignment with a thing and thought I would definitely dedicate it next 3 or 4 years, but… I changed. And we all do. We are in constant change and what resonates and sparks our inner fire at 15 will probably not be the same thing that does when we are 18. Or to some it will. And that's perfectly fine. We are all so unique and different and the sole act of comparing one’s journey in whichever area of life to another’s is useless and at times even detrimental as it makes us believe that if someone we admire does the same job for 20 years, we should do so too; or if someone has a long-term relationship with their highschool honey, it makes ours 10 months romances invaluable and somehow wrong.
That’s exactly why it is so important to stay in tune with our inner guidance and be completely honest with ourselves when things start to feel “off”. Your automatic reaction may be to quit whatever it is as soon as you feel some resistance rising up or it may be the opposite - to notice the resistance and dullness and decide to ignore them without further exploration and question posing, ‘cause you were made believe that that’s how it is “supposed to be” - painful, hard and struggle-inducing. Neither the first nor second option will serve you in a long run - not without the examining what is underneath the resistance.
And here comes the difference between quitting and giving up - at least my understanding and definition of the two. When something’s really important to us and we want to grow and continue on the path of it, it is usually when we are about to uplevel that the resistance appears. That resistance simply shows that we are about to leave our comfort zone and expand, yet there might still be some limiting beliefs we are subconsciously holding onto that make us doubt whether we are really capable of upleveling. We may have the belief that we are not worthy enough or good enough to go to the next level, that we do not have what it takes. The image of us on that upscaled position, once the obstacles at hand are surmounted, excites us and inspires us, but we doubt ourselves and are afraid - so we give up. Giving up is letting go of what we value, wish for and/or hold important due to our lack of self-confidence, self-worth or any other limiting belief. We want it, yet we talked ourselves into thinking that it is not for us but for someone else. “We don’t have what it takes.”
Quitting, on the other hand, is a willing and conscious decision to let go of what no longer resonates with our heart’s desires, what doesn’t bring us joy and fulfilment and leaves us emotionless or even bitter when imagining ourselves doing that thing or being with that person in few years’ time. When we quit something, we usually don’t look back and think “What might have been if I stayed/continued/pushed through”. We are calm and firm with our decision ‘cause we left something that was no longer in alignment to pursue something else that was pulling us in its direction.
Quitting, therefore, is one of the best things you can do to honour your soul and make the best use of your time and energy while you are here. It benefits you and it benefits everyone else involved, as when we are half-heartedly somewhere nobody benefits and we are lying to ourselves and others, unnecessarily depriving everyone involved of the opportunity to switch direction and find something that is in better alignment and will bring higher feeling-states into their lives.
However, make sure to go through attentive soul-search once faced with the resistance regarding carrying on with anything in order to have the clarity on whether the end-date really approached or you just fell prey to your subconscious limiting beliefs and fear of upleveling. Lots of love, Maja
Anyone who has ever struggled with depression or any other mental health issue knows how incredibly important and at the same time unbelievably hard and nerve-wrecking is to gather the courage, pack the pride away, take the shame by the hand and - seek the help we need. It may be easier or harder depending on our beliefs about mental illness and the amount of judgement we place on it, as well as how the topic is treated in our community and what is the profile of people we decided to reach out to. Whichever might have been the case for you, I think you’d agree that just the thought of opening ourselves up about the painful state we found ourselves in is overwhelming and terrifying and it is most often shame and fear of the reaction we’d encounter if we opened up to someone, that keeps us delaying looking out for support and help.
I get it. I’ve been through it and it took me years and years until finally admitting, firstly to myself and then to others, that I couldn’t get out of it alone.
But, there’s another aspect of mental health journey that I’d like to address here and that is: What if we already “conquered” the depression, went through psychotherapy, been on medication, did all the holistic, cognitive-behavioural, mindfulness stuff, came out the other end as a “depression survivor”, as a winner of a kind, placed that label on our forehead… and then it hits again?
How to deal with THAT amount of shame, self-judgment, feelings of failure, guilt for having spent so much time and money on helping ourselves just to come back to the starting point all over again? How to find the courage within ourselves to suck it up and go to the people who saw us coming through to the other side the first time around and say: ‘That depression thing, you remember? That I officially left behind x years ago? Well, it’s back again. Your efforts didn’t result, it seems.’ In lots of senses, the other time around is ‘easier’ (better the devil we know than the one we don’t) as we probably collected a wide range of tools to cope with it when it comes, but that doesn’t mean that it is ever ‘easy’. Having the tools is not what saves you, it is applying them - and sometimes, we lack the strength to even open the drawer where we stored them, let alone put them to work.
I talked a lot about depression here and I believe I’ll continue to revisit this topic many, many times again in the future. At one point, however, I felt sick of myself for bringing it back up all the time and I thought that it is better to leave it alone, let it drift away with the rivers of the past. I thought that maybe through talking about it over and over again I am perpetuating the pain that would otherwise naturally die away, if I just didn’t pick at it all the time. Then it occurred to me - it is not part of my past. It is still present in my now. It will continue to be present in my future probably as long as I am here on this Planet.
I heard a girl recently comparing this state - when we just came out of one depressive episode, but there’s a possibility of getting into another one somewhere down the road - to the so-called “cancer remission.” What is cancer remission? It is when a person who survived cancer does no longer have detectable signs and symptoms of the disease, yet there’s a high probability that cancer still exists within the body and can get activated in the future. Therefore, the person is asked to take the utmost care of themselves in order to prevent the reattack to occur.
We can also think of it in terms of having a genetical predisposition to develop a condition, illness or behavioural pattern. Although the genes for a thing exist in our cells, it depends on myriad of different influences whether the genes will get activated or not. People like to use this “bad genes situation” as an excuse and opportunity to slip into the victim role of shitty circumstances, but actually we still have a high degree of personal and decision making power when it comes to whether the thing will manifest itself or not. We cannot neglect the cards we had been dealt with - we just need to learn how to consciously play with those and how to find the hidden perks they possess even though they may be hard to detect at first few looks (and perks are ALWAYS there, trust me).
I came to believe that depression lived inside of me since I was born. As far as my memory can reach back, there has always been some sense of darkness, some doom lurking from beneath, sucking the energy away from my brain, filling it up with fog, making me lethargic which was often seen and labeled as lazy, shy or ungrateful by the adults around me - and I would believe it, as I didn’t know it could be anything else. I accepted that I was just a lazy, grumpy, never-content kid. It got fully activated when I hit puberty, around the age of 12. My mom found my first suicide poems and drawings and took me to a therapist office from which I faked myself out after just one session, succeeding in convincing everyone that I was ok, that it was just for the sake of artistic expression. And my life as a “high-functioning depressed person” went on, supported by my self-medicating habits that I picked up when starting the highschool, but which power to keep me up on my feet gradually paled away. Just when I moved away from my hometown and started Uni is when things hit the very bottom and I was left with no choice than reaching out for help.
And I got it.
I got all the help I needed, all the love, support, comprehension and compassion when the person in question couldn’t possibly grasp on what I was feeling. I was in psychotherapy for 4 years, took antidepressants, changed my habits and lifestyle, let the people who were toxic to me fall away, worked on my thought patterns and after a long and bumpy journey - I felt I was finally cured. I proclaimed the battle officially over once I quit my medication completely, seeing that act as of big importance and meaning, because if I no longer need the tool for fighting something, it means that the very thing I was fighting is no longer present, it no longer resides within me.
But it does.
It is hard as fuck to admit that, but it sure well does still live inside of me. It may be asleep at this very moment while I am going joyfully and high-on-life through my days, but I can feel its calm breathing in the undertone of my heartbeat at all times. I know it is there. Sometimes I can feel it moving, opening an eye and slowly waking up. Sometimes it wakes up during the night, while I’m asleep, and I enter the morning with my throat clenched in its merciless grip and heaviness resting on my chest that disables me to take a full breath in.
And let me tell you something, guys. I used to get extremely, extremely angry, disappointed and ashamed of myself when this would happen. My mind would go on a rant, calling me all kind of ugly names, telling me that I am useless, incapable and undeserving to live, ungrateful, impossible to be aided and saved. It would tell me that I am a shitty person as I have so many people that would kill for me, that sacrificed so much just that I’d feel well and here I am again, swimming at the bottom of the dark lake. You should have probably stayed on medication for the rest of your life as it doesn’t seem like you can make it on you own. Oh no - wait! Even medication ceased to help at one point, so not even heavy chemical stuff can keep you normal. You are HOPELESS, useless, you should better just… blah..blah..blah…’
It is exhausting.
If there’s any fear and shame about admitting that you’re struggling the first time around, it is 1000 times worse every next time, especially when you made everyone believe you are over it for good. I am deeply aware how much my parents suffered through the lowest points of my mental health issues and just the thought of admitting that I sometimes feel bad again and how hearing that would make them feel breaks my heart. So, I don’t. I cannot handle it. I avoid, I don’t answer calls when a day is particularly rough. To protect them and to protect myself, as well. There’s enough self-judgment on my end already that I couldn’t possibly deal with someone trying to fix me and offering unsolicited advice when I don’t want any. In those instants, however well-intended the person trying to help is, all attempts at trying to change your current state seem like invalidating the way you’re feeling, provoking a new tornado of guilt and shame. Those who went through similar would know what I’m talking about.
So, what to do? Not reach out for help?
Don’t go to Chinese restaurant for nachos, Christine Hassler says and that insight is so crucial when it comes to seeking support. Explore from every angle the state you are in and get to know it intimately. Experiment with what helps you in those moments and what doesn’t and - probably the most important thing - talk with your symptoms. Ask them why they are visiting, what message are they bringing, what are they pointing your attention to.
I worked a lot during the last year or so on befriending that aspect of myself that I here for the convenience-sake call ‘depression’ and I found it being closely linked to my sensitivity. I am an extremely sensitive human that just recently learned to cherish that trait as one of my greatest gifts, while for the biggest part of my life I tried to shut it down and get rid of it in any way I could think of.
However, being that sensitive, I have to take very good care of myself if I want to feel good and be at ease with myself, my life and my surroundings. And whenever something is out of alignment, that little animal resting at the bottom of my chest will start to stretch its pawns, yawn and start to wake up. My depression is my alarm system and it is a damn good one. It never fails to warn me when I lose the connection with my Soul, when I leave some area of my life unattended for longer spans of time, when I neglect any aspect of my wellbeing.
So, what I try to do now is to work with my depression instead of working against it. I recognize it when it wakes up, I thank it for coming and try to scan through all sections of my inner and outer life to see where’s leaking, to locate the position of the hole it entered through. At times, it is very easily detectable - lack of sleep, not enough alone time to recharge my introverted self, bad quality food, saying too many times ‘yes’ when I want to say ‘no’, accepting conditions that don’t resonate with me, neglecting my creative life, neglecting my sensual side, denying myself fun and play etc.
Other times, though, I cannot trace it down as hard as I try to.
And then I pray.
I pray for clarity, I pray for faith and trust, I pray for seeing the lessons and learning from this state I find myself in. And of all the things that helped me during my mental health journey, the biggest was and will always be - Spirituality.
Spirituality that I encountered within my own self, through my own experience, not the one they tried to impose from without. Spirituality that holds a safe space for me where I can go back to every time I need, that allows me to see the bigger picture or, if not see, at least feel that there IS something that I am not seeing and that it is all in Divine Order even if my limited vision cannot grasp it.
And then I surrender to it. And I breathe. And soon enough the Sun lurks again behind the grey clouds and lighter period sets in.
Yet I never let myself forget the little animal living at the bottom of my chest and that I have to bring myself back into alignment moment to moment if I want it to stay calm and asleep.
Sometimes it happens we devote ourselves to a project, a person or a cause, we put all of our energies into it, shed blood, sweat and tears until we’re completely empty and depleted, just to find ourselves faced with the harsh truth that the final result of all of our continuous efforts led to - nothing.
We failed and failed miserably, ended up ghosted by a friend or a lover we treated with utmost care, lost a dream job in a split of a second or not succeeded in getting one we worked so hard for. We lost money we invested in business that failed, spent hours studying to end up unjustly failing thanks to a frustrated professor that never liked us, poured all of our love and dedication to save the person who never wanted to be saved in the first place.
We gave our everything and ended up with nothing.
Or at least that’s how it looks like at first glance.
I know we all had those moments in life, when all of our efforts suddenly seem futile and wasted ‘cause we didn’t end up getting what we wanted or expected. I know the frustration and rage and bitterness that sprout from those situations and at least for a period of time make us not want to venture into anything new that requires dedication, because… what for? We may end up with nothing once again.
And shame. That particularly bad-tasting shame that comes with failing at something others saw us devotedly hustle for and now we have to deal with cynical questions on the topic, false pity trembling on the edge of suppressed smiles from people who just love seeing others fail as their own sad lives are so deprived of any mention-worthy endeavours that involve even minimal risk-taking.
“It was all for nothing. All the hours, days, weeks and months spent __________ and now it doesn’t mean shit.” I heard myself complaining endless times, mentally or verbally to anyone willing to listen. I’d shut up when they’d try to comfort me with arguments that even they themselves weren’t completely sure about, as “It will all pay off one day. Every skill is valuable. Every lesson may end up being useful in certain moment in future.” Yeah, right. Having no other choice, I’d force myself to swallow the pill that contained not more than cheap artificial sugar to push the clouds to the side for a couple of hours, hoping that the bitterness and disappointment will evaporate over time.
Then the shift came.
I cannot quite recall whether it happened during one of my meditations or in those weird, floaty spaces right before falling asleep when you are not fully and properly here nor there, but I saw it and felt it so clearly and it all suddenly made so much sense. It resonated in that deep, further-explanation-not-needed way that only the real Truth is able of resonating within our Souls.
So, let me share it with you.
One of the principal laws of this Universe, as you probably already know, is the one of Cause and Effect. Everything is subject to this law, whether we are always capable of seeing it or not, whether the Cause preceeded the Effect in this linear 3D time or it happened viceversa - the two are inseparable.
Therefore, every concentrated, focused and well-intentioned energy expenditure has to end up in us receiving the same. You will reap what you sow. We throw this phrase around all day long (usually in a threatening manner to warn someone who’s about to take some integrity-lacking enterprise), but have you ever really pondered more deeply upon its meaning and explored the layers and layers of wisdom held within it?
There are many what we called “good persons” who live by this phrase, but do so out of fear (“Karma’s out to catch you.”), as if Universe/God/Source was some bad guy just waiting for us to fuck up, so it could throw whole lot of crap our way and make us pay for it.
Throw that fear-based belief right now into thrash and open yourself to understanding, or should I say - knowing (you already know that inside of you), that the law of Cause and Effect doesn’t have to do anything with rewarding and punishing, there is no “good” or “bad” - they are just our human inventions that (we believe) make us easier to navigate through this life-experience. It is all simply about reestablishing balance.
What goes up must come down. When will it come? We don’t know. In which form will it come? No idea. But it will come. There’s absolutely no doubt about it. You cannot control it in any way or try to make it come down faster, but what you can do is - trust.
You can sit down after a long day in which you gave your best, in which you put your heart, brain and stamina into an endeavour you hold important and worthy, even though the final destination is no more than a question mark wrapped in a fog at the end of a long, abandoned road. You can still sit down and be calm, because… you sow. You swung the pendulum to the left and it will make its way to the right, eventually. You can be sure about that.
However, make sure that your mind and heart are open to noticing the fruits of your well-intentioned labour once they start to enter your reality, as they may not have the form, colour or scent you were expecting them to have and you might miss them and falsely start seeing yourself a victim, “the one that pulled the shorter end”.
The last thing I’d like to address here is the critical importance of the intention that sits at the bottom of our action. We may work our little asses off, hustle all day long and still reap some low-vibe energy. That is so because the sole action doesn’t mean much if the intention behind is rooted in fear, hate, revenge or any other place of low frequency. This is a vibrational Universe where the “concrete”, physical action is but a delicate mask enveloping the vibration that the intention holds.
So, get clear on your intentions before doing anything and make sure you are operating from a place of love, compassion and desire to uplift - then you’ll be able to rest peacefully with sweet knowing that what you planted is soon about to peep through the soil.
How does it happen that something we love to do so much simply ceases to be the priority and falls into the background of the everyday rat-race while we’re trying to keep up with the pace of our life and the world?
What it is that pushes us away from our medicine in times when we need it the most, blurs our sight and tricks us into thinking that there are more urgent, more important stuff to be done than connecting to our inner flame, the Source within us, the soul?
Ironically, what happens in those situations, when we deny our soul the medicine it needs, when we let ourselves fall off the track for a day, two, three, a week… it gets harder and harder to swallow the pill. Days pass and the resistance increases, we don’t even want to open the pill container, let alone take those pills that would bring our soul back to life. So, we hide the box in the dark, humid place and forget about it - even though, let’s be real - we never really forget about it.
It stalks and haunts us during those restless nights, it appears in the foggy visions at the dawn when our minds are not yet alert enough to shut the images down, push them back to the black hole where they emerged from. Paradoxically, the more we avoid the medicine the more present it is in our lives - the dance of the starved soul and the ever-increasing resistance to feed it never stops, bringing the unexplainable malaise and excruciating pain that we cannot track down to its source.
Feed the soul and things will fall back into place, I heard.
Yet, I didn’t obey.
Until I was forced to.
Even now, when I finally sat down and took time to write - which is my medicine, my sacred tool of understanding, releasing, expressing, connecting with my soul and my inner wisdom - even now I feel immense amounts of resistance. However, I know I cannot continue delaying and avoiding - there’s only so much starvation a thing can handle before it completely withers down and God only knows if and when will it be possible to bring it back to life again.
So I write. I am trying to get quiet enough to hear the voice of my soul again against the loudness of my mind’s bullshit. It is hard. I am trying to remember the tone of her voice as I left it behind for last few months, swept away by the events, emotions and general overwhelm of life. I put aside writing ‘cause it felt too much, it felt too much to feel, to process, to see the things black on white, to feel the realness of the tornado that passed over just when I felt I reached the calmer ground. I was feeling too much and being vulnerable, even if just in front of myself - seemed like too big of a challenge at the time.
What I want to say to you today, dear friend, is…
Make feeding your soul the priority.
Daily. Diligently. Devotionally. No exceptions.
A starved soul cannot wait too much before it starts to decay, infecting the rest of the body with its poisonous fumes, stealing the colours, one by one, from our world and turning down the vividness of our perception.
Then it takes tool on our emotional and spiritual wellbeing, washing us over with the waves of sudden and inexplicable rage, frustration and bitterness, coming finally to the densest of all - our physical body. Aches and pains start to pinch from here and there, even to those of the greatest health up to that point. The sparkle in our eyes dies out from one day to another and soon enough we fail to remember it was ever there in the first place.
Finally, a starved soul decides to enlarge the territory of its dominion, desperately wanting to fill the profound dark hole that it is, so it starts to suck the energy from around, making us act out and treat unjustly and badly those around us, even if they come with nothing but love and openness lurking from their pockets.
A starved soul will do anything and everything to satiate its emptiness, yet there’s only a scarce palette of options that can really feed it and each one’s palette contains different set of colours, so you better get to know what yours are and you better get to use them often - as often as you can - until it’s too late.
Because a starved soul can wait only as much before it starts to decay.
I envelop my fears in a high-pitched giggle bottle up my tears so I can save them for later I collect my screams in the space of my hips
and I smile.
I smile and I talk, I talk while I smile and I talk faster and faster, terrified that one of the gaps between the words would be large enough for you to catch a glimpse of my wounds, and then I’d be forced to let those guards fall unleash the screams from the dark depths of my hips and let them outvoice the perfection of my well-thought phrases.
So, instead I smile. And I talk faster and faster, each day faster until all you can hear isn’t but a rustle of the dead leaves of my silenced grieves.
There’s a thing you’ve been called to do, a role you’ve been called to step into, an action that you’ve been invited to take… but you haven’t done it yet.
Maybe you’ve been flirting with it on several occasions, dipping in the little toe to check the temperature of the water before jumping in fully and surrendering to the waves’ and currents’ will to take you wherever they intended to, wherever you were MEANT TO be taken.
You know that all the excuses are irrelevant and ridiculous when it comes to your Soul-Journey, so please spare us both of those. We know them by heart already and what good have they brought us anyways other than kept us stuck in place, letting us sink deeper and deeper into the muddy ground all the while we’re dreaming of taking off to the starry nightsky? Mmmm yeah…. but no, not tonight. Maybe tomorrow. Or next year. Or how about the next lifetime?
I tell you what. How about we all stop with our bullshit and finally take that plunge that we were invited to take for a very good damn reason? You are ready and I am ready, too, even if it doesn’t seem so at all - the Spirit wouldn’t be calling us forward if it taught we weren’t ready. So, now it’s the time, friend. Jump.
Let go of the Ego’s grip and whispers that fill up your head with doubt and fear. It wants to keep you safe, but “safe” is an illusion and what it really means is miserable, dead in a fully functioning physical body. You don’t have a choice anymore, there are people waiting, there are souls depending upon you jumping into the water and embarking on your divine mission.
Do not dissapoint us.
Do not dissapoint YOU.
How much longer do you think you can silence that nudge from within? How much longer can you listen to the callings from the Above and remain still, without taking the responsibility for your sacred mission and finally taking that goddamn action?
Don’t dissapoint yourself. Don’t trade your Soul for comfort of living in shadow. We need you. We need to hear your voice and bask into your unique light.
Can you do it right now, my friend?
Can you close those beautiful eyes of yours, breathe in the light that’s the true nature of who you are and decide?
Decide that you’ll take the step, the jump, the move in the direction that terrifies you and makes you sweat, but your heart knows it’s the right one. Decide to listen to the Callings of your soul and endure the heaviness of the path as you proceed knowing that you are in the exact place where you should be. The place in which you Soul flourishes and expands.
Let’s stop “playing it safe”, ‘cause there was never such a thing, anyways. Let’s stop being dead and dimming our light, ‘cause it may intimidate someone who hasn’t embraced theirs yet. And I’ll tell you one thing: it may intimidate them at first, but it will call them forth, as well, planting the seed of desire to step into their own magnificence, too.
Lean into me - I’ll receive you with open arms and loving heart whenever you decide it’s time to come back home. Lean into me - I have no intention of hurting you nor I ever had - it was you all along hurting yourself through resisting my help. Lean into me - I am safe and I live inside of you around you and below you I am all there IS all that remains once the illusion fails and its pieces start to fall at your feet, cover the floor with their shiny glow
DON’T GO THERE!
there’s no turning back. you can try, but you’ll only cut your hand
leave them where they are let them be swallowed by the ground and instead Lean into me - Have no fear ‘cause there’s no fear where I reside and you can stop trying to “hold it all together” and allow yourself for once to be held (there was never nothing to be “held together” anyways nor there’ll ever be) so please - Lean into me - as you lean into yourself ‘cause me and you are much of the same so each time guilt or blame doubt or shame start lurking into your lane Lean into me - and Ill set you free.
Your body loves you. Deeply and unconditionally. In every moment of every day.
Even when it doesn’t seem so and especially then when it doesn’t seem so.
Even when you are stuggling and enduring those awful pains that cut through your head and above your eyes and nothing seems to help to alleviate them; even when you are losing your breath in the midst of a panic attack and your heart is racing like crazy and cold sweat is dripping down your back while you’re simply standing in the line at the grocery store and there’s no obvious danger in sight; even when you get overwhelmed with sadness and tears fill up your lungs and brain and spill out of your eyes while you are trying your hardest to hold them in and not let anyone see those deep oceans of pain that you’ve been swimming through; even when you are tired for days and weeks on end, lacking motivation and energy to do the simplest things; even when you get sick out of nowhere, just a day before that important event or trip that you’ve been looking forward for months, even when… (fill in the blank)
Your body loves you and tries to protect you. The problem lies in our expectation that what it should protect us from is some kind of external “danger” or sickness, but the truth is that most of the times what it protects us from is, actually - ourselves.
To fully grasp upon this idea, we have to see the body not merely as a mirror of what’s been going on at the physical level, but as a physical manifestation of what has been happening on all layers of our body: mental, emotional and spiritual. It is when we don’t deal with the issues while they are still floating in those more subtle bodies, that they dense up and invade our physical bodies in order to call our attention. Not out of cruelty or some “evil fate”, but as a simple and direct form of self-preservation, as a survival instinct that we were gifted with upon the arrival on this Planet.
I know that in theory it may sound completely logical (or absolutely absurd and senseless if you’ve never come across metaphysical explanations of medical conditions before), but it is through integration of this knowledge in our own lives that we can truly reap benefits of it - if we are ready to look beneath our “misfortunes” and get honest about how they served us, how they protected us and from what and, eventually, reach the state of gratitude for those states, events and conditions, finally understanding that it was all along just our body loving us, saving us and protecting us.
It was not until recently that it became clear to me, as I was trying to explain to myself why I was getting fever and colds so often lately (it is the only way to stop me from running around like maniac, pushing myself way over my limits and overtraining for the sake of “mental health”, khm, khm), that I realized how those depression and anxiety I was “fighting” for so long (and that still sneak up and invade my system every now and then) were, actually, serving me. They were gifts I was trying to get rid of in every and each way possible before even unwrapping them and seeing what they’ve been holding inside. There is no condition, circumstance, relationship or behaviour that will continue being an active part of our reality (no matter how much we want the opposite to happen and are working towards it) if we are not getting so-called “secondary gains” from it.
Here is where things become tricky as we have to get painfully honest with ourselves.
How does depression and constant lack of energy serve you? What do they protect you from? Which of your needs are now getting met while without those conditions they weren’t?;
How does that abusive relationship that makes you suffer and cry all night through actually benefit you? Which of your needs are getting met in that painful and unloving situation?;
How does having social anxiety serve you when on conscious level you want to attract beautiful, deep friendships and you cannot even get through 5 minutes of introductory chat without getting into the freeze-state?
I could continue on and on with various situations and conditions, but you got the point. Ask yourself those questions, get the piece of paper and see what comes up - don’t filter anything, no one will see it, but do it for yourself - please, do it. The first time you start maybe just the superficial reasons will come up and few days later a new insight may emerge and let it be so… there’s no need to force anything or judge the answers that appear, simply observe with loving compassion and understanding towards yourself. Get curious about those answers as they very probably hold the key to liberation from the condition you’ve been battling with, but also a wonderful well of knowledge about yourself. Feel the gratitude for the infinite intelligence of your body that is trying to protect you at every step of your path.
You may wonder what came up for me during this process?
I realized that my depression gave me the permisson to put the smiley, energetic mask down and take a rest when I need it, not only “when I deserve it”; it gave me permission to feel down, sad and angry and embrace those emotions without feeling ungrateful or spoiled because “I have it all, so many people are jealous of my life circumstances, I should therefore be in constant state of bliss and enthusiasm”. I was officially “clinically depressed”, so I could blame the chemical imbalance in my brain for simply feeling what I was feeling and finally not having to mask it and hide it - neither from myself nor from others.
I remember like it was yesterday - that afternoon some five years ago - when I went to a therapist and she wrote down on paper: “depression and anxiety - pharmacotherapy needed” and the amount of relief I felt in that moment. It was like I was holding my breath for years and finally someone gave me a written permission to breathe out, to open the floodgates and let the tears roll out - there it was, black on white, the confirmation that something was “wrong” with me; there it was, black on white, the permission to be sad, to be dark, to cry, to suffer, to be imperfect, to be and feel… just what it is. It gave me permission to acknowledge my needs, honour them and express them (even though I am still working on this ‘till the present day); it gave me permission to show my vulnerability and to stop trying to trick the world and myself into believing I was some kind of superhuman that can endure all and everything; it gave me permission to put myself first, to tune inward, to stop obsessively people-pleasing and living my life to impress or meet others’ expectations; it brought me attention and warmth from my parents that I was craving for so badly since I was a little girl, yet didn’t know how to ask for. The list goes on, but I don’t feel comfortable sharing here those more intimate aspects that surfaced.
Now, as you slowly, gently and lovingly started asking yourself questions about which secondary gains are you reaping from your at first glance detrimental situations, I want you to let pass a few days or even a week (wait until everything settles down and you feel ready) and do the following thing: write a “thank you letter” to your anxiety, diabetes, depression, anorexia, broken arm, shortsightedness, excess weight or whichever way your gift came wrapped up as - whether you are still struggling with it or whether it’s a part of your past. Acknowledge how and in which way it helps/helped you and protects/protected you and express your gratitude for it. Once finished, read the letter out loud and, if called to do so - burn it, or otherwise save it and when the occasion arrives and you need a reminder of the infinite love that your body has for you - reread it.
For the end, I believe we should also consider changing the vocabulary we use when it comes to these kind of challenges. How about instead of “battling with” depression/eating disorder/chronic pain/etc, we embrace it, we open to it, listen to it, learn from it and when the time comes - lovingly let it go as it no longer holds lessons for us and it served the purpose it was meant to serve?