An Astonishing Lesson Of Life Is That There Is No Reason To Remain Depressed
One of the most astonishing lessons of life is that there is never a good reason to stay depressed.
That statement may even anger you! Yet it's true: if we live the lives of saints (and no one here is claiming to that), we rise above sorrow. We experience it, yes: all of yes go through sorrow. We grieve. But it should not cling to us.
Look at the Blessed Mother. Her Son was tortured on a Cross in her full view and murdered in the most grotesque fashion and soon after she enjoyed the elevation of Pentecost.
She may be "Our Lady of Sorrows," in some devotions, but not "Our Lady of Depression."
Her eyes were upward. They were above the storm. And when we do the same -- when we stop meditating on the underside of dark clouds, and instead fly to the sun above -- nothing can defeat us.
Literally, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
Does that mean if we get depressed we are not good? Does it mean we can never be down? Do the doldrums mean we're not pure?
Of course not. Everyone goes through it at various points in life and perhaps at many points. Depression can be a suffering, and suffering can be redemptive. Who is to judge! In some cases perhaps it even has a root in biochemistry.
The problem comes when we allow that depression to cling to us.
The keys are faith, love, and ridding ourselves of "self." Self is an anchor to the muck, and we don't need that! Meantime love shields us, smoothing over conflicts, or eradicating the source of antagonism, while faith erases fear, which is the cause of much depression to begin with.
Once we erase fear, we have peace, which brings joy. There you have a formula!
A state of Godliness is one in which joy from peace can be felt in the most bitter moments.
Christ raises us up while the devil depresses. Hear his hiss: oppression, obsession, depression. You don't need that! And when you recognize from whence it comes, often you are free of it.
We live forever and when we realize that true fact -- really know it, every waking moment -- nothing should get us down for very long. In the view of eternity, there are no "big deals" on earth. One day we'll look back and see that the "worst" thing that happened to us was but a learning experience.
Thus, every "bad" event is an opportunity.
Often, depression comes because we are "hung up" on something or someone or on ourselves. When we become morbid, it is frequently because we are too immersed in our selves.
If our love is simple and pure, it will be without inordinate affection.
Now, does this mean we never get down? Does this mean we never grieve?
Again, it seems in life like we must know sorrow before joyfulness. There is pain. There is even tragedy. We never know what will happen. Our fear is that it will be something beyond that which we can endure.
And yet there is no such thing. God never gives us more than we can handle. He tells us that in the Bible! And those who have had mystical insights agree with the saints that every difficulty in life is a gift to be utilized in the progression of spirit.
"Why are you consumed with vain sorrow?" asked the Lord of Thomas a Kempis in his classic The Imitation of Christ. "Why are you weary with superfluous cares? Stand ready to My Will, and you will find nothing to hurt or hinder you."
God plans our lives and chooses the way we will develop best; He does so because He is in a hurry to have us with Him in Heaven.
At times, illness and "disasters" are the way we learn quickest -- and the way we avoid a long purgatory.
Saints thanked Him for suffering because they realized this! Disease, afflictions, torments, and disappointments are all designed -- are planned for our lives -- in order that we attain advancement.
Recall the real trials of your life and how they gave you a whole new perspective!
And so it is: when we die, we will realize that the worst trauma on earth was a passing moment -- a gift that may seem long in "earth time" but helped us learn and passed swiftly -- as a flash -- in the stretch of eternity.
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