For almost 7 months now I’ve been living the same day over and over. Wake up at 6-7, feed the baby, try to eat something, put the baby to sleep, try to sleep while the baby sleeps, wake up, have activities & fun with the baby, somehow make it to 9 PM, put the baby to sleep, go to sleep at 10 because you’re too tired to do anything else. She’s lovely and so pure and incredibly lovable, but somehow I started to feel empty, like I need a breather, like I need one hour to be alone, like I need to do something, anything for myself. This is now my wildest fantasy: to make it through one of your yoga classes or a 30 minutes run.
How do you explain depression? I know it can pop up when you stop seeing yourself, when you stop enjoying the nows… and I fear it’s around the corner.
You ask: ‘How do you explain depression?‘ One answer is* that it is simply the result of losing yourself in thought, in your mind, in the should and shouldn’t, in the goods and bads, in the rights and wrongs, in your wrong beliefs about who you are and what life is about. Depression is often the result of stopping seeing the moment as it is and yourself as you are and, instead, believing a particular negative and depressing story you create in the mind about yourself and your life.
- When you look at a sunset you see a big round object moving downwards. But what you see is not what it is.
- When you look at the sky you see blue. But what you see is not what it is.
- When you think of the planet you think of it as a really big thing. But that is not what it is.
- When you see another person you create a story about her life. But that story is far from the truth.
Don’t believe your thoughts.
Our thoughts are an amazing way to deal with the practicalities and material aspects of life. We can use them to prepare a meal, remember that we need toilet paper, develop new technologies and discover new stars that can serve as humanity’s next home in case we destroy this one. But thoughts are not good when it comes to the Truth of life: Who am I? What is life about? What am I doing here?
- When you think of yourself or your life you have a certain story to tell. But that story will completely depend on the moment and circumstance in which you will tell it. If you are hungry and tired you will tell a certain tale. If you just had a fight with your husband you will tell another story. If you just watched a good movie you will tell a different one. If you have a nice intimate moment with your daughter you will tell another story. If you had a bad night’s sleep – another one.
Don’t refer to your thoughts when you think of yourself or your life. Depression is nothing but a particular kind of negative thought (or group of thoughts), a particular kind of tale we tell to ourselves about who we are and how our life is.
You say: ‘For almost 7 months now I’ve been living the same day over and over.’ That is not true! I promise you I understand that IT SEEMS to be that way, just like the sun SEEMS to be moving, the sky SEEMS to be blue, the earth SEEMS to be big and other people SEEM to be what we think they are. But none of this is true.
To SEE this, all you need to do, even for a moment, is to step out of your head, of your mind, and enter into the silent-aware-presence of this unique, marvellous, miraculous, sacred moment. This moment seems to be the same as the previous one, but it is not! It seems in the mind, but it is not in reality.
I cannot give you this realisation, you have to find it for yourself. I can only point towards it, but you have to SEE it for yourself. But trust in what I am saying is necessary. Don’t believe your thoughts when it comes to the reality of your life. Use your thoughts where they are useful: in the practicalities of everyday life. But don’t look at your life through them. Look at your life, look at yourself, from the silent-aware-presence you are right now.
Close your eyes (or not), take a deep breath, and for 5 seconds just be. Don’t be this or that, but just BE (being this or that is only a thought, a story in the mind).
BEING, RIGHT NOW, TRUTH – these are all words that point to the same place. But the pointing is not it. YOU are it!!
Having said all these (and please read it several times, come back to it over and over and over), yes, OF COURSE you need ‘a breather, like I need one hour to be alone, like I need to do something, anything for myself’. Of course!!!
You need to find the time for yourself. This is so important! Yes, you are a mother, and it is wonderful that you are trying to give the best to your daughter, but you are also much more than ‘a mother’. Don’t become the slave of your daughter. Don’t do things out of duty; do them out of love! Your daughter does not learn from what you say, but ONLY from what you do. And if she sees that you don’t take care of yourself, that you don’t respect yourself, she will learn to do the same. Don’t do things out of duty but do them out of love. Teach that to her with your example.
- Yes, come to my classes. You know you don’t need to do the whole gym. Even if you manage to do just half of the gym that will be enough.
- Be creative and find the half hour to run…and/or to do a course or whatever is that you may need to do for yourself (my wife took some painting classes during this period of her life and it helped her a lot). The thing is: be creative; think out of the box and find the time you need (and, if you cannot, write me back and we will find it together).
- And something else you did not say but I want to add is: everyday, for at least 5 minutes (or more), read my book, or any other book that inspires you learn to be in the moment, to learn to step away from thought, to learn to see the uniqueness of this moment right now. Or, if you cannot read, listen to some clip from YouTube (there are thousands of them) from Eckart Tolle or somebody like him that inspires you. You can do this while cooking or washing the dishes or even when you are in the bathroom!
I would argue it is not that you need a breather. What you need is to return to yourself, to be true to yourself, to forget duty and to remember love. And this will not only benefit you, but also your daughter, your family and your whole environment.
Please write me back if anything I wrote or suggested needs clarification.
I send you a loving hug,
* Besides the chemical imbalances that may need some particular kind of medication, something that I know nothing of.