I see depression as somewhat of an epidemic in today’s society. I have witnessed it in all of my Family members from time to time, and certainly with myself on many occasions.
Certainly many of our friends are currently dealing with ongoing bouts of depression and the accompanying sadness.
I know that the variety of causes for depression are as numerous as the stars in the sky, but I wondered if there was a root cause, or some commonality in it.
I think perhaps the answer lies in our desires (Tanha).
The roots of depression seem to always stem from a craving or desire for circumstances to be different. And when any of us see that these circumstances cannot be changed, or desire turns to feelings of hopelessness and despair.
But could you stop and ask yourself, in that very moment, what benefit you are gaining by this craving? Probably not. And the reason is the attachment we find to this suffering. And as dark and lonely as it may seem, there is a false sense of warmth and security that you have wrapped yourself in. Others are pushed away and closed off from you, and alone you suffer with desire and darkness. In this darkness, we all build stories to support our despair. Thinking how no one else could understand, no one else has suffered these circumstances. I am alone, helpless and hopeless.
Well you can stay in that place as long as you like, and no other person can stop you.
But if you can simply take one breath, and see how these are physical sensations that your mind has created, you open the doorway to happiness.
That’s really all it takes. Just that one breath to allow yourself to see the reality of this. And if I make this all sound too easy, remember it’s only as hard as you choose to make it. You have the choice on how you view or react to these sensations.
See that the body is having physical sensations; headache, chest pains, tightness in your muscles. Allow yourself to let go of these pains, and focus on your breath for just one moment.
Doing this once will allow you to see that this pain and suffering can disappear, if only for a brief moment. As it returns, do the same thing again. One breath at a time.
I assure you, the weight of depression will lift off of you like a heavy weight off of your chest.
We all have a smile inside of us, just waiting to come out. And the smile on your face puts a smile on mine.
Happiness and joy are contagious. Let yourself spread some today.
May you be free of suffering and desire, may you be well, happy and peaceful.