When life gets hard – get softer: Depression (Better days #1)
“Do not be hardened by the pain
and cruelty of this world.
Be strong enough to be gentle,
to be soft and supple like running water,
gracefully bending around sudden turns,
lithely waving in strong winds,
freely flowing over sharp rocks,
all the while quietly sculpting
this hard world into ever deeper beauty,
gently eroding rigid rock into silken sand,
tenderly transforming human cruelty
into human kindness.
Remember, true strength is not found in the stone,
but in the water that shapes the stone.”
Hey sis, how have been you been? As July slowly comes to an end – August around the corner and before we know it, we will be ringing in a totally new year! Last year around September I was still in Brazil and I wanted to start a series called “Magic 3.0” – The idea was for me to apply all I knew and had learned over the last decade into creating a life of more alignment. I was planning to share the journey, to document it and just to see what would happen if I consistently applied what I knew to be true, to bloom into my fullest self- to thrive beyond what I could imagine. As time progressed things seemed to be going in the right direction, I came back to Copenhagen in December and started getting ready and preparing for T and I´s wedding and hoping everything would work out before he had to return home to Brazil. The deadline was the end of February. Everything went wonderfully, we got married <3, T went back to Brazil. I stayed, postponing my return date to further and further for different reasons until I finally missed (didn´t take) my last scheduled flight which was 5 days ago. Between then and now, so much has happened!
I am sometimes someone who believes that there is a certain value in sharing even when things are not so well-packaged anymore – or perhaps even better when things are still unraveling – yet I am finding myself choking up or hesitating to share at this very moment,… perhaps because, I am still in the process of understanding what is being shaped for myself still or because I am waiting for when my emotions around it don´t feel so fragile or scattered.
But here is what I would like to share, just in case it can be of use or help someone else feel less alone:
The time between March and late May were some of the most emotionally heavy moments (depressing) I have had since my late teens when I went through a heavy depression. I kept feeling like everything I liked doing had lost meaning and felt overwhelmed by life and trying to figure things out, even the most basic of things. I felt depressed for a scary amount of time. Being someone who takes seriously the ability to be able to understand my inner-world well and know when and how to change course when things take a turn towards never-ending darkness – I just caught myself falling further and further into depression/functional depression. In those times, there were still small moments of joy or peace or awareness but the overwhelming feeling was that there was an everpresent cloud over me keeping the sunshine out for longer periods of time.
For when the sun disappears from the sky.
It was a painful and a long moment but I am here now, feeling much better, feeling both my anxiety and depression lessen and finding more hope and joy each day ( with the occasional cloud here and there but not as persistent). I realized I needed to meet myself even further, I needed to understand that even though I had “stronged” through some things while in Brazil, they perhaps had a lingering effect on me past the experience. I accepted that it was getting to me that it had been so challenging for T and I to step out of our long-distance status. I was frustrated with the progress of my ideas and goals and I was feeling impatient with the pace of both my healing and goals for living a magical 3.0 version of myself.
I heard a saying that goes along the lines of “things don´t just fall apart, sometimes they fall to make room for new parts/growth”. As someone who is a professional “lemon to lemonade maker” haha, I think it is important, even in the heaviest of times, to seek some lightness even if that can only be achieved through the shifting of the outlook on a sticky situation. To add some sweetness to bitterness. To remember your power in every situation, even if it only narrows down to a slight addition or subtraction from the current equation. You have some power and that power can also be choosing to stay soft in various of ways.
Softness as a power of healing:
When I speak about softness when it comes to healing, I also relate it to tapping into our feminine power. Whereas our masculine energy might tell us to toughen up, strap on our working boots! Get to work, grind through it! Our feminine is a well filled with compassion within and for ourselves.
A tool/ practice I used was meditating to my own ideal of the divine feminine power, the one who is in charge of healing, abundance, and prosperity. I present my worries or heaviness, I seek wisdom, I bathe in my self-awareness/presence and creating peace and compassion for myself. Not seeking any fast results just knowing it is enough to be present with what I am feeling, it is okay to feel what I am feeling, not adding shame to it – assuring my own presence with myself – to walk through it.
I have also been infusing things that make me feel joyful, like dressing up more, wearing soft and feminine clothing because I noticed how sometimes when I felt more stressed or unsafe, I tend to seek out dressing more to my masculine leaning. Yet, when despite it all, I put on something cute, I put my hair up in my favorite Taurus buns, when I wear a soft piece of fabric or mix colors in a way that just showers me with bliss – then it feels easier to imagine my inner world also softening up, brightening up. Listening to good music and dancing to it, not away, but alive. Expressing my feelings through singing out loud and moving my body, clearing up my inner space through outer expression. There is also the healing power of the divine feminine, through sisters and friends and being able to cry it out and then go out for some nice cream in the summer sun.
Healing can take many many forms – it wasn´t just the embrace of my soft and powerful approaches but also using what I knew about me and going deeper into it all to see if I had missed something? I started taking c-vitamins as well as d-vitamin and iron – being mindful of getting quality sleep and minding what I watch or engage with when my emotions are already overwhelmed especially as an HSP. A combined combination of these things I believe, was and is what is getting me through it safer and more softly.
I am grateful to constantly be able to learn, from even the darkest of moments, how to create medicine from suffering. My dedication to my own holistic healing and living is a life long commitment, and which´s journey is the most important part. The things I am learning along my path and how they can help illuminate, first my own path to the woman I want to be, but also for others also walking along.
So, if you are going through a rough patch, don´t be afraid to seek your own version of softness and sprinkle some of that on it too. Ease any dis-ease – even if it is simply asking “dear pain, what is it that you wish to teach me, how can I help you feel seen and understood better?” – becoming a student of your life puts you in a more aware state of relation to your own journey, gives you a safe enough distance to see your situation with more clarity, more possibilities of climbing or flowing out of spiraling darkness or heaviness. And in it all, never forget, there is nothing wrong with NOT being okay or NOT feeling great, it all depends on what we do from there, on how we journey through it, how we hold space for it, regardless of pace and method ;). “That too is life” as I often remind myself :).
Basically sis, you are not alone, and I hope that life finds you finding softness in heavy times, that it teaches you how to add sweetness to bitterness and how to infuse joy and hope in times of despair. May the divine mother within you, forever bathe you in courage, light and most of all love and the journey of living and simply being your kind of human.