Does depression rule your day?

″How do I know if I really feel depressed?″

Depression is not the same thing as being sad.

″People tell me that I′m hard on myself. How do I know if this is true?″

Depression is always rooted in a form of self-attack.  In any specific instance, would you judge another as harshly as you judge yourself?

Do you ever feel that you are inadequate?

Do you feel that when you fail to achieve something that you are insufficient?

″People important in my life tell me that I′m often impatient, irritable or angry. Does this mean that I′m depressed?″

The root of an “attack” on yourself is like a voice inside of us that usually, even without our knowing it, says something like: “I’m no good,” or, if projected:  “Life is no good.”

If you habitually find something wrong with the world, it would be wise to look inside to investigate the root of this negative perspective.

One can be unaware of one’s “self attack” and, instead, project it out onto the world.

Does anxiety get in your way?

″I worry a lot. Is this just the way I am?″

Anxiety is a state of mind that lives in the future, speaking:

  • “What will happen if…?”

Can I really know what will happen in the future?

Can I really know with 100% certainty anything beyond this moment?

When I automatically assume that I know that something bad will happen in the future, then I believe it and have a recipe for anxiety.

″Why am I uncomfortable when I don′t know exactly what′s going to happen next in my life?″

Did you have a parent who was habitually anxious?

Anxiety or worry exists as a component of your personality that has formed over time to react in certain habitual ways.

Do you fear that if you were to fail, that it would mean that not only your efforts did not succeed, but also, you – yourself would be inadequate?

″Why am I often uncomfortable in social situations around other people?″

This may be habitual and developed from childhood or some combination of traumatic events.

By investigating, exploring, and developing an attitude of curiosity toward our anxiety, we become open to the creative solutions to our problems.

Are you afraid of being judged by others?  Are you addicted to others’ approval?

Do you like where you are going in your life?

″Why isn′t my life as rewarding as it used to be?″

Is your current path of work and are your relationships truly right for you?   Or are you living your life according to someone else’s or your mind’s expectations?

There is great value for you inside your most serious questions and doubts, as you sort out what is true and meaningful for your life’s direction, from what is not.

″How do I know if it′s time for a major change in my life?″

A feeling of dissatisfaction with some aspect of your life can be actually the essential ingredient toward meaningful change.  However, in absence of a crisis, major life changes in relationship and work are often wise to contemplate and reflect upon.

″I worry that I may have outgrown some of my friends or ways of living.″

“There are some friends that we keep for a lifetime.  And there are times when we do outgrow friends and certain patterns or forms of living.  While this may carry with it temporary feelings of sorrow or confusion, this does not mean that there is anything “wrong” or unhealthy with your own life and development.” 

″Is that because there is something wrong with me?″

States of confusion, uncertainty or discontent often contain within them the essential seeds to their solution.  These seeds lead to our growth, maturity and potentially, to our transformation.

Is your work or career fulfilling and right for you?

″I′d like to do something else. Why am I afraid to change?″

A lack of self-esteem can affect and determine how we limit ourselves in work and career.

″My job doesn′t pay enough and no longer interests me.″

A lack of sufficient ongoing interest, support, confidence and guidance from our parents (earlier in life) can leave us feeling “lost” as we enter adult life.

What work really does interest you?

In what ways would you like to grow in your current job or a related position?

″I kind of fell into this line of work, but I know that I can do something that′s more challenging or
more satisfying.″

When we are not well oriented toward pursuing a meaningful interest, we may become vulnerable toward choosing work that is really not rewarding for us.

Were you guided and encouraged by a parent to find an interesting career?

Has addiction hurt your life?

″How do I know if recreational drug use gets in my way?″

Habitual recreational drug use may be a means and attempt to mask depression or anxiety.  It may also stand in the way of your growth.

Does your drug use have an impact on your relationships with friends, a partner, or spouse?

Do you engage in recreational drug use more or less than you would any other recreational activity, such as a sport, hiking, concerts, movies, etc?

How easy is it for you to enjoy yourself and relax at home in your free time without recreational drug use?

″How do I deal with my partner who drinks or uses drugs too much?″

Can you inform your partner about what works and does not work for the relationship regarding use of alcohol and drugs?

Do you give yourself the freedom to be candid with your partner about how the effect that his/her drinking has on your relationship?

Who are you? Really?

″How do I know if I have a problem with self-esteem?″

If you “feel badly” about either what you think that you are or your achievements, then you may have low self-esteem.

Low self-esteem is very common and is based on both what we mistakenly think that we are and what we mistakenly think that we should be.  Low self-esteem is supported by our constant comparing ourselves to others and coming up short.

″Who is it that cares who you are?″

“Who am I” is an ancient and deep question that is both psychological and spiritual.

From psychology:

  • • Discovering the ways in which you have lived – even partially – in a false self – conforming to the expectations of others – is the doorway to increased self-confidence and a more authentic self.

From spirituality:

  • • Reflecting on the question of who or what we truly are – fosters a deep curiosity that can only be answered by your experience – not by your mind.
  • • Who is it or what is it that notices all your thoughts and feelings about who you think you are?
  • • Can you notice that something – that is not “a thing” is actually aware of all of your thoughts and feelings – all the time?
  • • Can you notice that the awareness is aware of what you call “me?”
  • • Does the awareness of who you think you are ever get anxious or depressed?