S.A.D. Seasonal Affective Disorder or Shedding Annual Depression?
After the autumn equinox some folk see an annual depression looming on the horizon as we glide into the darker months and all around us nature sheds its leaves but maybe there is a bigger truth about the process....
The natural path of life is a constantly flowing energy literally coming in waves. We are used to thinking about sound or light waves representing certain sounds or visions based on their unique pattern and so it is with all things, each being manifest by its own unique wave.
In all waves there is a peak and a trough, this is the stuff of life because without peaks and troughs we would be flat-lined and we all know what that means!
What we call S.A.D. is a natural shedding just like the leaves from a tree.
Movement and growth involves change, there are certain states which are no longer appropriate as we move forward in life and we naturally shed them. It seems easier at the beginning of our life when we naturally let go of crawling and suckling but somehow after that we begin to take on the rules of our culture and the mass consciousness of society thereby taking on a false persona like a one size fits all. Imagine everyone trying to wear the same size jacket of life, some will be swamped by it, some squeezed into impossible spaces and others unhappy with the style and colour!
Our bodies (the energetic body incorporating the physical, emotional, mental) are still in the flow of the natural energetic wave of life and thereby respond as Who We Really Are to move us forward even as our limited or egoic mind tries to stop this movement because it appears to be taking us to a place which doesn't fit what we have believed to be 'right'.
We are all powerful creative beings, we all create the world we live in and if we believe in something so strongly then it will be so to us but it won't change reality, it won't change the absolute truth. At the moment our mass consciousness is creating the reality where we powerlessly react to the diminishing daylight hours and can only be rescued by medicine or the return of spring.....
We have freewill and can choose to go against natural flow, there is no damnation or judgement in that, merely we will expend a huge amount of energy to do so. Expending huge amounts of energy to create something against natural flow can only be sustained for a finite period until collapse inevitably comes (fossil fuels heating greenhouses take note!)
When we have been moving subconsciously against the flow with a belief we are going with a natural flow we find ourselves exhausted and depressed by life and we don't know why. It doesn't make sense to us and so we continue to battle and move to the place we believe we need to inhabit to find happiness and harmony whilst growing ever weary and despondent.
To let it all go and be washed away by the flow feels way too scary to contemplate because if we let go against the tide we'll probably spin round and go under coughing and spluttering for a while until we bounce back up.
Faced with this subconscious fear it's little wonder we label the whole thing as depression and take some magic pills to keep us comatose enough not to notice the tragedy of our life.The idea of this being a natural occurrence is given credence by naming it, making the season a cause, the depression the effect and solving it all with some magical pills that zombify and allow you to walk in line with the other living dead neatly fitting into the one size fits all jacket.
How about reframing it? Instead of believing S.A.D. to be a natural disorder (oxymoron) why not look at nature and notice this is a natural time of dying off and shedding, recognising how the stuff which is dying off now provides the fertilizer for new growth in the spring.
We naturally shed a lot at this time of year and only when we fight this natural shedding do we experience pain. Pain is nature's way of letting us know something is not in healthy balance. Follow the path of pain back to original cause and change that.
I'm not saying it's easy to let go of the beliefs we hold even when they cause us so much pain, the inner images we have of being swept away are terrifying.......and we as society expend a lot of energy keeping those false images alive and powerful. Those who don't fit the structures of society are labelled as insane, evil...or a hippy!
A few years ago I sank into an autumnal depression gradually growing so tired and apathetic I gave up all my classes and activities. I didn't reach for medication but applied the same principals I teach to my own situation....I lived my truth. I trusted in what was happening and allowed it unfold, just as we trust implicitly to allow autumn leaves to fall knowing they will return in the spring. I didn't fight it, even stayed in bed for 3 days leaving dogs un-walked and a daughter to take care of herself. I noticed all the forceful urging in my head that I should be doing this or that and I recognised the voice of the ego forcing with shoulds and shouldn'ts and always with lists of things to be doing. I stayed with the depression and allowed it to engulf me.
By being expanded I recognised the cloud of depression as one aspect and the now manic urging of my mind desperately trying to save my life by forcing me to do something as another aspect whilst at the same time holding the higher knowledge of the bigger picture knowing the clouds would pass if I just let them.
My higher self knows I cannot stop autumn coming just as it knows the arrival of spring is implicit in the arrival of autumn, they are merely different points on the same cycle. We are powerful beings therefore it can seem for a while we could stop the autumn coming but always eventually we collapse exhausted and have to let go. The cycle always continues, we can ride with it or we can create enormous pain and exhaustion by trying to stop it or redirect it. Always a choice.
It's the ego mind which creates and subscribes to the lists of things we should do to be happy people. It's this mind which creates the outfit we try to squeeze into even though it hurts, doesn't fit and we can't move or function naturally in it!
My depression felt like a heavy blanket slowly forcing me to stop everything and I let it envelope me. It never lifted as I expected but after a while I noticed the blanket had transmuted into a soft cloud of love holding me in peace. I still didn't want to do all those things I'd stopped but now it didn't matter to me. Was I still depressed? No, I had just entered a new phase in my life and had shed much of the old. I recognised the natural shedding of things which no longer served me; I recognised I had only been doing them because I felt I should. I had been trying to live up to a false image of myself.
I hadn't thought myself good enough the way I was and tried to make myself more worthy by living up to an image, spending more and more energy travelling further away from my natural state of being because I had believed in the myth of Utopia being achieved by fulfilling this perfect image.
We strive for this Utopia because we believe peace and happiness lay in this direction but how many stop to ask how we are supposed to be so peaceful and happy when we are using all our energy being something so unnatural.
It all goes back to the idea we were born imperfect......and we were!
We were born imperfect (human experience) that we might know ourselves to be perfect (Who We Really Are). We cannot know ourselves to be perfect unless there is such a thing as imperfect. If we didn't have hot we would have no concept of cold!
It's all a concept, a way to recognise, find or experience something.......and is not designed to be thought of as real.If we plot gridlines on a map to help us locate a place we don't start believing the country has large lines painted over it. The duality of this world is a grid showing something, don't live life by the gridlines......notice what they help you recognise, notice what they show you about yourself.