Many years ago, I had bronchitis. It was one of the worst times of my life.
I remember asking my doctor how do asthmatics feel, how do people with pneumonia feel, because I was having such a terrible time breathing.
I thought about this yesterday when I felt gloomy and out of sorts. I couldn’t see to move past a sea of tears and thoughts of despair. I decided to sit with it. Not try to fight it.
How do people with severe depression feel, I wondered?
So many we’ve lost – Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain, Alexander Mc Queen…
Countless others that I did not know about, including Bhaiyyu Maharaj – a spiritual guru.
While navigating my doldrums, I felt (quite dramatically I thought in hindsight), I would NEVER come out of this!
It’s as the prophet Isaiah wrote, “We hope for light, but behold, darkness, for brightness, but we walk in gloom. We grope along the wall like blind men, we grope like those who have no eyes; we stumble at midday as in the twilight, among those who are vigorous we are like dead men” (Isaiah 59:9-10).
How do we find the light, that glimmer of hope, that it’s possible to cross over each chasm we face and emerge, ready to move forward?
We must vision and re-vision what’s possible.
Nature always provides insight.
I had cut the last of the celery stalks off this heart of celery and placed the off cut in a cup of water. I had no expectations. Two days later…growth.
It really doesn’t matter what has happened. The celery’s vision is fixed – to become more of what it is.
We are the same, but unlike the celery – we forget.
So it’s important for us to retain our vision.
In ‘Road to Riches’ by Napoleon Hill he talks about heading to the mountains to gather chestnuts. He took a gallon bucket to gather chestnuts, visualizing a gallon bucket full of chestnuts. He was prepared to bring back just one gallon and no more. When he got to the mountain he found bushels of chestnuts on the ground, but had to leave them there because he had not thought in larger numbers when he planned the trip.
Never limit what’s possible for you, even when you’re feeling doubt, uncertainty or a lack of self-confidence. Neither has anything to do with what you can achieve.
In his song ‘With Imagination (I’ll Get There), Harry Connick shares
I started with a dream But came to a decision I started with a dream But now I have a mission I have a goal To see beyond my vision With imagination I'll get there.
I suspect that to control our thoughts when severely depressed, is difficult. This is a journey you cannot traverse alone. Doctors and therapists can provide the necessary guidance and support needed.
I was reminded today to re-read my vision. Remind myself why I am doing what I have chosen to do.
In the relative darkness of my kitchen, a shaft of sunlight covering the teacup filled with a cut stalk, new life blooms.
This alone provides hope.