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Moving Past Depression

I’m going to be blunt here.

There’s really only one way through depression:

You have to feel.

Depression is almost always about some other feeling that we are desperately trying not to feel. (I say we here because I’ve been there too. Too many times.)

What feeling are we avoiding? Take your pick.

Anger.
Grief.
Worthlessness.
Anxiety
Fear.
Shame.
Embarrassment.
Loneliness.
Guilt.
Disconnection.
Self-doubt.
Disappointment.

The list could go on. Maybe it’s several feelings at once.

We avoid these feelings. Try to suppress them, depress them down, away, out of our mind. After a while, life starts to feel bleak and blah and endlessly gray. Hopeless.

But try as we might, we can’t depress these feelings away.

We can’t work them away. Or eat them away. Or smoke them away. Or medicate them away. Or exercise them away. Or spend them away. Or a million other ways we try to avoid feeling them.

They – those painful feelings – won’t just disappear. They remain simmering and festering and patiently waiting under the surface.

We have to feel them. Bring them up into the light of day and face them. Get to know them, have a conversation with them. Explore the inner workings of them. Stop and take a good look at them. Let them rise up and wash through us.

Only then, only then, will they free themselves of us. Only then can those feelings move through and out.

Only then will life brighten with color and love and fun and adventure and pleasure again.

Stop. Feel. Be free.

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