My morning walks used to be based on an excitement to get out and do something. An opportunity to break my habits and really start getting into the shape I would like to be in. But when it came down to it, it was work. It was dark, and hot (at least once I started moving), and it required me to wake up an hour and a half early.
My company began a program for the employees to compete against one-another to see who could walk the most in a month. I was doing fine, I had already been walking a lot, but I noticed that in the competition, I would gain extra points for my team, by uploading photos. So, I made it a point to take a photo when I would walk, to upload for the competition.
Now I noticed that when I was on my morning walk, it was no longer just 5 miles to trudge through, it was 5 miles of opportunity for that beautiful and perfect image to show what this unique and individual walk had been. And it changed my perspective forever.
We often see different lights on the same item and perceive it very differently. In the wake of the West Work initiation in my shamanic teachings, I was charged with facing my own shadow. And what this means, is that you look deep into every part of yourself that you have always put effort into looking away from.
I saw anger, cruelty, ego, self-loathing. I saw every bit of who I have not wanted to be, and I saw him not as other, but started to see him as the other aspects of me.
Looking into the worst parts of you can trigger some really bad thought processes.
After a couple of years of being overly burdened by responsibilities, and feeling the weight of them even after extrication, after hardships in the community that I have built much trust upon, after stress within my job, and after challenges within my family, I feel that my shadows, put me over the edge.
Being in a place where you acknowledge the sound of a lie, but you can hardly even refute it, because you are aware, and no longer trust your own judgment. I have been in a very dark place lately. I don’t need to bore you with the hard details, but I will simply say, that I now understand enough about depression to know that I have never given it as much credit as it deserves. When your own mind breaks trust with you to shut you down, it is a place that I cannot believe how many people survive.
But I have survived. I found a morsel of truth amongst the darkness and chaos. I was aware that it was hard, but I was so busy trying to do all the things, that I never slowed enough to really see it. And after I was almost hit by a car, and thought, “Well, that would have been easier.” I realized I needed to speak to someone. But even there was a downward spiral. Every friend I thought I could confide in, my own mind would cut me off to tell me about how the friendship wasn’t solid enough for this type of burden… Isolating me, from one friend at a time. But when I thought about my wife, and the comment about adding to her burden came to mind….
The words of my Rabbi came to mind; “You may always come to me with whatever burdens you carry. I am very good at compartmentalizing. And hearing your burden allows us to be closer.”
That was when I recognized the lie. If I thought I couldn’t speak to my wife, or my Allyu, or my Rabbi with something like this, then I was lying to myself. I instantly reached out for help from my therapist. And I called my wife to let her know. And I have been seeking help. As of now, I am starting to really be in a better place. But I understand now.
One of the things that I understand is that my faith in my relationship with a few people is so strong, not even my own mind can trick me into disbelieving it. But one thing I am beginning to understand is that depression has been taking from me for a long time. When I look back at the last few years, I see the perspective I had at the time, and the perspective the situation probably warranted. And I see the difference between my long, hot, sweaty, and obligatory walk, and the one where I am looking for that perfect moment. Things aren’t as hard now. I fear I needed to understand the darker perspective, to appreciate the lighter one.