Coping with Moments of Depression
Pause and Consider: Coping with Moments of Depression
Yesterday was a day of working on Mid-Atlantic Pathwork (MAP) budgets – a task I enjoy because all the pieces of our enterprise called MAP come together into one whole and I have an understanding of the throttles that have to be pushed and pulled to maneuver our organization toward sustainability and health. There is something very satisfying about this for me.
And yet this morning I awake in a mood of frustration, and if I allow myself to really feel into this rather than deny my feelings, I shall have to confess to momentary depression. What is this negativity all about in me? What makes me unhappy and depressed this morning, especially since yesterday was not a particularly “bad day”?
What comes up for me is that I do not know how to engage the MAP engine, the MAP organization. There is so much on my mind about where we are and where we need to go, and even in particular how our Helper/Leader Retreat could go along the lines of what I am getting out of working with Pathwork Lecture 131, but how to work with the organization to move it in this direction escapes me. At such times I feel alone and isolated in the MAP community.
I feel like with all my work in MAP I am spinning my wheels, getting no traction whatsoever. I am not connecting with the organization. This is where I am, broken down in my car at the side of the road while all the cars go sailing past me. I can do my own thing, just like I have always done, but I cannot find my way to do my own thing in community. I do not know how to be engaged from my REAL SELF in the MAP community.
Focusing Statement: Pathwork Lecture 131 Interaction Between Expression and Impression; ¶19
Now I come to the second approach, the impressing, the putting in. Where you are in untruth, truth must be understood. Behind every untruth, truth exists. It cannot be blotted out, or dissolved, or made to disappear by erroneous assumptions on your part. Understanding the truth is extremely important. When you discover an untruthful concept, you must understand what the untruth about it is. In what way is it untruthful? What is the truthful concept that exists behind it? I once compared this with the sun behind the clouds. If a person lives in a climate where the sun rarely comes out and they forget that the sun exists, they will become hopeless. By realizing the sun exists behind the clouds, there is no hopelessness, even while the clouds prevail. It is the same with truth and untruth. Realize that no matter how negative, how hopeless, how unhappy your momentary moods are, the truth is the opposite. Truth is happiness, even if you cannot experience it at the moment. This knowledge, the understanding of this principle, will bring you nearer to understanding your particular momentary untruth and the truth behind it.
I have to smile. Here I have just poured out my sense of frustration and hopelessness, and the Lecture says, “Great! So there are a few clouds of untruth around you this morning. Know that the sun of TRUTH is always shining behind those clouds of UNTRUTH, and that the TRUTH always brings HAPPINESS and HOPE.”
So the Truth brings positivity to erase negativity. The Truth brings hope where there is hopelessness. The Truth brings happiness where there is unhappiness. “Know this, Gary, even though in your untruth this morning you cannot experience the happiness that is always available for you.” Just knowing that Truth brings happiness, that the sun is real and is there behind whatever clouds of unhappiness are there will bring me closer to understanding my momentary untruth so that I can explore the untruth and discover how and why it is there, how and why it is untruth, and what the truth is.
So my unhappiness in MAP means I am not in Truth regarding MAP. So maybe I could look for clues to my untruth by looking at what beliefs I have that make me unhappy with my relationship with MAP.
My beliefs about MAP and my relationship to MAP:
1) The MAP engine is broken.
2) I am on a different page from everyone else in MAP, especially from the rest of the MAP leadership – my Pathwork experience and sense of direction are just different from those of the other leaders and helpers. I do not belong to this MAP Tribe.
3) We have a herd of cats in MAP leadership – the powers that be, myself included, each go their own way at their own pace with their own sense of priority. We do not work well together as a team.
4) My ideas for MAP are not welcomed, accepted, or correct – even about this Leaders Retreat.
5) I do not know how to lead. I can’t lead. People would not follow my leadership. I am weak and do not know how to integrate any leadership I might have into the MAP organization.
These beliefs are leading to my frustration and unhappiness – I can really see that as I write them out. Of course if these beliefs were true I would only naturally feel depressed and hopeless! But the lecture says that there must be some untruth here. What is the untruth contained in these beliefs? Why do I hold these beliefs? What do I get out of holding these beliefs? What is the Truth behind the untruth contained in these beliefs? What if I followed this Truth, what might happen? All great questions to explore, encouraged by the knowing that as I come into Truth in these matters the sun will come out and my happiness will return — not only my happiness but also happiness for others in MAP and for all beings!
Once again I am pulled out of the doldrums in my morning meditation. I do not have the answers, but I have a road map to use to explore the territory of my psyche that gives rise to my images (wrong beliefs) about MAP and my relationship to MAP. To Be Continued over the days to come.
Particularly deep sharing from Pat this morning — where anger lies within her and the energy required to hold this anger back. Very rich. I then shared my meditation on depression. Pat: Isn’t it interesting that Pathwork works so well for you — it is a science of the mind, and as such it is so suited to your particular mind for revealing your life to you. Gary: Yes, Moira says that Pathwork is a science. Pat: And the Dalai Lama says that Buddhism is a science of the mind. Gary: My brother claims that Pathwork is so intellectual. He says that critically, implying that a true spiritual path for everyone would not be so intellectually challenging. Sometimes this triggers me, but I guess in a sense that he is right — and that it is intellectual in a way that breaks the code to open my mind to get to my heart and feelings. To each his or her own path!
Another insight came up regarding my relationship with MAP. I could see in my beliefs that I want to relate in an ideal way to an idealized version of MAP, rather than relate in a real way with the real MAP. This sends me back to previous blog entries on this lecture — not wanting to see what is right in front of my face and real, always looking way ahead from where I am just now — the ideal.
Pat: I am struck in your sharing by the immediacy of life — where Life works in this very moment to give you next the very paragraph in the lecture that deals with the depression you brought to the table this morning. That is Life loving us in every moment! Gary: This is Grace, Grace as contained in the Spiritual Laws and the Plan of Salvation. This amazing dance where Life and I — and Life and you, and Life and everyone — are moving together. It is beautiful to experience and take in.
Pat: And this applies to our relationship as well — the dance between inner masculine and feminine in me and the inner masculine and feminine in you. Gary: And to get beyond our idealized version of this dance of US, beyond our images of what such a relationship should be for it to be fulfilling. Pat: May the Truth of what came through us this morning sink deeply into our bones! Gary: Taking us right back to paragraph 19 of Pathwork Lecture 131. May it be so.
Shared in love, Gary