Battling Depression: It is not WHO you are

March 25, 2011 by  
Filed under blog

When asked who we are, we often reply with listing our common activities such as our job, hobbies, or position in the family, or we may list our physical characteristics such as hair color, stature, or ethnicity. However, this is not who we are just parts of what we are.

In the same and more detrimental manner, we tend to identify ourselves to ourselves by things we see as deficiencies such as being overweight, not smart enough, being a procrastinator or being pessimistic. The issue with this type of thinking is that it perpetuates the problem that lead us to identify ourselves as our struggles rather than seeing our issues as being separate from who we are.

Eckhart Tolle explains how these lead to perpetual cycles of disorder especially when it comes to psychological pain. He notes in his book, “The Power of Now”, that identifying the pain as you, your actual being, allows the pain to not only live as you but feed on this thought of it being your identity. If you think of yourself as a depressed person, you are giving the depression the authority to take over so that no matter what you try to do you do it as a depressed person, not the true self that exists separate from the mood disorder. In other words, you can’t get rid of your depression if you insist on carrying it with you everywhere you go.

The only way to start to heal is to detach your issues from who you are. You do this inside, in the mind. Closely and carefully observe your thoughts and the attachment that you have to “my depression” or “my pain”. Observe the compulsion to talk or think about it and consciously halt those thoughts. Remind yourself that this pain is but an item on your to-do list–probably on the top of the list in big, red letters–but it is something to be worked on, not be.

When you start to dis-identify with your pain and when you become a good “watcher of your thinking”, the depression, anger, etc. can and will eventually cease. It cannot exist without you tending to it and allowing it to take over who you are. A good or great life really is an “inside job” and you are the inside person for it!