Hello Friends and Traveling Companions,
The sun is playing hide and seek with the hopeful promise of summer finally taking hold here in Washington. It’s time to get our doors and get moving to shake off the sticky gray that can linger in the northwest, inside and out.
Have you ever come to deep rut or an unexpected D.I.P. in the road of life? Everyone at some point goes through a time when we lose our perspective and see the road of life as more treacherous than perhaps it is. Faced with a challenge we can become a D.I.P., a Dysfunctionally Independent Person. We hunker down, close people out, and attempt to go it alone. Before we realize it we can trap ourselves in our unwillingness to see anything but the low side of life.
Once depressed we feel like winter has its grip, we have hit a patch of black ice and are skidding out of control. We slip and slide with no traction and get thrown into a state of survival, disillusionment and despair that causes us to lose our confidence, creativity, and compassion in our tailspin.
Although our circumstances can be very tough and seem overwhelming at times, we are masters at making a bad situation worse than it needs to be. The culprit is our catastrophe thinking. The quality of our thinking directly influences the quality of what we experience. Once on a roll it picks up momentum, hooks up in cable and orders pizza.
At times like this we may lose sight of the sun, but though seemingly out of sight, the it has not ceased to exist. When listening to an old transistor radio and we get static, it does not mean that the radio station has disappeared. Instead, it means we have gone out of the reach of its signal. It is our thinking that takes us out of the reach of happiness.
The sun is shining behind the clouds. The sun, like happiness, is constant. It is our ability to access the sun that we allow to get interrupted. So, what do we do to break free of our inner winter gloom and realign with the light so we can catch a few rays?
Even in the worst of times all we really need to do is to handle this moment, and then the next second, and then another. Concentrating our focus on all that is working rather than fixing our gaze on all that is not allows the storm to eventually pass and more positive thinking to return. This does not mean that we gloss over pain or frustration. Like a whining child, it needs to be acknowledged before it can dissipate or transform. Resisting our emotions and pretending they are not there takes a tremendous amount of energy, like trying to hold a beach ball under water. As we take responsibility for the quality of our thinking, we become able to choose its direction, allowing us to reconnect with our ability to break free and to move through our fears all the stronger.
As the sun begins to shine on the Great Northwest and summer takes on it’s active hum, D.I.P. signs may appear as a way of reminding you that you have a choice, if not in the circumstances, in your attitude. By enhancing the quality of your thoughts you will be able to see above the low spot and shift your perception to appreciate all of life’s simple wonders. Gratitude, consciousness, and authentic action are the paths to take to more easily re-establishing a powerful, productive, purposeful, and positive direction.
By the nature of depression, you may not want to ask for help or get moving. Yet, reaching out when we least feel like it is an important antidote to depression, and counteracts our tendency to live life as a D.I.P., a Dysfunctionally Independent Person. So, adjust your negative thinking, refocus on the present moment, take even little steps into the sunlight and connect with your friends and loved ones to fully enjoy the long warm days of summer.