The Great and Fearful Teacher
Dear Blessed One,
June of 1997 I woke up in a hospital and didn’t know how I got there or why I was there. I’d been there for 4 days and didn’t remember anything. People came to visit, I carried on conversations with them and had no memory of any of it.
As it turns out, I had attempted suicide in an alcohol blackout.
Depression had always lingered in my field. I ran from it most of my life with drugs and alcohol. Back in the day, I wouldn’t have identified it as depression; my mind kept telling me it was just lingering pain from the dreadful childhood I’d survived.
To make a very long story short, I got sober, did a lot of trauma-release work, eventually the depression was not so horrific, and I began to find new ways of dealing with it…
…until January of 2005.
I got knocked on my ass with a level of depression I’d never experienced before, and now sober, I had no way of running from it. This depression went on relentlessly until March of 2007.
In the midst of it, I thought for sure it would kill me; looking back, depression was my greatest teacher. The stranglehold it had on me was killing the remaining vestiges of hope I had that I might find something on the outside to fix my insides.
It was the beginning of the end of who I thought I was, what it was that made me happy, what my life purpose was, the meaning of life, etc…
I kept searching for something to fix me, heal me, or find what was “wrong” with me (and the world), while never allowing myself to deeply feel the great despair of losing all hope. Nor to completely feel what it was like to have no thing to prop me up, no solution to the seeming problems of the world or my life. It continued to wear me down, grinding off all the edges of who I thought I was, or what I thought I could withstand.
Then one night a friend said to me, “Have you considered just allowing yourself to feel depressed? Or if you can, even thanking the depression for its presence in your life?” It wasn’t long after that when I discovered there is great strength through vulnerability, through surrender. I decided to let it have me, completely dropping into depression without a need to make it any different, without a lifeline, or a backup plan. Incredibly, the depression left. I suppose it was done with me, perhaps it had completed its mission. There was a sense of death on the other side of it. Something had died, a something that was no longer serving me.
A few things I discovered from the great and fearful teacher depression…
Drama can only happen when we identify with thoughts. Drama, story, projection, it all falls away when we are just here. Even the nagging question of ‘what to do’…what to DO as we are BEING? Speaking, action, response, it all happens, guided by an unseen Force that knows no conditions, and that comes through naturally when one is resting, allowing all to be as it is.
All the questions of purpose, what to do, etc. come from the mind, which is not who you are. The mind can’t threaten the True Self, it only threatens the idea of who you think you are. The mind’s purpose is to wear you down and bring you back to the Still Point of Truth, which is not a voice rattling around in the head. It’s the quiet essence that comes through you and guides when the mind has ceased its chatter.
Freedom from the hypnosis of the conditioned mind is a freedom that can’t be taught or learned. Experiencing the joy of life through the sweet stillness of presence is a most natural and peaceful experience, no matter what is going on with the outside world.
Come and taste. It’s something that can’t be explained. Just touch it, if only for a moment, let go of the longing that keeps you out of the most natural state, and just be here.
Come back to the place that the mind imagines it’s lost. Drop every concern, struggle, woe, and see what’s always here.
People who have not yet discovered their free essence may say you’re mad because you no longer follow the conditioned mind. One person’s idea of madness is another person’s awakening. Once you know what’s here, the misperceptions of others won’t bother you anymore.
Much Love and Blessings to You,
“How do you know I’m mad?” asked Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.” ~Alice in Wonderland