It is 4th of July and although there is so much history to this holiday I want to reflect on the personal freedom of expression that we are ultimately all wanting to access in greater capacity. I once heard that the opposite of depression is expression and it was like the skies parted. Yes! People didn’t seem to get that I could be joyful and laugh and be grateful and STILL have depression. People who don’t know depression think that its opposite is happiness, or some variation of it. Sometimes people WITH depression believe that is true as well, “I just can’t feel joy” but the confusion is that it is BECAUSE you are suppressing some part of yourself that is DYING to be expressed. We tend to be drawn to charismatic types because of their ability to freely express all of themselves in (seemingly) every interaction. We crave authenticity and we are lost in the concept of “just be yourself”. These authentic types seem to have circumvented all the indoctrination of conforming and fitting in that starts practically at birth and goes on until we get spit out from the educational system. By then we are like “uhm, excuse me, who am I again?”. Then we spend years and potentially thousands of dollars trying to “find ourselves”, ugh!
“Be yourself” is a fun (potentially triggering) catch phrase that merits integration. How would you know when you are being yourself? When do you feel MOST yourself? People tend to confuse being yourself with acting like a fool and not caring what “the world thinks” by stating your opinion at every turn, purposefully calling attention to yourself, etc… My definition is that it is when we are genuinely at peace with everyone and everything around us. There is no trying, or dominating, or influencing through deliberate effort, but we are merely in a state of harmony and resonance with exactly where we are. We can be vulnerable and goofy and feel complete acceptance from within so that external validation is completely unnecessary. I am still learning the art of being myself and not the auto-response of “who am I supposed to be in this context” or “who would I like to appear to be” etc… I feel a great majority of us are dying to self-express to wholeheartedly open access to our true selves and in that find connection to our humanness, others, and the world.
If you are in a state of depression, consider… what are you suppressing/compressing and how could you start to unwind it, whisper it out, let it begin to trickle out so that the compressed energy is no longer the black hole consuming your freedom from within?