Ask Parvati 25: Depression and Despair – Part 2: Witnessing Despair

BY Parvati

(Continued from Depression and Despair)
Whether we see it or not, we are constantly held within an intelligent, loving whole. We are not isolated islands, but vast interconnected beings. When we are depressed, we are temporarily unable to sense this interconnection. Masked by heavy clouds, we cannot see the light of the sun. All we see are the clouds. By contrast, when we are despaired, we are temporarily unwilling to see the sun, attached to the heaviness of the clouds. Our focus has locked on the clouds and all we believe to be real are those clouds. We have eclipsed the sun.
Through exploring my own emotional landscape, I have found that despair involves a giving up, a self-pity, an implosion, a co-creation with an impossibilities dynamic that pulls me away from my truest magnificence. Despair is like the kryptonite on our I Am journey. It pulls us into a black hole of nothingness that envelops the force of life.
I do not believe that there ultimately is any real benefit to the feeling of despair, other than courting interference and hindering our evolution. When we feel despair, we need to learn to see it as it is, like a trick in our consciousness that convinces us that something unreal is real. We need to accept despair as it is, while being rooted in the understanding that it is passing illusion. We learn to not fight it, push or pull at it. We learn to greet this moment in all its fullness just as it is. We learn to witness despair and allow it to release, without giving it undue energy. Eventually, the temporary spell of despair will pass if we are willing to see beyond that perspective and open to other possibilities.
Other than this mindful understanding of despair, and looking into why we feel that way, healing when we feel despair involves activation, like jumping up and down, going for a walk, looking at the trees, seeing a bigger picture. When we feel despair, we have given up on the goodness of life. Life has shrunk down to the size of our own self-importance, which at this time is convinced we suck and are worthless. We have lost the big picture. We have bought into the temptation to feel disconnected and hard done by.
When despair knocks at our door, we can welcome it, just like any other emotion, without attachment, without judgment. We watch our feelings, just like any other. There is nothing gained by judging them and saying to ourselves that we have failed or that we are bad. We learn to witness these feelings, just as they are.
When we witness things as they are, we do not add any story to what is. Despair simply is. We are co-creating with impossibilities and erroneous perceptions. We learn to not add any additional information that supports the feeling of despair. Instead, we patiently, quietly, sit and watch as the clouds of despair slip by, instead of trying to wrestle with them, or instead of crumpling into a pile of hopeless because we feel we can’t “get rid of them” while they remain in the sky. We learn to witness what is and know that these feelings will shift. Whatever is the emotional trigger for our temporary sense of despair will eventually pass. With quiet wisdom and self-compassion we will find a sense of internal space. When we are willing to give ourselves the gentleness, the love and the understanding we need, we will shift and the sun in our lives will once again shine.
(Continues tomorrow with Depression: Beyond The Veil And Into The Cave)