Belief #2: I am a burden on others when I am sad/depressed

In my previous article, I talked about how many of us believe that depression makes us weak. Today I want to talk about how damaging it is to THINK that we are a burden on our loved ones when we’re in a negative emotional state.

How many times have you felt guilty over your sadness, loneliness, feeling insignificant, pessimistic, failure and so on?

I certainly have felt that guilt at times. After I gave birth recently to my little angel, I was so overwhelmed with all my baby blues…so instead of nurturing and taking care of myself, I was feeling guilty about not being able to be a perfect mom and I was worried about how my husband and my mom perceived my emotional state. I felt like a burden because I had the illogical “thought” that: I should be a happy and up and running without help….when I was actually going through a lot of changes in my body as well as in my emotional and physical life.

This feeling like a burden comes from 2 things:

1- Perfectionist mentality

2- We love our loved ones A LOT that we want to protect them from any pain and hurt

But maybe for you it wasn’t having the baby blues that made you feel like a burden….maybe it was something else like not being happy with your partner, losing a job, feeling like you have no purpose, breaking up with your partner, losing someone you love, losing your pet and so on….

 

Feeling like a burden is very hurtful to both you and people who live around you because:

1- We believe that we know what is best for others so we protect them instead of letting them live their path

2- Our assumption is simply an assumption that has no base in reality. Reality often shows that people WANT to be there for others because we all love to be needed and we also receive love by giving love to others (receive love through experiencing ourselves as loving)

Think about a situation in the past where you felt guilty about your negative emotional state…how did you react to this thought?

here’s what happens when we feel sad/depressed yet worry if we’re a burden on others?

  1. We lose respect for ourselves and treat ourselves accordingly such as we assume there must be something wrong otherwise we wouldn’t be feeling down
  2. We judge ourselves so harshly…we become bullies towards ourselves and we treat ourselves as if we are not worthy of love, attention and goodness (one way to discover whether or not you’re doing this…simply ask yourself this question: Would you work for someone who talks to you like you talk to yourself?)
  3. We begin to overcompensate because we feel guilty for our emotional state…that honestly could be very ANNOYING for others
  4. We become extra cautious about what we say and do around others (dishonest)
  5. We focus more on making others happy instead of focusing on making ourselves happy….but then wouldn’t be emptied out of energy because we are not filling ourselves up with what we need? So how are we really making others happy?
  6. We take the blame for things that we were not even responsible for
  7. We feel unworthy about receiving love because there must be something wrong with us…otherwise we wouldn’t be depressed
  8. We begin to do EXTRA self-growth work such as we become obsessive with fixing ourselves so that we don’t have to show this side of us anymore
  9. We even try to hide who we are and what we’re going through…pretend that everything is perfect in our life
  10. Some people who feel like they are hurting others become suicidal because they are ashamed of their feelings and their love for their loved ones is too deep that they don’t want to hurt them anymore with their hopelessness (if this is you, please call National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255)

This thought doesn’t only damage us …it damages other people around us who are present to support us because:

1- It is pretty darn hurtful to reject someone’s love and help when they are giving it all to us

2- Everyone has their ow demons to face. Rejecting their help and love will make them think/feel that it is not okay for them to go through that either

3- Instead of being great listeners, compassionate and nurturing ….. we become individuals who want to FIX AND FIND solutions for others as if we know what is best for them.

BUT …..Imagine for a second here….how would YOU FEEL about yourself and how would your life be different if you believed that YOUR DEPRESSION (or any negative state) is a BLESSING for others instead of being a burden?

You may start wondering how is it possible that being so down is a blessing on my loved ones for example? Here are few to help you get started with your inquiry about this belief:

  1. People who feel depressed or sadness often are very empathic people…they read people so easily (That’s comforting for others)
  2. Negative emotional states bring insights and a lot of learning when we sit with them…..these insights are often fun to discuss and great inspirations for others. In other words, the insights that you get from your self-inquiry and sitting with your sadness will help other people since WE ALL go through moments, days and months of sadness. (Your depression becomes purposeful)
  3. It takes COURAGE to TRULY feel and SHOW sadness or pain….by being your courageous self, you are giving others a chance to also be transparent around you…..that is key to creating INTIMATE relationships of any kind (That makes it easier for others to open up to you)
  4. It’s so much easier to talk to someone who has been through depression because THEY GET pain, hurt and when someone is going through a rough time…isn’t this a blessing? IT’S A BEAUTIFUL GIFT! (Other can be honest and transparent with you)
  5. Inspirations, poems, art often come from a place of pain…..(The world will thank you)
  6. Your sadness is showing you your depth and the other side of your own world. It triggers big DEEP questions and DEEP conversations about life, God, relationships and so on…..(Your inquiry will help others solve their dilemmas)
  7. By being yourself…whatever that looks like when you’re depressed, you are being honest and authentic…..it takes strength to BE that transparent.(Other can be themselves with you completely)
  8. You’ll realize that there’s nothing wrong with you and by doing that you’ll see strength, courage and inspirations in others when they go through something similar (Others will realize that it is normal to be human and feeling these ups and downs. It is normal to feel depressed and only goodness and strength can come out of it)
  9. Every person we have around us is a reflection of who we are…so when you are being yourself in your own pain and sadness you are mirroring each and every one of us. You would be giving everyone a permission to explore radical self-acceptance and in my OPINION….that’s the ULTIMATE state of LOVE.
  10. By being yourself and allowing others to help..you are minding your own business and allowing them to explore a loving and kind version of themselves .….whose business are you in if you feel like you’re a burden on others?

There are only three kinds of business in the universe: mine, yours, and God’s.” – Byron Katie

Choose to be in your own business and you’ll experience freedom.

 

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#1 belief: When you think depression makes you look weak

I will be writing a series of articles about our negative perception in regards to depression.

For today, I’d like to talk about how many of us are afraid of depression. Why wouldn’t be afraid when society shames it and makes it wrong? All of us want to be loved and accepted, it is more than normal to feel frightened when we see a threat to our basic needs of love.

Every now and then I go through few days of depression. Sometimes I want to do everything possible to escape this dark feeling, other times I am comfortable sitting with it and I truly listen to what this teacher has to say to me.

However, I realized lately that one of the main ways to start healing this frightened part of me is to simply look at depression and change my perception of it.

What if depression was not a demon but a friend?

The first belief that I have seen in myself and in everyone around me is:

Depression makes us look weak.

Let’s debunk this belief together.

If it is true that depression makes us weak then it is only natural for us to want to hide it. First, because we want to protect ourselves from any attacks and second because we still want to be loved – it is our basic needs.

What happens when we think that depression makes us weak?

1- We feel sorry for ourselves

2- We treat ourselves as if there is something wrong with us

3- We become needy because we think we are weak

4- We also over compensate and people please because we want to earn love and acceptance

5- Instead of listening to what depression is trying to tell us, we try to kill it and not learn from it

6- We feel ashamed

7- Because we believe something is wrong with us then when others go through the same we treat them as if there is something wrong with them. Instead of being present, compassionate and kind…. we become people who want to fix others.

How do we treat depression when we believe it makes us weak?

1- We give it complete power. We become slaves.

2- We don’t question our lives, our thoughts and the situation

3- We believe everything it has to say about us so we become close minded because we are not willing to see the other side of the coin

4- We argue with it (reality) instead of giving it what it needs: love and acceptance

5- it is UNnatural to NOT BE depressed when we are going through loss….whether it was small or big

WHAT IF WE THINK THAT……..DEPRESSION MAKES US LOOK STRONG….. THEN HOW WOULD OUR LIVES CHANGE THEN? (Take a moment to reflect on a situation of someone you know)

1- It takes SO MUCH courage to sit with intense feelings

2- Depression makes people SO much kinder, sensitive and empathetic towards people, animals and the planet because they know how it feels like to be in pain

3- Depression helps people have so much depth. They know so much about human nature and life

4- Depression helps people know themselves inside-out

5- Depression makes people empathetic and love to serve

6- Depression helps people discover new things about themselves and life

7- Depression teaches us patience …..A LOT OF IT!

So…..what kind of people do we become when we accept depression and when we start believing that depression makes us look strong?

WE STOP TRYING TO FIX OURSELVES AND OTHERS….we stop HIDING AND FEELING SHAME…… Instead we become….PATIENT, KIND, COMPASSIONATE, COURAGEOUS, EMPOWERED AND EMPOWERING, DEEP, EMPATHETIC, HELPFUL and LOVING.

Now tell me…who doesn’t want to be around someone with those qualities?

I Find this to be so empowering and beautiful….what about you? Do you still feel like you want to run away from depression? What are you willing to do to shift your perception about your depression?

 

P.S: I am writing this with one finger on my phone while holding my daughter. Please excuse any typos. ❤

 

101 Easy Ideas That Will Get You To Be More Loved

Don’t we all want to be more loved? What is life without being loved? It feels meaningless and empty – right?

Many of us think that the only way to feel more loved is through getting it from someone else outside of us. Well, there is a little bit of truth about that except that no one can make us feel what is already not there in the first place.

No one can make you feel loved if you don’t embody love itself and for any of us to feel love – we must give it first.

Love and kindness go hand in hand together. We can’t scream at someone or abuse someone verbally then ask them to give us love.

We can’t complain about how unloving the world is when we are not doing anything to make it a kinder place for everyone to be in (including ourselves).

So, for any of us to experience more love we first must Be love and Be kind and then we can only experience what we are through giving them to someone – in fact to everyone.

There is no excuse for any of us not be kind with one another – yet we often forget to even be kind to ourselves when our focus is so much geared towards the “DOING” instead of “BEING” – SUCH AS BEING KIND, BEING LOVE, BEING SUPPORTIVE, PATIENT ect….

ACIM says: “Giving and receiving are on in truth”.

This is such a beautiful mantra and it is indeed so true. When we give love to someone, we experience ourselves as being loving. When we give our time to someone, we experience ourselves as helpful and generous. So, even though we are doing these acts of kindness towards others, we are also doing them for ourselves since we must be kind in order for us to act with kindness.

Everything emits energy whether it was positive or negative. The energy of the Daila Lama is very different from the energy of a terrorist. Also your energy will attract the same kind of energy (frequency) – therefore when you start your day with negative thoughts, your response to your thoughts will create your emotions and therefore your series of experience and of course influence the experience of others too.

 

I’d like to invite you to first take a much closer look at: what kind of person do you want to be in the world? How would you like to perceive yourself? Then start acting on it.

Since it’s part of our human nature to help one another out or else we will die as species….I’d love to help us all come up with act of kindness ideas where we can all create a very positive RIPPLE effect in our lives and in everyone else’s too.

101 WAYS TO BE KIND TO OTHERS 

  1. Clear up your house from things that you may not need anymore (even better – see if you have doubles of anything) and give them to someone in need
  2. Buy lunch for a homeless person
  3. Sit and chat with a homeless person – ask them how they are, what they need, listen to them and their life story
  4. Call a friend that you haven’t talked to in a very long time
  5. Listen to people around you without talking about yourself or without trying to fix their situation
  6. Write a letter for everyone in your family and tell each person 50 things you love about them
  7. Sponsor a child for 25-30 dollars a month – check out unbound.org
  8. Adopt a pet
  9. Save an insect’s or any animal’s life instead of killing it for no good reason
  10. Don’t cut off people while driving – instead let them pass and pray for them
  11. Pray for someone’s happiness every day and set it as a reminder on your phone too
  12. Surprise a family with clothes and food
  13. Donate your old clothes to a shelter or someone in need
  14. SMILE while walking and talking
  15. Say hello to people you pass (even if they don’t respond)
  16. Pick up trash from the street (And please don’t trash the streets either)
  17. Turn off the lights in your house – use as minimal lights as possible to help save energy (Same for AC, heater and so on)
  18. Reduce your red meat intake – studies show that 1/2lb burger is equivalent to 200 hours of 60w of lightbulb use
  19. Buy a hybrid car
  20. We are all good at something (even if it was washing the dishes) – give your talent for free to someone who needs it
  21. Offer to help
  22. Say thank you to your partner and kids very often
  23. Tell your partner what you love about them – compliment them every day (Same for your kids)
  24. Listen to your partner when he/she is talking about a problem – simply say the magical words: I’m sorry you’re going through this (instead of trying to fix the problem)
  25. Adopt a pet (or pets)
  26. Help a lost dog find home
  27. Foster a child
  28. Join a non profit organization or volunteer with them for free (most rewarding experience for me personally)
  29. Chat with a cashier – ask them about their day (Same for anyone who is serving you)
  30. Give a big tip
  31. Buy motivational books and pass them on to strangers
  32. Give flowers to people on the street
  33. Forgive someone from your past (even better – forgive everyone)
  34. Make amends for your mistakes
  35. Pay for someone’s gas at a gas station
  36. Write a motivational letter and post it in a public bathroom
  37. Tell your mother and father how much you love them
  38. Bring food to work
  39. Cook a nice meal and surprise your neighbor with it
  40. Give your neighbor a nice loving card along with a nice bouquet of flowers
  41. Put a quarter in an expired meter
  42. Buy food or coffee for people behind you If you’re doing a drive through
  43. Email or write an old teacher a nice thank you note
  44. Talk to someone who is an introvert or shy
  45. Buy your friend lunch or dinner
  46. Let the person behind you at the supermarket pass before you
  47. Help an old person finish their task
  48. Take an elderly out for dinner, walk or whatever they desire
  49. Hug more often
  50. Stop judging other religions and turn your focus inward
  51. Meditate – you’ll do yourself and everyone a favor 🙂
  52. Put positive sticky notes in random places
  53. Let other people have your parking space
  54. Give a compliment to a stranger
  55. Help new parents or single parents
  56. Tutor poor kids for free
  57. Stop blaming others for your experience – take responsibility instead
  58. Donate dog or cat food to a shelter
  59. Carpool as much as possible
  60. Buy christmas gifts for a poor family
  61. Donate to save the lives of pregnant dogs
  62. Help someone carry their grocery bags
  63. Hold the door for someone
  64. Hold your anger back instead of reacting to it
  65. Work and take responsibility of your own issues (no one needs to deal with them)
  66. Sponsor a monk (dreprung.com)
  67. Send holiday cards to your loved ones
  68. Put your phone away and BE present with your loved one
  69. Be honest with others (and yourself)
  70. Be yourself completely without pretense
  71. Stop complaining
  72. Say YES to people who ask for help
  73. Give your partner a nice massage
  74. Listen to your kids as if they’re your teachers
  75. Give up being right – choose kindness/peace instead
  76. Be kind to your body – feed yourself healthy food
  77. Give your soul food for thoughts every day
  78. Allow others to be vulnerable around you (give yourself that permission too)
  79. Don’t interrupt when someone is speaking
  80. Allow your kids to be who they want to be without fixing them
  81. Be picky with the words you use (better to stay silent at times)
  82. Say sorry if you hurt someone
  83. Pay for someone’s groceries
  84. Tell your boss what you appreciate about them genuinely
  85. Learn more about the climate change and become an activist for it
  86. Help a pregnant woman with her groceries
  87. Avoid gossip of any kind
  88. Give someone a second chance
  89. Give someone a 10 dollar bill and ask them to invest it
  90. Create meaningful traditions for the holidays that will make people happier (one thing we’re doing this year is asking people to say 3 things they love about each person who is present in the room)
  91. Say I love you silently to strangers
  92. Remind yourself that we all desire to be happy (even if other people’s actions don’t make sense to you)
  93. Help an addict
  94. Be a big brother or sister to someone
  95. Mentor someone for free
  96. Write your partner a love letter and leave it on the bed (perfect if you’re traveling)
  97. Leave your partner love notes in unexpected places such as lunch bag
  98. Look people in the eyes and smile
  99. Find the goodness/gift in every situation
  100. Donate your old phone or computer
  101. Most importantly – Please help the refugee crisis and more than 50,000 people trapped in Aleppo… Here are few links:1. Support the White Helmets.
    https://herofund.whitehelmets.org/donate/crowdfund/

    2. Support Doctors Without Borders.
    http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/

    3. Support the Syrian American Medical Society.
    http://foundation.sams-usa.net/?home=true

    4. Support the International Rescue Committee.
    https://www.rescue.org/who-we-are

    5. Support Save the Children.
    http://www.savethechildren.org/…/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.7998857/…

    6. Support refugees.
    http://www.unhcr.org/en-us

Now it’s your turn, what are some of the acts of kindness that you’ve done or plan to do? Please share with us and help spread the word.

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