Category Archives: Depression & anxiety

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. ❤

 

When your life purpose is confusing + you don’t know what makes you happy

At some point in our life, especially when we hit our late 20s or mid thirties, we begin to question what life is all about. What am I here for? What’s the point of it all? Who am I?

These questions show up when we’re usually struggling with our jobs, with our relationships or we’re going through depression, anxiety, loss whether it was the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, pet, friend ect..

When I talk about life purpose with clients or sometimes people who are close to me, I notice the same idea showing up over and over again. They often associate life purpose with figuring out what their career should be about. I was one of those people as well until I was not anymore.

My experience and especially my 6 months of depression taught me that it’s extremely dangerous to link my identity (who am I?) and/or my life purpose with my career for one simple reason: What would happen if I lose this job? Would I lose myself with it? Who would I be without it? What would happen to my life purpose then?

For example: let’s say that you feel the deep urge to fight for your country during the war and you deeply believe that this is your life purpose. You join the army and go fight that war. Then what? What happens when the war is over? Is your life purpose over as well?

Here’s what I believe: What we do is an expression of how we perceive ourselves and life. For example: I help people ease their suffering and wake up to their beautiful self – but my life purpose is not attached to that and this is only one aspect of how I’m expressing myself.

Helping people is something I enjoy because it helps us in our human evolution and it brings peace to people’s life. I can also only do this when I too do my inner work and therefore this pushes me to learn from other people about myself and to share what I have learned with others. It makes people I encounter my teachers and my students (that’s applied for all of us).

The effect of my inner work has also an effect on my work with people and my work with people has an effect on people around them. It’s all a ripple effect.

BUT and that’s a big BUT I can only help people from my heart when I’m doing it with love and I can only do it with love when I’m being love and I can only be love when I’m happy with myself.

It’s logic. There’s no need for any spiritual or philosophical or psychological answer here.

Some people’s goal is to get rich, to have their own startup, to be famous…but the question is why is it that they desire to achieve all of this? It is simply because they want to be happy.

So they work so hard to achieve their goals hoping that their achievements will give them happiness yet when they do reach them, they realize that something is still missing in their life.

Why?

Because they can never run away from themselves – what was causing them suffering and unhappiness in the first place is still there until it is not anymore (read about my experience in my book “Life Without Approval”).

So, what does this tell us about life purpose?

For me, it is very simple. I believe that life purpose is a goal and that goal is for us to make ourselves happy and we can only make ourselves happy by working through all the kinks that block that happiness.

In other words, our goal is to purify ourselves from all the negative thoughts, beliefs and patterns that are blocking our happiness in THIS moment. Otherwise, you or I will be chasing our tails for the rest of our lives and something will always be missing.

In Buddhism, they talk about how It is in our human nature to desire to be happy and eliminate suffering. Look at all the actions you take during the day:

You eat because you’re hungry (suffering), you go to work because you want to make a living (you want money so that you can survive….you don’t want to die), you find a relationship because you’re a social animal (you don’t want to be alone, being alone leads to death), you go to the bathroom because if you don’t…you know what happens then and so on.

The problem is on a subconscious level, many individuals believe that they don’t deserve to be happy and that brings them to sabotage themselves in every area of life. Some are even afraid of being happy because they’re not used it – it’s a foreign language to them.

The dangerous thing about this is that it doesn’t only affect our life; it affects the lives of everyone around us. Let me tell you why:

Let’s say you live in a very small village and you believe that you don’t deserve to be happy so what you’re experiencing emotionally could be feeling miserable, resentful, angry, sad, depressed and so on. Then what happens when you’re experiencing these emotions?

Your actions are going to reflect this belief.

Then what happens to people around you when they see your actions and hear your words?

They’re going to be upset by your behavior and they will experience negativity as well.

Then what?

They too….will reflect that in their actions towards people that surround them (unless they’re very conscious).

The ripple effect continues until the entire village becomes so miserable…and what does that lead to? They will all start fighting with one another and that leads to death. Isn’t this what’s happening in the world now?

That’s how powerful your state of being and your decision about deserving to be happy is. That’s why suffering happens in their world. What happened recently in Orlando is an effect of one guy’s deep pain of not embracing his sexuality this led him to kill innocent people and now the entire country is angry about this.

Can you see why it is so important to embrace yourself (negative and positive) and to make your life purpose about finding your own happiness?

But you can only find your own happiness by making peace with yourself. Your new job won’t give you happiness – finding the right partner or a new one won’t give you that happiness….it may temporarily but the feeling of something is missing will come back again and you’ll have to deal with this sooner or later.

But….you may say: if my life purpose is to be happy then what do I do when I don’t even know what makes me happy?

1. Happiness is a state of mind. In other words – it is a decision:

  • Answer the question of: Who am I (WITHOUT your job being involved in the picture). For me the answer is: I have infinite intelligence within me and I’m part of the bigger infinite intelligence. Otherwise everything every religion has talked about (God is the Alpha and Omega – He/She is everywhere and in everything does not make sense). This puts a big responsibility on me as well.
  • Decide that you deserve to be happy.
  • Begin to work through the kinks (your perception about yourself).

2. AGAIN – Decide that it’s worth it to see yourself in a whole new perspective. What’s blocking your happiness is your perception about yourself.

What are you believing about yourself that is blocking the flow of happiness to come to you?

Look at that belief – question it! Meditate on it! Feel how painful it is. Then instead of saying: I should not be this or be that or do this or do that – embrace yourself just as you are and say it’s okay for me to feel this – it is showing up for a reason and that is because that part of me needs to be seen.

When you begin to look at the parts of you that need to be seen with love, they will disappear. When you try to beat the part of you that is struggling then you’ll struggle so much more and this is where all our kinks are.

3. DECIDE to act like happy people do. Have fun. Enjoy life. Find humor in yourself…. in life. Be silly! Enjoy THIS MOMENT. Stop for a second and observe everything around you as if you may die in the next moment. Take a deep breath and really pay attention.

4. Put your life in perspective. Do you have EVERYTHING you need now? Then everything else is not as important as you think it is.

5. Is your situation the worst possible situation in the whole world? Could it be that someone else is going through much deeper pain? Be grateful for the pain and the joy because we all know that we live in a world of relativity – in other words: How would I know that I’m brunette if blond people did not exist? Pain is necessary – it has a message for us.

6. Accept your present. Embrace the job that you hate. Find beautiful things about your relationship. It is impossible for everything to be ALL negative. If you can’t find peace in the present even when you’re experiencing pain then how do you know that you will experience peace in the future when the future is completely unknown?

7. Lawfully embrace yourself, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until the day you die. Otherwise, how could you be and do THAT with your partner and with people around you when you can’t even be that towards yourself? How could your partner get to know you if you don’t even know yourself?

8. Understand that your own happiness is NOT about you. Your life purpose IS NOT about you anymore. It is about THE HUMAN RACE. We are all interdependent on one another. Refer to the village example above. That’s why your state of mind has a ripple effect on the world in a much larger scale then you can ever imagine. That’s why you can’t save the world – the only thing that you can do is save yourself by finding your own peace.

9. What if you die tomorrow? Would you be satisfied with yourself? Would you change anything about your life? We take life for granted. When we take life for granted, we take GOD for granted. There’s no difference between LIFE AND GOD.

We think that nothing will ever change when EVERYTHING is changing in every moment otherwise – there would be no life…there would be only death. So, get your forgiveness to self and others going – live each day as if it’s your last. Make sure that you don’t close your eyes without making peace with that day otherwise what happened that day will haunt you in the next.

10. Find a mentor, coach, therapist, spiritual group, someone who mastered what you desire to be, something or someone that will help you in your journey. Many people feel ashamed of getting help. Many people resist getting help because they’re so comfortable with their own pain…because if they do then they’re admitting that something is wrong….and sometimes it’s too painful to see our shadow…..so…they’d rather complain about their partner, complain about how bad life is…..complain about their job over and over again instead of taking action to make CHANGES in themselves.

Some people rely on faith alone hoping or things to be different in their lives…however faith alone is not enough. Nothing is going to change around us if our perception about ourselves and the situation doesn’t change and especially if we don’t take action to purify ourselves and make some changes in our behavior.

11. Finally this whole journey is a process. Jesus had his own struggle with grief, sadness, disappointment towards society and he worked through it throughout his life and not in ONE DAY. Buddha talked about his own suffering and worked through it all his life as well.

Every single spiritual master works through his/her own kinks throughout their lives. Enlightenment happens for hours, days, moments or months and then the reality of being human hits again. We will know better than before but we will always have things to work through.

So, instead of finding kinks in other people and trying to fix them or change them – turn your focus towards yourself because this is the only thing that you’ll ever be able to change and it’s not an easy job.

So, be gentle with yourself. Take it easy. Stop the harshness and the I should not feel this or I should not do that. Everything in your life led you to this point and time. When you begin the process or the decision of finding your own inner peace, everything will become so much more joyful. People will want to be around you more, your career will fall into place and the same for everything else in your life.

I’m here for you – always! send me your questions or comments! <3

 

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