Have you ever had a thought that beat you up? Maybe you made a mistake, and you felt bad about it.
My depression symptoms are like a bad army that marches on my head. The depression symptoms show up as certain thoughts that form awful criticisms. I need to be careful so those thoughts do not take over my experience of life. Instead, I must use wise attention to keep me from spiraling downward.
Wise attention is part of a process of expanding your perception.
I have three insights for you.
- Let go of Self-Absorption.
Many of us have a friend who bends our ear with constant complaints and tales of pain. When someone is feeling pain, it’s easy to be self-absorbed. Giving in to such habits will create more pain in your life. If you are talking about your back pain, and ruminating all day on it, you only make yourself and others miserable.
We can look on negative thoughts like leaves on a stream. Some of us pick up a negative thought (“a leaf”) and place it close to our eyes so we can see nothing else.
Instead, we can make a shift to wise attention.
- Bring wise attention into focus.
Wise attention is about having a perspective that is expansive. For example, Susan is dealing with back pain. However, she pauses and does some deep breathing. It’s true she is experiencing pain. But she also realizes that she has blessings all happening at the same time. Her family members are well. She has a job that provides financial prosperity so her family is supported. As she deep breathes and experiences gratitude, she discovers that her back pain reduces a significant amount.
Wise attention is not denying you that you are in pain or discomfort. That would be unhealthy. Wise attention is stepping back from your pain and discomfort and seeing it for what it is. You can step back and see a larger picture.
- Ask the Gods to guide you through it all.
My depression symptoms are with me every day. Through focusing on wise attention, I realize the strength of my depression symptoms is not a constant. When I’m in meditation or when I ask the God and Goddess for help, I can experience a shift into wise attention.
I also deep breathe and pray to the Gods to help me calm down. I can stand back and see my problems as part of the fabric of my life.
Years ago my sweetheart said, “You have a choice. You could look on yourself as a spirit who deals with depression symptoms instead of merely calling yourself a ‘depressed person.’”
The idea that I am a spirit who is not identified with depression symptoms is part of wise attention. I also realize I will have a chance to be reincarnated without such limitations. This reminds me that I am a spirit having an experience with this particular body. Potentially, in my next incarnation, my spirit will be free of such depression symptoms. And now, it is my challenge to shift to wise attention and avoid allowing depression symptoms to crush me into self-absorption.
Have you had moments of experiencing wise attention? Have you had the experience of dealing with pain but also being aware of the blessings in your life? I invite you to pause, breathe deeply, and observe what blessings you do have on your path.
May these insights be supportive of your journey.
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