Buddhism

When Trigger Hits│Fighting Depression

No, not again.  I can feel it. The trigger. I was doing so well. What happened? Okay, think about all of your blessings. Practice gratitude. You got this Dom. You got this. You…

I usually run into the bathroom at work before the tears begin to travel down my cheeks. This feeling always finds a way to sneak up on me. I absolutely hate this feeling.  The feeling of confusion, fear, and defeat.  Caused by over-thinking and the lack of patience. Leading to anxiety and panic attacks. Then, I am left with guilt for feeling this feeling in the first place. This is what goes on in my mind. This is the cause of the dis-ease in my temple.  And what annoys me the most, is the fact that I know I have the power to control it.

I suffer from depression. I hate saying that word. I feel like every time I say it or think it, I am giving it power to control me. So many times I feel powerless. When depression hits, I am unable to get out of bed to do the things I love or just be present. Thinking and not living. One trigger comes from work. I am not working in a place where I love or simply enjoy what I do. I spend most of my days in a place I actually hate. Wait… strong word. I spend most of my days in a place I strongly dislike. I am not learning skills or progressing in any areas I need for the things I want to do with my life. I never saw this happening. However, I do not regret my current situation because it is all part of my process to becoming (or reawakening to) the person I am meant to be. I take accountability for my choices because at the end of the day, the Universe gave me what I ASKED for. I was chasing money and benefits and I got just that. I am grateful for it and know there are others that would love to be in my shoes. However, at the end of the day I pushed my passion to the side.  I am a creator and stopped creating. I believed that a 9-5 would bring an easier life (which it did for me) but it didn’t give me a happier life. I realized that, for years, I have been seeking relative happiness instead of ABSOLUTE happiness. The happiness you find within. Therefore, I am thankful for this process for reminding me how important living is. How important passion is. How important it is to feed your soul.

Mental illness is a topic that continues to surface on my timeline every day. I know that I am not alone. However, knowing that doesn’t make me happy either. What I want is to be part of the solution that leads to the end of mental illness, holistically. I know that ultimately we have to work within. However, another trigger comes from what I see happening all over the world. I can’t even turn on the news anymore. It feels like I absorb so much energy from what I see and it’s overwhelming.  I want to do more to help. I know that one day I will be able to help. I want to heal other beautiful souls, help build a stronger and more unified community. But first, I must heal myself. Which I have been doing. I have been using various tools from my journey starting in my late 20’s. Focusing deeply on my spirituality (without my strong connection to God, I really don’t know where I would be right now). One of the mechanisms I use to help me during my moments of depression, is reminding myself that my current situation is not the end-all-be-all. I have to remind myself to see the bigger picture.  I have to remind myself to stay focused, be patient, and never forget to be present. I know it’s a work in progress. Life is a work in progress.  I’m a work in progress. I am ever-changing. Always evolving. I am in my cocoon right now and I accept this fragment of my life.

I am journeying to find my soul again and I have been doing better. Doing things I want to do without seeking outside validation. I am learning to listen within. I will continue to learn the universal language so I can better communicate with God and my ancestors. I am learning to trust my process.  I am learning to breathe.  I am learning to be more courageous and less fearful. I am learning to accept me. All of me. I am learning to let go of habits that create the same patterns that lead to self-destruction. I am on a journey of self-evolution.  It’s uncomfortable and lonely at times, but very necessary.  I don’t know exactly where I will be in the future, but I know exactly where I DON’T want to be right now. I know soon it will be time for me to move on. When I do, I pray that I will be completely guided and protected.

I want to be more transparent with you and myself. It’s hard to share this because I have always been strong, never showed weakness. However, I am learning that there is strength in vulnerability. To be open to your own truth. Self-realization is a big important step towards healing. I’m learning how to be in a relationship with myself and love myself to the fullest so I can be a better servant to the world. And together, if we help one another, the possibilities are endless. The future is bright. We can reawaken and ignite the power we hold within.

Love + Light

DS

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Are We All Just Victims Of Circumstance?

pierIs there really a such a thing as coincidence? Or is everything on earth a “chain reaction”?  Does every thought, choice and action determine our fate and guide us in the path we are currently on?  Or are we all just victims of circumstance?  I realize that there may be no concrete answer, however, I do know that the choices I have made thus far have led me back to doors I never thought would open again.

As 2015 approached, I sat in front of my computer determined to write down my New Year resolutions.  All thirty-eight of them (I know it sounds crazy, but you would be surprised how much room there is for improvement in all of our lives)!  However, towards the end of January, something inside of me told me to dig deeper.  After some deep meditative thought, leading to a conversation with myself, I concluded that I wanted more than what my eyes could see.  I was too caught up in this pattern of wanting materialistic things or living conditions in hopes for them to bring me happiness.  Then I realized that this entire time I was in search to find relative happiness.  You know, “if I get a raise, I’ll be happy”, or “if I find a new job, I’ll be happy”, or “If I buy a car, I’ll be happy…”  What happens when we get the material things we ask for?  Are we really fulfilled?  What happens when we do not receive all that we asked for?  Can we still find happiness in our current state?  Can we accept that which we cannot change?

When we feel like we need physical things to compensate for our lack of happiness, we are asking for relative happiness aka temporary happiness.  For so many years I have lived on relative happiness.  Now I’m beginning to ask myself, “What does my soul want?  How can I have absolute happiness?

So now I’m in search to figure out what my soul really wants.  I’ve begun asking the Universe for life conditions: To be centered with the Spirit, to commit to value, to serve a purpose, to love, to express, and to create.  I started focusing on these conditions, trying to open my third eye and become aware and confident in my path.  Already it seems that doors have begun to open for me — the same doors that were sealed for years.  I am now even more determined to work on myself, deepen my spiritual practices and feed my soul.  It has led me to work on my craft again and to take care of my body again, along with my mind.  I’m reading more and feeding my soul with positive, optimistic, encouraging words and motivating affirmations (some of which I will definitely sharing with you!).  I feel that I am preparing myself to seize every opportunity that could potentially come my way.

On Saturday February 21st 2015, I went to an SGI-Nichiren Buddhist meeting in Harlem, NY.  What started out as me just trying to be supportive for my Dad (he was leading a presentation) turned out to be a form of enlightenment for me!  The main topic of discussion was their theme for 2015: Dynamic Development.  When you research the meaning of the word “dynamic” you will come across amazing words such as lively, active, self-motivated, vigorous, force.  All of these things stimulate change and deal with motion.  The steps that were outlined to live out this theme were to not be afraid to change yourself, never give up, and advance with joy.  I realized, during that meeting, that I was already implementing these steps into my life so it just really cemented everything for me.  This is what makes the Universe so incredible!  It is as if this meeting was purposely orchestrated for me.  I am super excited and now I am extra inspired!  I’m going to continue to take the steps and put forth the effort to live an abundant life with absolute happiness.  I don’t know if it was simply coincidental or if somehow my actions (and resulting chain-reactions) led me to that meeting.  When you look at both angles it’s really hard to gage and lean in either direction with absolute certainty.  I don’t know if I really need the answer, though.  I just know that I’m at the right place at the right time in my life, and I think that matters more.  Namaste.

With love,
DS