Dr John Izzo believes that human beings wait until they have walked into a crisis before they address a situation. He was referring to the environment specifically but I used to think this could equally be said for “him” , who did not acknowledge his marriage was completely stale until he met me. Often, he says, at this point a crisis is too late to address.
At Landmark we talked about the fact that sometimes only when things reach complete breakdown is there opportunity for breakthrough – and that’s my belief too. That out of the biggest pains in my life (all in this romantic area!) have come the greatest insights, growth in compassion, understanding, confidence, and belief in what’s possible for human beings.
And then there is depression. For must of us, no matter how resilient, there are times when life seems completely bleak. I experienced this for the first time living in Australia when I obsessed constantly about one person in particular who was happily married and who became the target for all my envy and hatred. When I wasn’t angry inside I was desperately sad. This lasted for months, years. I imagine that’s how “his” wife feels about me. On emerging finally from that state, the person who was the object for all my displaced ill feeling, I now love very much indeed.
This morning the sky is blue, the blossom and roses are crazy this year, the birds are singing so sweetly and I am struck by how much I can appreciate all that when for the last 7 or so months I haven’t been able to. That my unhappiness and obsession have lifted has enabled me genuinely to appreciate the world again. It’s the same as what occurred before. Addressing the circumstances – in that case separating from my husband, allowed the miasma to lift.
It’s no good asking depressed people to appreciate all their good fortune and how amazing the world is. They cannot. For those who suffer from anxiety and depression because of a situation in their lives – for me the key is to unlock which of their circumstances they need to change. I know lots of people don’t agree with me- that changing your attitude to your circumstances is possible in all cases and that habitual negative thinking can be trained out of an individual but that hasn’t been my personal experience.
This weekend I an strongly considering going to a lecture about consciousness at Oxford – the lecturer is 82! Expect some seriously improved thinking!