Thoughts on Life, Theology, & Psychology

by Victor Counted
30 Oct 2014

On Suffering, Depression, and Living Your Grief

Ever felt like you are living on the edge of the precipice alone, without a single soul to understand and feel for you? Yes…I mean you! Even when you feel that your imagined recovery from your emotional experience will take place, then suddenly you still feel the old dull, nagging pain again. Your heart sank, your brain felt dazed. You question your soul again, “What in the world I’m I doing here?”

Once there was life, and now evidently, your life is drifting away, drifting away very fast, and you can’t stop it. Yes. In spite of your depression and suffering, it seem not to be obvious to everyone but yourself that you are dying, and that it’s only a matter of week, days…it may happen this very moment. There was light but now all you see is darkness. You were here but now you are going. But to where?

At the end of the day, you realize that what kept you tormented was the pretense, the life, the lie, which for some reason you all kept up, to entangle you into a tormenting fantasy of performance and achievement. Somehow you hope that a great change for the better would result. Hence, employing the help of caring “others” to carry out their patting speech. But deep down you know that regardless of whatever they might say or do, nothing would come of it except still, more agonizing grief and depression.

The most wretched thing of all for you is that nobody pitted you as you yearned to be pitied. At certain moments, after prolonged bout of depression, you crave more than anything, for someone to feel sorry for you just as if you were a sick child. You want to be petted, kissed, and wept over, as children are petted and comforted.

Indeed, there is nothing wrong with such feeling after all.

However, the crucial question to wrestle with when faced by suffering or depression is: Do you have grief, or do you live your grief? The self is dragged to the brink of destruction by having grief. In contrast, living your grief is an act of human dignity! The vulnerability of being human is manifested in our grief. Grief tests the quality of life within the essence of your being. Succeeding amid your suffering or depression depends upon whether you have the right home address, a home address of the living and suffering God.

Finding meaning in our grief starts by finding the right home address to which to take our needs. An address that identifies with our source of depression and becomes involve in the process. A home address that listens to and brings comfort to our needs. Therefore, which home address do you go to for help? Do you have the home address of God, the perfect abode of comfort, where to channel your needs to?

Moreso, overcoming our depression or suffering starts with living a life evidenced by its growth process of transformation from a weak spot to a hotspot. A weak spot magnified by vain categories of achievement and performance to the hotspot of sacrificial ethics of unconditional love. It is a life that implies a shift in ego identity: from ego obsession (depleted ego) to ego transcendence (transcendence self). A state of being or existence above and beyond the limits of emotional experience. It is a state of transcendence because of its identification with the home address of the living and suffering God.

At core, finding meaning in our suffering starts with an ego shift that takes a posture of humility to deal with its fundamental existential issues (depression, anxiety, guilt, despair, helplessness, anger) using appropriate mind-signals to appropriate its emotional experiences. More to this, it starts with a coping art that helps us succeed and live our grief by viewing our suffering as a very special opportunity, a very special art, for growth. One that creates a unique, new understanding of our calling in life; an understanding of our calling that allows us to become involved in the suffering of others by “putting meaning into suffering, trusting while everything seems futile, and living in the face of death”, says David Louw.

However, a life that has little or no suffering is a life that does little. If you do not want any problem in life simply live little, think little, and die little. If you must live a life that must count, put to mind that the greater your assignment the greater your suffering will be ––just as Christ Jesus suffered on the cross of Calvary for us all.

Don’t manage life rather live with hope and human dignity!

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