Are Most People As Happy As They Decide To Be?

January, 2012

Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.

Abraham Lincoln wrote: “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”  Can we make up our minds to be happy? Is it only a simple decision I make that results in me being happy?

Can a bug make up its mind to be happy? :-)

Let’s try this idea of becoming happy by deciding to be happy. As I wrote the previous sentence, I was unhappy. As I write this sentence, I’m still unhappy. But, I haven’t consciously made up my mind, yet, to be happy!

Before “I make up my mind to be happy,” let’s first consider what making up my mind means. The title of this post uses the word decide instead of making up my mind. From my point of view, “making up my mind” and “deciding” are synonymous. With that in mind, let’s now see if I can decide to be happy.

OK, I have now declared in my mind that I want to be happy. My mind is made up, I’m now happy. The decision has been reached that I am happy!

"My mind is made up, I'm now happy!"

Am I happy? Well, yes, I do feel happy. At least, I feel much happier than I did when I started writing this. Why? Is my happiness simply the result of being able to only think one thought at a time? Perhaps! I think an unhappy thought and I’m unhappy; I think a happy thought and I’m happy. Wow, that sounds soooo… simple!

If it is true that I can only think one thought at a time, then the state of unhappiness might be directly attributed to thinking consecutive thoughts of unhappiness. So, if I want to be happy, then I need to make up my of mind to be happy and focus on consecutive positive (happy) thoughts.

I am writing this post at the beginning of a new year. Resolving to focus on thinking consecutive positive and happy thoughts seems like a most appropriate way to start the new year off.

Are most people as happy as they decide to be? I don’t know, but I know one person who is resolving and deciding to be happier. Who? Me! :-) How about you?

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How Can I Emotionally Cleanse Myself Of Grief?

September, 2011

Henry Adams asked Augustus Saint-Gaudens to create this memorial to his wife who committed suicide in 1885. It is located in Rock Creek Cemetery and is often mistakenly called the “Grief” statue.

How can I emotionally cleanse myself of grief? Is it wise to try to do so? Since grief is a natural emotional response for all humans, then when appropriate, should we try to not grieve? These are all good questions and for this post, I would like to focus, primarily, on the first one. How can I emotionally cleanse myself of grief?

“Speak it…Write it…Draw it…” -Funda M. Gulmen, N.D., M.S.

A friend and former student of mine, Dr. Funda M. Gulmen, published an article (to read the article click here and go to page 18) in Natural New Haven, the Natural Awakenings Magazine for New Haven and Middlesex Counties in Connecticut. The article was entitled, “Emotional Cleansing,” and after reading it, I realized that emotional cleansing is exactly what I need. As some of my readers know, my son died on June 22, 2011, and since then, I have had an abundant supply of emotional baggage dragging me down. Dr. Gulmen is a Facebook friend of mine and on September 5, 2011, she posted a link to her article. Since then, I have been trying to write this post.

Ok, that gives you a little background about where and when I began my adventure down the path of cleansing myself emotionally. But, how can I do it? You see, I’m still on the path and haven’t reached the destination of “being emotionally cleansed.” I think it’s reasonable to assume that when someone is wanting to emotionally cleanse himself, he should focus only on the negative emotions. For example, cleansing the mind of fear would be desirable, but cleansing the mind of courage would not be a desired goal. So, as I use this forum to cleanse my emotions, I will focus on cleansing those that I consider negative and increase those deemed positive.

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” -Kahlil Gibran

In her article, Dr. Gulmen talked about the need to release negative emotions. A part of her article was sub-titled, “Speak it…Write it…Draw it…,” which referred to the cleansing and healing aspect of bringing emotions out into the open so they can be viewed more objectively. For example, if I talk about the emotions that are causing me pain, then I (and others who hear me) will be able to put them in perspective. Recently, after talking about my feelings related to my son’s death, I realized most of what I was feeling was self-pity. I felt sorry for myself! When I came to that realization, (before then, I thought I was feeling sorry for my son) I immediately felt relieved. Of course, I have lost something near and dear to me, but self-pity is not something I want or need to feel.

The “Speak it” part of “Speak it…Write it…Draw it…” has already helped me. In fact, it seems that coming to the realization of the specific negative emotion I was feeling and bringing it “out into the open” through verbal expression, allowed me to see it for what it really is — an unnecessary emotion. Since it’s unnecessary, I feel good about not feeling it. :-)

“Grief is the agony of an instant. The indulgence of grief the blunder of a life.” -Benjamin Disraeli

Yes, the “Speak it…” has helped me, but for those of you who have been reading my blog on a regular basis, you most likely know that one of my main goals is to use this as a “writing for learning” exercise. Therefore, for the rest of this post, I will focus on the “Write it…” part of emotional cleansing. Regarding the “Draw it…” part, suffice it to say that I’m not very good at drawing and feel that my best chance of emotionally cleansing myself will be through writing-it.

Perhaps, one of the first considerations I should address is the question: “What will my newly cleansed-mind contain?” You see, I cannot keep by mind free of emotions. How can a human have no mental feelings? Emotions are mental feelings and to say a live human has no mental feelings is like saying a live human has no heartbeat. Impossible! I believe we are all full of emotions. Just as our bodies have feelings, so do our minds. Our minds are full of feelings such as desire, anger, fear, guilt, joy, hatred, pride, distress, love and of course, grief. Considering the title of this post, you can most likely deduce that the emotion I want to be cleansed from my mind is grief. So, what will remain in my mind, after it has been cleansed of the negative emotions? I propose that, for sure, it will contain the only emotion that’s always with us, LOVE!

“Contrary to popular belief that it’s selfish to love yourself, this is just so not true. We cannot give what we do not have.” -Anita Moorjani

You might wonder where that last statement came from. Recently, as I was doing research for this post, I came across a testimonial from Anita Moorjani. In 2006 she was given 36 hours to live. She was dying of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and was in a coma. The rest of her story is not only miraculous, but also educational. Please click here for more details. A fundamental idea I gleaned from her story was that we shouldn’t live our lives in fear and that love is the core emotion for all humans. Love, as the core emotion for all humans, is on one level, easy to accept, but on another level, difficult. It is difficult because, at least in the English language, the word love has many differ meanings. For example, love can be used to describe a strong desire, a romantic feeling, a tender affection, etc….

So, what kind of love is the core emotion for all humans? I wrote a post in October of 2010 entitled, “What Is This Thing Called Love?” and tried to pin-down the meaning of love as I see it. Well, if you read the post (to visit the post click here) you’ll quickly find out I wasn’t exactly successful in giving a succinct explanation. I eventually came to the conclusion: “love can only be explained by the person who asks the question. In other words, the meaning of love is entirely created and exists uniquely in the mind of each individual person who seeks the meaning of love. Like ‘art is in the eyes of the beholder,’ this thing called love is in the mind of the beholder!” At the present time, love is going to remain an emotion that is left undefined by me.

“Grief is the price we pay for love.” -Queen Elizabeth II

Ok, so I need to emotionally cleanse myself of the negative emotions associated with MY grief. I emphasize MY because not everyone will have the same negative emotions when grieving. For example, many who are grieving feel anger, but I do not. In fact, for a while I was bothered by not having anger toward someone or something. I thought that if I would become angry at someone or something, then I would be able to eliminate the pain I was feeling by expressing that anger. Of course, now, as I look back on that kind of thinking, it seems a little silly. So, what negative emotions associated with my grief do I need to cleanse from my mind?

The following list contains the negative emotions related to my grief. Most likely, the list isn’t complete. I’ve also provided a specific example of how each emotion is “felt.”

“Excess of grief for the dead is madness; for it is an injury to the living, and the dead know it not.” -Xenophon

Guiltfor example: I’m living and my son isn’t.

Fearfor example: Fear of not handling his estate the way he would have wanted me to.

Inadequacyfor example: I cannot keep his memory alive in his children.

Apprehensionfor example: Apprehension about carrying on his legacy in a respectful and meaningful manner.

Anxietyfor example: Anxious about the future without him.

Regretfor example: Not questioning more regarding the medical care my son received after his accident.

These six emotions are probably not the complete list associated with my grief, but after putting them into words and thinking about them, I will admit that I already feel a sense of relief. Each one, in one sense, seems unnecessary and therefore, easier to “get rid of.”  The key, I think, for cleansing myself of these negative emotions is to recognize thembring them out “into the open,” determine their unnecessariness, and literally, don’t allow myself to feel them.

“The secret of health for mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future or to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” -Buddha

I can imagine someone saying: “Not allowing yourself to feel the ‘unnecessary’ emotions is not realistic.” I think it is realistic and is done by most humans on a regular basis. For example, consider the negative emotion of being angry at someone. Perhaps, you were “cut-off” while driving on a highway. For most of us, once we realize the anger we feel is unnecessary and won’t do anyone any good, we let it go and no longer feel it. Therefore, we have been emotionally cleansed of that particular anger-emotion.

When I started this post, my goal was to figure out how I could emotionally cleanse myself. I’m not sure if I have completely figured it out, but I do think I’m well on my way. I feel my mind has been empowered with a method that will allow me to reach my goal of emotionally cleansing myself of negative emotions.

This feeling of empowerment is, for me, a newly-recognized emotion that is positive, and in a sense, acts as weapon which can be used against my negative emotions. Ah, perhaps, that’s it! “Speak it…Write it…Draw it…,” is a method that allows me to bring-out the negative emotions and, once they are out and viewed for what they really are — unnecessary, then I’m empowered to get rid of them. WOW!

Lastly, please consider the following anonymous quote:

“There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go.” 

—-

☞  Using the quote above, here’s my point of view: “What happened to my son, I must accept – I don’t want to know about grief, but I have to learn – I feel I can’t live without my son, but I have to let go!”

Speak it… Write it… Draw it… — What do you think?


Does A Complex Problem’s Solution Require Creative Thinking?

September, 2011

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." --H. L. Mencken

Pretend that you have a real difficult problem to solve. Suppose it’s difficult, due to the problem’s complexity. In other words, suppose the problem isn’t something like, deciding what pair of shoes you should wear, but instead, it involves a decision about which medical procedure you should have in order to cure a serious medical problem. How do you approach such a complex and serious problem?

Is this a simple or complex problem?

In my case, one of the problems I have to deal with first, is removing the pressure I feel for having to solve the problem. Usually, to avoid the pressure I feel when faced with such a problem, I’ll push hard to solve it. When I do, without bringing in a large amount of patience, I often end up just “spinning my wheels.” Now, in a way, I over-think the problem.

You see, I will look at a problem from every possible angle. I’ll collect as much information as I can – always, as quick as I can. I then, in my opinion, over-analyze the problem. I often spend an inordinate amount of time trying to solve the problem. Well, this “writing-for-learning exercise” is teaching me what I’m doing wrong when solving a (complex) problem. So, how should we approach these complex problems?

Who doesn't have a low tolerance for confusion?

Perhaps, a major problem regarding solving problems is we generally, as humans, have a low tolerance for confusion. We want an end to confusion and have immediate certainty. This is what we want, but is this the attitude we should have when dealing with complex problems? Absolutely not!

Of course, we want a resolution when solving problems. Of course, we want clear answers. But, how can we demand solutions to complex problems and, at the same time, place unneeded time frames for resolution? We can, but we shouldn’t. Here’s my problem for solving complex problems, as I see it. I over-analyze and end-up being surrounded by the problem and unable to see different points of view, implications and/or consequences. I become immersed in the problem and not in the solution.

I always use the creative part of my thinking!

When problem-solving, we should always collect all relevant information and focus on the problem. Having stated that, I think we should also “step-back” from the problem and trust the creative part of our thinking to help us with the solution. There is a creative, subconscious part of our mental make-up that we need to know is always there, even though we aren’t consciously aware of it. To illustrate this, consider how the creative and subconscious part of the mind is involved when driving a car, deciding on the amount of spice in a meal or when choosing a friend. These examples might use analysis, serious deliberation, different perspectives, etc., but they also involve a creative part of our thinking that comes from a different and “unconscious” part of our mind. That is an important part of our thinking and we should always bring it into our approach to solving complex problems.

Is "subconscious wisdom" better than strength?

So how should we approach complex problems? We should not ignore concrete information. We should not ignore analysis. We should consciously add our subconscious wisdom or “subconscious intuition” with analysis. It’s this subconscious part of our thinking that is an important partner with analysis and helps us do our best creative work. When solving any problem, especially complex problems, we need to use creative thinking. We must create a solution. To create a solution, doesn’t it seem reasonable to use creative thinking? Turn your thinking loose!

Does a complex problem’s solution require creative thinking? I don’t know about requiring, but in order to use the full power of our mind, it’s essential. :-)

What do you think?


Who’s In Control Of Your Life?

August, 2011

Who's in control of my life?

Who’s in control of your life? If not you, then who? Does control of your life belong to you? The previous questions, hopefully, caused you to question ownership of your life. Most likely you realize that even though it sometimes doesn’t seem like it, YOU are in control of your life.

Who was in control of their lives?

If you still say to yourself that you aren’t in control of your life, then you have given the control to others. Why would you give control to others? Perhaps you didn’t give it away, but instead, it was taken from you. Or, maybe you were afraid of the responsibility you must assume in order to have control. It’s possible you were just perplexed over what to do with the power.

I know I haven’t come close to listing all of the reasons why a person might give-up control of her/his life. Sometimes, a person is just overwhelmed and allows someone else to take control. Another interesting way in which we can lose control of our lives is by giving too much of our time to others. If that happens, we end up with no time for our own lives. And, consider how many give-up control of their own life by following the dream of another. I was once told by a fellow teacher, who had been teaching for twenty years, that he didn’t like teaching and only became a teacher because his parents wanted him to.

I'm in control of this person!

No matter what the reason for your feelings regarding not having control over your life, ultimately, you are responsible for being “in control” of your life. If you think the mortgage company is in control, then you have sacrificed controlling your life for controlling your “stuff.” For example, if you buy cars, houses, entertainment, etc. that are more than you can afford, then paying the bills takes control of you life. Or, you might sacrifice your time to the point where your life is no longer yours. Ultimately, control of your life is yours to “give away.”

Perhaps, you are thinking about other lives while doing some creative thinking regarding their control. Maybe you’ve come up with some examples where you’re confident the people in them don’t have a choice regarding who controls their lives. For example, who controls a prisoner’s life. Well, a prisoner is controlled by the penal system. But, what part of the prisoner is controlled? Are the prisoner’s thoughts, choices, decisions, etc. controlled by the penal system? Generally, no! Excluding a few exceptions, prisoners have control over their lives – they just don’t have as much freedom as most who aren’t prisoners.

Really! So, I'm in control of my life?

Our society seems to put those who give their all on a pedestal. Especially celebrated are the people who give their all without any regard for the impact it has on themselves. Consider how many respect the person who does without sleep, exercise and food, – the basic needs we all have in order to thrive  – just to accomplish some temporary goal.

Studying for an academic test and driving a long distance for a vacation are two examples of how I have been given a lot of respect for doing without sleep, exercise and food. In the examples, I wanted to accomplish the goals of passing a test and arriving at the vacation destination. In both cases, with proper planning, I would not have had to do without sleep, exercise or food. I gave-up control of my life in order to accomplish goals and, in doing so, the goal was in control. :-)

Imagine this car is your life. Who's driving?

The reasons we are not in control of our own lives are endless. I have had many reasons that I’ve used as justifications for not being in control, but usually, they were only excuses AND not reasons. In fact, most could be considered lies.

If you imagine your life as a car, then who’s driving your car? Isn’t it time for you to get in the driver’s seat and take control? When you’re driving then you can decide where you’re going. Why let someone or something else decide, when it’s your life?

Who is in control of your life?


How Should We Receive AND/OR Accept Compliments?

May, 2011

Cheers, With Our COMPLIMENTS!

What is your usual response when you receive a compliment? Is it the same response you have when you receive criticism? I know people often have trouble receiving, or should I say, accepting criticism.

I'll accept AND receive all compliments!

I did a post in March of 2009 and discussed whether or not criticism is good. At the end of the post I made this statement, “So, is criticism good? Yes, provided it is given and accepted (received) in a positive manner.” In a sense, I think that we could replace criticism with “a compliment” and also have a meaningful statement.

So, how well do you receive (accept) compliments? Do you receive them in a gracious and thankful manner? If you want to empower yourself and raise your self-esteem, then how you accept a compliment is important.

I have given compliments to many people who have responded with a statement that was, more or less, a put-down to them. They often make me feel like it was foolish for me to compliment them. They make me feel like the compliment wasn’t deserved and that it was foolish of me to make such a positive statement. Really, in my opinion, they put themselves down. Why?

Specifically, what am I really writing about? Well, suppose I compliment someone on how nice their hair looks and s/he says, “It’s so humid today and my hair looks frightful.”

I don't look nice - "It's so humid today and my hair looks frightful."

How about when I tell someone s/he did a great job on “whatever,” and s/he says, “Oh, I was just lucky, it was nothing.” Or, if I say, “Your house looks nice,” and s/he responds with, “I really haven’t had time to do anything to it.” What do these statements tell me? I think they reflect someone who is confused with the concept of humility and denigration. Denigration, of oneself, that is!

We should be able to accept a compliment in a way that doesn’t make the person who is giving it feel insulted or foolish. Of course, there are times when someone gives a compliment and doesn’t know all of the extenuating circumstances. I think, generally speaking, these undeserved compliments are not worth making a fuss over.

You see, when we reject compliments that people have given to us, we are really rejecting them. At least, we are rejecting their support. We are rejecting their expressions of kindness. We are rejecting their opinions. In those ways, we are rejecting them. Ouch!

When we accept the compliment, we enhance the self-image of the giver and ourself.

When we accept the compliment, we show respect and love for ourself. When we accept the compliment, we show belief in the person who gave it. When we accept the compliment, we enhance the self-image of the giver and ourself. So how should we accept a compliment? There is no set way, but if you’re unsure, then a, “Thank-you,” with a smile and sincere look, would never be the incorrect way.

Accept your compliments the same way you accept something you desire, with thankfulness and gratefulness.

I graciously accept, in advance, any compliments you send my way. :-)


Is Worry An Unnecessary Emotion?

May, 2011

In 1980, I read the book, “Your Erroneous Zones,” by Wayne Dyer. In it, if my memory is correct, Dyer stated: “The two most unnecessary emotions in life are guilt and worry.” In a recent post entitled, “Can Feeling Guilty Be Good?“, I took up the topic of guilt and whether it’s necessary. Please click on the title, if you wish to read more about my thoughts about guilt. In this post, let’s consider the necessity of worry.

Wayne Dyer: "The two most unnecessary emotions in life are guilt and worry."

So, what is worry about? When I worry, I’m usually concerned about what might happen in the future AND how I can avoid the negative aspect of the occurrence. For example, I might worry about whether or not I will have enough money to meet my financial obligations. Or, I’ll worry about a future health problem. As I think about my past worries and attempt to group them into a single category, it appears I’m really worrying about how to avoid these possible future occurrences. And, of course, another related part of the worrying is how I will contend if they occur.

Even though I have often professed that, “Worry is an unnecessary emotion,” I still worryI know worrying decreases my quality of life by causing me to be less happy. I also realize that worrying adds stress in my life. The stress that results from worrying can weaken my immune system, resulting in illness. It can also affect my self-esteem and even cause depression. So, why worry? That’s not the question I need answered. What I really want to know is: “How do I stop worrying?”

Buddha teaches us that, "What we think, we become."

I’m using this post as a writing for learning exercise. After re-reading the previous paragraphs, I can see that I need to get a little deeper into what worrying is. So, really, where does worrying originate. In our thinking! Worrying is thought! Buddha teaches us that, “What we think, we become.” Socrates teaches us that, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is habit.” If we constantly worry, then we become a worrying person. At least that’s how I apply Buddha’s lesson. A spin-off, of Socrates lesson, allows me to conclude that, if I repeatedly worry, then worrying becomes a habit. OUCH!

Worry is, as Dyer stated, also an emotion. In other words, it’s a mental feeling. For me, it is manifested as concern and/or anxiety. In my case, I often have to mentally fight with myself in order to accept the personal responsibility for my worrying. You see, I often want to blame other people or “things” for the worrying I do. For example, if I’m worrying (anxious) about paying my taxes, I want to blame the government for causing me to worry. But, the government didn’t make me worry, I made me worry! :-)

Socrates teaches us that, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is habit."

Ok, so I can see that worry is thinking (and/or) an emotion. Is worry an unnecessary emotion and/or way of thinking? Well, it might have some necessity. For me, worrying does cause me to often act in a safe manner. It causes me to take precautions, such as buying insurance. Worrying about getting a speeding ticket might cause me to slow down to a safer speed. I suppose a “little bit of worrying” isn’t bad, but that kind of worrying doesn’t seem to cause the before-mentioned stress and unhappiness. Other than this “little bit of worrying,” I think Dyer is correct in stating that, “worry is an unnecessary emotion,” and/or, also, an unnecessary way of thinking.

Since worry is unnecessary, what should we do to stop? Well, what do we do to stop anger, sadness, inappropriate thinking, …? Some of us seek help from counselors, therapists, family, friends, religion, etc. Some use self-help groups, books, …

W. R. Inge: "Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due."

Others will simply do nothing and hope it will go away. Perhaps, the first step necessary to stop worrying is to recognize that it is a problem. Once we recognize it as a problem, the second step, though not necessarily easy, is to stop the unnecessary thinking/emotion of worrying. After all, it is UNNECESSARY! :-)

W. R. Inge once stated: “Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.” If worry was money borrowed, would you pay interest before it’s due? Isn’t there something better we can do with our thinking than worrying? Isn’t worrying taking time away from the quality time in our lives? Don’t we all have better ways to spend our time than worrying? Let’s not pay interest on trouble before we have to. WORRY


Can Depression Be A Positive Learning Experience?

May, 2011

Scranton Depression Fight, Date taken: June 06, 1950, Photographer: Walter Sanders

A decade ago, I went through a bout of depressionDuring the experience, I wondered whether or not it was an opportunity for a positive learning experience. At the time, my brain felt like it was overloaded and generally, I constantly felt overwhelmed. So, is it possible for something, that makes me feel so overloaded and overwhelmed, to ever be a positive learning experience?

I've heard that everything in life can be a learning and/or growth experience.

I’ve heard that everything in life can be a learning and/or growth experience. Many times, no matter how positive or negative the experience is, I have not, consciously, tried to make it a learning/growth experience. For example, I recently came to the realization, after having a negative experience with a person for the “umpteenth” time, that I should learn from my experiences with the person and CHANGE. The question is, “Why didn’t I think of doing that a long time ago?” The answer – ???? I think, now, that I have decided to change, the negative experiences with the person will cease.

It’s a nicer experience to learn from a positive experience, but for this post I will focus on the negative. Why? Well, I believe depression is negative and how can I address the question in the title without dealing with the negative? I’m not going to search for painful experiences just to have a learning experience, but if I have such an experience, why not learn from it? If I can, then I will be turning a past negative experience into a future benefit. So, let’s press on with depression! :-)

When depressed, the heart feels like it is yearning for something that is impossible to have.

When I was depressed, I felt like my heart was yearning for something that was impossible to have. This yearning was like having a bad nightmare and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t wake myself up and end it. As you read this, I can imagine that you would like to know more specifics. Due to the sensitive nature of subject and the feelings of some of my friends, I have chosen not to be specific regarding the details of my depression. Besides, in my opinion, the question I’m addressing doesn’t require me to be specific regarding my personal bout with depression.

A popular psychiatrist in the 80s, Dr. David Viscott, suggested that depression can be used as a sign that a person has reached the point where the “yearnings of the heart” should no longer be ignored. Depression is a sign that something very important is going on in your mind. Usually, depression involves loss. In my personal case, loss played a big role. My life had changed and the loss of my “previous life” left me with what Dr. Viscott calls, a yearning of the heart.

Depression was like being stuck in a "deep dreary winter scene."

So, how can depression be a positive learning experience? Well, after I realized what I lost and how I was blaming myself, over and over and over again…, I realized I was just wasting my time AND health. After reaching that realization, I knew I wasn’t going to be happy with my new life and I immediately started working toward changing it. This meant I had to get rid of the thinking that kept me locked up in my depressing life. I had to “clean-out my mind” and change my thinking. You see, the depression was like being stuck in a “deep dreary winter scene.” Later, after realizing that blaming myself was getting me nowhere, the depression became a “mental spring clean-up.” In other words, I went from depression adding clutter to my mind, to depression cleaning-up my mind. Now, how’s that for spring cleaning? :-)

Helplessness is a feeling and NOT a lifestyle.

Depression, though it’s a very negative experience, can also be a positive learning experience. In my case, I discovered some strengths I never knew I had. Actually, the word strength doesn’t necessarily describe what I discovered. You see, it was the weakness I felt that really became a strength. The “weakness” feeling of helplessness, which was overwhelming during the major part of my depression, became a strength later. I now realize helplessness is a feeling and NOT a lifestyle. Helplessness is temporary and is generally in the mind. Instead of being helpless to myself, I focused on being helpful. Help with less less and more ful! :-)

Can depression be a positive learning experience? Yes!

How can you turn depression into a positive learning experience? By being Helpless Helpful to yourself. You might start by not blaming yourself, changing the thinking you had while depressed, and using depression as an incentive to clean-up your mind.

Simple? Absolutely not! Reasonable? I hope so!

Since depression is part of life, “Let’s Keep Improving With Life!” :-)



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