Monday, January 02, 2012
Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy
Happy New Year! Here I am with an answer to your question, a day late and a dollar short. I'm sorry I'm so late to answer your question. Perhaps I am just impossibly early, for next Christmas.
Although, you did say you wish there were no holidays, and there are plenty between now and what we have come to call the "holiday season" because there are three in a row.
Here's the problem, I can't really answer your question. It would be rude for me to tell you to lighten up, smack a smile on your face and get over yourself if you are suffering from clinical depression. If that's the issue, you can't do these things. I understand that.
I might be able to help a little with some perspective. We live in a time of abundance in everything. Even if we are poor and struggling and eating beans and rice for dinner every night, we are better off than the pioneers coming across the plains in Conestoga wagons eating lard and sugar and losing the little ones under the wagon wheels. Or the indigenous peoples who were slaughtered to make way for those wagons.
We can eat our beans and rice in front of the tube, travel without too much work involved by sitting on some sort of gas powered chair or couch on wheels. We have an abundance of all kinds of choices of food, types of clothing, freedom of choice in how we behave.
We should already be clicking up our heels in joy and then...(dramatic musical sting) THE HOLIDAYS. Somehow, we are supposed to ramp up our heel clicking and add even more of everything to everything for about a month. That's exhausting, and sometimes utterly overwhelming. No wonder we feel sad and let down.
On top of that, we also have a lot of social media where we get to see what everyone had for breakfast and how lovely their lives are and how pretty their children look and how cute the dog is in his Santa hat. No one wants to post depressing things because no one wants to read them or think about them. So we have a very VAST false front. A permeating facade of perpetual happiness and success.
That could make anyone feel sad, depressed and lonely.
The simple answer, if there is one, is to let it go. Focus your attention on love and gratitude and compassion. Try to ramp those things up. And yes, smile. Even if you don't feel like it. I will remind you that it takes less muscles to do that.
I emphasize the word "try". Because maybe you can and maybe you can't. But you certainly can't if you don't try a little. One thing. The smile.
Or the thank you.
Or the "Happy Birthday, Jesus". After all, why do we wish people a happy birthday in the first place. Why do we feel bad when we don't get a happy birthday wish? Isn't it because saying "happy birthday" is a way of saying "I'm glad you were born"?
If you are not clinically depressed, you really need to examine why you are sad, depressed and lonely. If your problem is not a chemical imbalance, then yes, I do have some advice for you.
But if you are, here is some advice from someone who bears the same burden.