Stepping out of Sadness: Discussion and lesson plan
Today I declare that I am bigger than the sadness I perceive in me.
In this moment I, let go of the past and future. I go forth with great
enthusiasm for this day.
( click play on the player to have us read this article to you)
Sadness and Depression
Sadness and depression can sneak up on you at any time. It doesn’t matter if your rich or poor, we all can drop down into despair. Often, you don’t even see it coming your way. A series of events in your life can wear you down, little by little and the next thing you know, you’re in a dark space not knowing how you got there or how to get out. This lesson is designed to throw you a rope, to pull yourself out of the hole you may be in.
Identifying your Problems
It’s important to prioritize what needs your attention and what you need to let go of. Have you ever sat down with an old friend and asked them how they are doing and two hours later they have told you about seven to fifty different stories about things that happened anywhere from five to fifty years ago? This is part of prioritizing your stresses. Prioritizing your stresses helps you distinguish what is a current stress (that you may have the ability to fix) and what is a stress from your past (that you cannot fix). Despair tends to cloud your judgement and often leaves you swinging for the fences. Small problems and big problems become blurred together and with our mind going in several directions at once we tend to not be able to fix any one thing effectively. Taking time to make a list and seeing the reality of what is stressing us out, often brings our issues into focus. This allows us to set our list down so that we can work on one thing at a time. Which brings me to the next point… WORK ON ONE THING AT A TIME. We are most effective when we allow our focus to stay fixed on the task at hand.
Being Honest with Ourselves
Out of all the things on your list what is really valid? Sometimes people’s problems are not even their own problems. At times we can make other people’s problems our own. Here’s a simple story about Buddha that offers a great deal of wisdom.
There was a man who constantly yelled out and insulted Buddha while he was teaching, yelling out all sorts of verbal abuse at him. However, Buddha never seemed fazed by this. When someone asked why he didn’t take offense, he simply replied…
“If someone offers you a gift and you refuse to accept,
to whom does the gift belong?”
How many of your problems have been caused by you accepting gifts from others that you never wanted in the first place. If you accept someone else’s problem, it’s now yours to deal with.
Another thing to get really honest about is, your willingness to let go of the stresses that are causing your depression or despair. Can you imagine your life being problem free? Have you become so invested in your sad stories that they are now part of who you are?
Finding the Moment
A great deal of life’s problems don’t exist in the moment we are in. Most problems, are things that happened in the past or things that have not yet come to pass. Imagine this, if you were watching a movie and you watched a minute and then you fast forwarded it twenty minutes, and kept doing this, by the end of the movie you would have only watched four to six minutes of the movie. Would you know what that movie was about? How entertaining or educational would it be?
This is what we do in our lives, we get stuck in our mind and we pause life.
However, life keeps rolling along. We then snap out of our minds and catch another minute of our lives. This can lead us to feel out of place and that we don’t fit in, or it can create the experience that life is moving too fast and we cannot keep up. Being lost in our minds causes us to be out of context with life. Whereas being relaxed and present makes life more effortless. At any moment we can come back to the present and get our lives back. Our greatest solutions are often found by rising above our problems. Being mindful of the moment, might just be the thing we need to find the solution to our problems. You may realize the things that are bothering you the most are not even your problems.
- Make a list of the things you feel are causing you to feel depressed or stressed.
- Now prioritize that list. Old stresses (that you can’t change) current stresses (that you want or need to change).
- Out of the list of things that are causing you grief look at each one and ask yourself, will the resolution of this problem change or make my future better?
- Be committed to being one hundred percent honest with yourself about this homework.
- Make a conscious commitment on not letting your mind jump from one stress to another.
(Words from the video)
Is the sadness you are carrying yours?
Live your life from this moment
Learn to find friends that don’t share your problems
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