Depression: The Unspoken Connection You May Decide to Care About
Several weeks ago, while speaking with my mom, I burst into tears.
“There is just so much suffering on the planet!”
My mother gently reminded me that I couldn’t take it all on. To do so would be harming myself and would certainly not put me in a better position to help others. “You are not them, honey. You can’t take it all on.”
“But…I AM them, mom. We are ALL them. All of humanity is connected. As long as people cannot see that, they will continue to hurt one another, in small and big ways. We must remember our universal connection.”
Well, wow. That was an intense, random outpouring of emotion for a Sunday afternoon.
But, as an intuitive and empath, that’s how it goes sometimes.
I will get hit with an intense emotion, and be filled with an unexplainable urgency to wake up the planet to our interconnection. And that’s when it usually happens…
Some event occurs, and unfortunately often a tragedy, that does indeed wake people up to our universal connection…for at least a moment.
This time it was the suicide of Robin Williams.
In the week following his death, there was a lot of talk on social media about suffering and depression.
The through line of the message: You are not alone.
And while, often, that message is said to imply that support is available, I believe it also has a deeper meaning.
You are not alone…because we are all connected.
There is a piece of depression I see, in my work as a holistic practitioner, that is not usually addressed.
People who are suffering often think that they are having an individual experience; which, of course, they are (stay with me for a moment).
And often, this experience feels all pervasive. It feels unexplainable.
And sometimes the reason for that vastness of feeling is that beyond the person’s individual experience, they are indeed feeling something even broader.
They are feeling our interconnection.
Human suffering is a global condition. And some sensitive souls are more likely to tune into that.
So, what the hell does that mean?
Does that mean that a person’s depression is not personal to their genetics or their experiences? Or that people are not accountable for their own life?
It means that in addition to those familial and personal factors, that a person with depression is often also tuning into, and relating deeply, to the experiences of other people on the planet.
They feel the intensity of the pain that exists in the world, and often that is what can tip their personal scale.
We are all connected…for better or worse. And some people feel the intensity of that connection more than others.
In fact, one could suggest that it is that sensitivity to the interconnectedness that makes some individuals less resilient when dealing with personal factors; because they are already feeling everything around them so deeply.
Many of these same people are not aware that they are also experiencing that connection to others, so the irony is that they feel isolated and alone.
When you feel isolated and alone, you retract. You go deeper into “separation consciousness,” pushing away friends and family and anyone else in the position to help you. So, the cycle of isolation is perpetuated.
That separation is a lie. We are all connected. But sometimes we forget.
Why Should I Care?
Ultimately, when we recognize our interconnectedness, we are less likely to treat others poorly. And that’s a cycle worth stopping. So, there’s that.
Also, when people outside of our sphere are hurting, we often consciously tune it out. After all, why should we care about the people next door, let alone on the other side of the world?
Well, how about because there is no “other side of the world”—we are all connected on some level. And therefore the experiences happening “somewhere else” are often subconsciously affecting someone much closer to you–or even you personally. And maybe that’s a reason to care.
To be clear, that does not mean you should internalize someone else’s experience and take it on.
What it means is that by recognizing our interconnection, you can do your part to transform the overall suffering on the planet.
Start with yourself. In what small (or big) ways do you allow your own suffering? Are you in a position to shift it?
If it is too much to tackle alone, please know that there are others who can support you. You may no longer be in a position to reach out. We will try to reach in.
Are you in a position to help others shift their suffering either directly or by leading them towards a professional? Do it.
We are all in different phases (and degrees) of our own suffering. Some of us will be the helpers and some of us will need help (and most of us will play both roles in our lifetime).
When news of Robin’s death blew up on social media, I thought, “with all the various suffering that is currently happening, across the world, what is it about this specific suicide that makes so many people take notice?”
One reason is that so many of us feel the connection to Robin Williams.
Why? Well, we grew up watching Mork & Mindy, memorized his stand up or we can quote any number of his films. We feel like we know him personally. We can relate to him. We allowed him into our hearts.
We feel empathy for the suffering that led to his death, because we feel our connection to him. But, we are all connected.
Sometimes it takes a cultural icon to remind us of that.
So, with his passing, may we each take a moment to feel the interconnection of all our lives.
May we send love and support to ALL the people in the world who are suffering.
May we recognize that suffering is often not simply a personal condition, but a collective struggle of humanity, and the most sensitive among us are often most vulnerable to tuning into that.
May we recognize that the more we embrace our connection, the less we will hurt one another, in word and deed.
May we recognize that through consciously experiencing our connection, we will be in a better position to support ourselves and others and transform the overall consciousness of suffering.
May we recognize that we are all connected.
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