Depression Test: The Emptiness Inside
Where does it come from, the sense of emptiness or aloneness that we sometimes experience? I've been getting more than the usual number of messages asking for help for this sick feeling, and I certainly can empathize with it. I lived with this for many years, and having found my way out of it, I'd like to share what I learned.
A simple word covers the situation, though what it describes isn't simple at all. The word is "alienation". This is what we feel when we sense that no one cares about us, that we are not understood, that we simply are not *connecting* with those around us.
There are any number of reasons why this has occurred. For some, there may have been a neglectful family life, one in which your needs were ignored. No family at all, or one in which you were "the odd man out", different from the others. This can happen on a temporary basis, such as after a divorce or a life-long friend moving away. What has occurred is that there is not enough support of the "real you", the one that can relax and say what it thinks, that can snuggle up like a puppy in a big litter. That "you", the natural Self, has gotten the eroneous idea that it is unwanted.
Why is it eroneous? Because there is always something that will love you, exactly the way that you are, no matter what. This is your Source, your Higher Power, God or Goddess. Most of us know what this is, no matter what term we may use for it. The empty, soul-sickening feeling cannot be effectively dealt with until this is recognized. You are already loved, and the more that you're willing to accept it, the more of it that can get through to you. If you're unwilling to accept it, you've shut down that flow. If you're feeling alienated, you've been unwilling to accept that you're already loved.
This isn't necessarily the officially approved, pious and dogmatic love that you're told you can get at your church around the corner. No, this is your basic life blood of spirituality, that which is the Source of you, that which keeps you alive. You are alive because there is something so wonderful about you, your life essence, that you were built into the pattern of the Universe.
Contrary to what some belief systems may tell you, in metaphysics we know that "how good you are" has little to do with how much you are loved and supported. You can make multitudes of mistakes, get angry, not always be the best you can be, and you will still be loved. The point is that you are loved to the degree that you can accept the love, not to the degree that you feel you have "earned" it.
Whatever you could possibly want for yourself, This wants for you, only more so. Depending on how much self-esteem you can drum up, you could even accept that you are right here, right now experiencing as much love as you are capable of accepting. This is what can fill up the empty places. There is an infinite quantity of this love, and the human heart responds exceedingly well to large applications.
If we've been living with alienation for a long time, we have probably become very depressed, cynical, refusing to accept that good can come to us in anything but a very limited, pre-defined form. If it comes in any other form, it doesn't pass the test and isn't any good, and we push it away. This is a remarkable thing to see in action. I've seen people lacking a family connection, ignore and push away wonderful potential spouses, for the reason that this person was not their father or sister and therefore "couldn't give them what they needed". And conversely, I've watched a divorced person turn away from the support of their family which could have made it all feel a whole bunch better. There are those who stay at home and wonder why they haven't got any friends, or who spend time in superficial partying, wondering why nothing meaningful is occurring in their lives.
I suspect that there's as many ways for alienation to manifest as there are human beings. The point is, that if we connect on the spiritual level, we can connect on the physical. Allow yourself to feel loved and you will pass the depression test.