A More Comprehensive Guide To Overcoming Depression -- Be A Free Thinker!

December 13, 2013

Forgiving Is Like Giving Birth (Without The Epidural)

Forgiveness is a concept that it's really hard to understand, unless experienced first hand. I've struggled with it for a very long time, before I was able to fully understand what it means to forgive, why it's so important that we do forgive all the wrong doings, and how to apply this incredibly healing tool. 

I used to ask myself: "How can I forgive when it hurts so much???

I thought it was simply impossible to forgive all the pain and suffering I had to endure, especially in my childhood. When I finally understood that the only way to free myself from such pain was through forgiveness -- my perspective had changed entirely. It became obvious to me that the question "How can I forgive when it hurts so much?" was out of context. The more accurate question was: "How could I not forgive when it hurts so much?" The moment I understood that forgiveness was (to me, at least) the only way to heal, was the moment when I realized that if I didn't want to keep experiencing the pain, I really had no choice, but to forgive.

From all the pain I've experienced, the rejection hurt the most. And of course, it was the hardest to forgive. As they say, hatred is not the opposite of love -- the indifference is. Being unnoticed, unrecognized, ignored, and completely neglected is a feeling that I would not wish upon my worst enemy. 

Not surprisingly, such emotions were the main reasons that were hiding behind my several suicide attempts. What was surprising to me, was that I've discovered this only after I overcame my suicidal tendencies. For a very long time (several decades, to be more specific) I was in complete denial about the resentment and the grudge I was holding against my mother. I've had too much respect and too much admiration towards the woman that gave birth to me, to allow myself to see her as a human being only. Typical for a child; in my eyes my mother was nothing else but a replica of God himself. She did earn the admiration in many ways, I won't dispute that. She raised nine children, while working full time, and while struggling not only financially, but through living with an abusive husband as well. She seemed to posses the strength that not many people had. 

But that strength did not come to her for free. It had it's price. The saddest part was that her children (myself including), which she loved the most (and still does) were always the ones picking up the tab. My mother's strength (in other words love) did not come entirely from within herself, and that was the biggest problem. She was born as an "illegitimate" child, and as such, in those still very primitive times, she was viewed as a burden by her own mother. She was the symbol of embarrassment and shame. Her father, (my grandfather) still remains unknown to this very day. There is no doubt that her childhood was anything but "a walk in the park". 

Unfortunately my mother did not have the understanding that I have now. She didn't understand that in order to be able to show the love to her own children the way they deserved (and the way she wanted) -- she had to find that love within herself first. And the only way she could have done that was if she forgave her own parents for neglecting her the way they did. My mother searched for that love and acceptance outside of herself. She became fascinated with the religion and the Church. She became obsessed with it. Her daily attendance of mass (sometimes even twice in a single day) gave her a temporary high, which she interpreted as a sense of belonging. She mistook that as a source of her inner strength. Her addiction to Church became so strong, and so overpowering that she wasn't even able to see the sense of abandonment I was feeling every evening while waiting for her to come home. She put herself and her children in a risky situation of being beaten up by her spouse, who understandably so, felt infuriated by her constant absence. 

Obviously all that time I was well aware of everything that was going on, but only when I reached my mid-thirties, I was actually able to admit to myself as to where my fear of rejection had initiated. My marriage had finally shown me everything that I needed to see.

I started to understand that my constant anger towards my husband, particularly when it came to his absence in the evenings, had a lot less to do with my spouse, and a lot more to do with my mother's absence. The excruciating pain I was feeling while waiting for my significant other to come home, was the exact same pain I felt every day while waiting for my mother. The sense of neglect and abandonment was not new to me. The old sense of rejection, powered by the awful feeling of knowing that someone you love would rather be someplace else, away from you, instead of spending their time with you -- revisited me once again. At first I resisted the reality every way I could. I threatened with the divorce on a daily basis. I yelled, I screamed, and I cried myself to sleep almost every night. Nothing ever changed though. Things seemed to get worst progressively. I even begun to hate my husband. He started to resent me as well. At one point, if felt as if I was living with a stranger.

The thing was -- I cared way too much about my husband, to just sit and watch our marriage going to ruins. So I had to do what was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do -- I had to forgive my mother. I had to acknowledge first what  it was exactly that needed to be forgiven. That meant I had to abolish my child-like view of my mother. I had to become no one else but an objective observer. I had to stop being her daughter for a moment. I had to see things clearly for what they were, as opposed to what I wished they were. And I had to stop wishing that my past, and the way my mom's absence felt, would ever be any different.

It was painful. It was like being in a labor with a child that for some reasons kept refusing to come out. Same way as a woman in a delivery room might find herself hating everyone in that moment, I felt irritated by every one around me.

"You did this to me!"

Yes, I yelled that in my mind at my mother many times.

"You, and your constant freaking absence made me feel rejected, unwanted, and it hurt like hell! And I had to re-experience that over and over again throughout my entire life. I had to go through relationship after relationship where I had to endure being dumped over and over again. If you didn't go to that stupid Church, if you just spend more time with me, I wouldn't be such a wreck today. I wouldn't have to feel rejected on a daily basis."

While revisiting my painful past, the emotional "contractions" became even stronger. I was in so much pain that I couldn't even verbalize, or construct any thoughts. The intensity of hatred found its peak. That's when I admitted that the grudge existed. I couldn't fight it anymore. I was too exhausted from trying to deliver my forgiveness to this world.

Finally, after a couple of months, I gave in. The usual absence of my husband felt more than unbearable. I felt the urge to punish him for the immense suffering he was causing me. Fortunately, this time I didn't have to consider ending my life. This time I knew what I needed to do. I needed to finish giving birth to my forgiveness. This time I fully understood that my past suicide attempts were in fact my attempts to kill, but not myself, but rather my pain. I also understood though that in some ways it was my way of punishing those who made me feel unloved and not accepted.

With such humbleness, brought by the utteral sense of powerlessness, something had finally broke inside of me. I was finally able to see my mother as a human being, who is allowed to make mistakes like everyone else. I was able to see her inability to find love withing herself as a condition, from which the majority of people on this planet suffer from. I could understand (and therefore I could forgive) that her addiction to Church was not different at all from my father's addiction to alcohol. Like my father, she was sick too, but not necessarily in a way we define sickness. She was sick from living in a world where two parents had to work full time in order to be able to barely feed their children. She was sick from trying to do her best, only to come short all the time. She was sick from not knowing what true unconditional love felt like, and not knowing where to find it.

When I finally understood all this, I begun to relax. The anger started to get weaker and weaker. I noticed I started to see my husband in a more tender way as well. This time, while facing the old issues, I started to react differently. While presented with the old dilemmas, I'd tell myself in my mind:

"If he's hurting you by making you feel rejected, it's only because he's been hurting within himself. Don't punish him with your cold shoulder anymore. Love him even that much more. Let your unconditional love be the medicine to his broken heart as well."

One morning I woke up with a strange sense of happiness. I say strange, because it had absolutely nothing to do with the circumstances. Externally, everything had still remained pretty much the same. And yet, an incredible sense of joy I woke up with, was telling me that I must have been doing something right! I could no longer question the fact that once we find the love (the joy) within ourselves, we no longer depend on getting it from the external world. And when we stop depending on it, we are actually able to love and receive love from others! As it turned out, the fastest way to find such inner love is through forgiveness. It's a hell of a bumpy road, for sure, but like any shortcuts, it has to lead through wild, and quite often unfriendly terrain.

My complete forgiveness was finally born. It came to this world, while making me scream and cry from pain. But just as a new born child would do, once it arrived, it gave me more joy that I could ever ask for!

December 6, 2013

Free Yourself From Your Bra!

Ladies! Isn't time to free ourselves from the unnecessary and useless, some would even argue -- damaging -- "support" manufactured for our breasts -- called bras? 

Come on, I cannot be the only woman who finds these bras (any kinds of bras) awfully uncomfortable, of restrictive nature, and to be a major contributor of a skin rash (right where those bras embrace our torsos.)  

I haven't been the biggest fan of bras since well after my puberty. Before that, like almost every teenage-girl, I would steal my sisters' bras to make my chest look bigger and more full than it was. But then, as I grew older, I forgot that no other species but humans, voluntarily choose to torture themselves by wearing wires and other synthetics around themselves! I forgot I had a free choice, and that no one could stand in my way of executing such freedom to wear what I'm pleased to wear, and to be who I choose to be. For years (actually decades) I followed the "main stream" fashion guidance (for those who are new to my blog: I used to be a fashion model) and continued to suffer the discomfort and the limitations such faithful follow-ship had brought onto me. 

I'd always take off my bra the moment I'd step in my house, sometimes before I'd even take off my shoes. Then I'd spend few good minutes on rubbing my breasts - especially the underneath area - to alleviate the discomfort caused by the skin rash, created by the trapped sweat. Yet, I'd continue to wear the 'torture device' in attempt to please the public, and to avoid causing too much commotion. God forbid, someone would be able to see my perky nipples through the shirt or a dress! 

Well, recently (partially due to freeing myself from depression) I decided to end this nonsense. First thing I did; I went to buy some sport bras, thinking it would do the trick. I thought I'd be more comfortable, and that the public wouldn't feel "offended" by the display of my nipular bulge on my wardrobe. I got the most comfortable bras the store had. I wore them for a while, until I was ready to admit to myself (and to my patient breasts) that even the most comfortable bras are not comfortable at all. The only comfortable bra I've ever run into is: no - bra - whatsoever

So I apologized to my breasts, and to myself, for taking so long to free myself from this self-imposed restriction, called 'trying to fit in the society'. Why on earth would I continue to make myself so miserable so few people wouldn't have to experience feeling awkward? If anyone out there is still uncomfortable with their own sexuality, if seeing the shape of my nipples through my dress makes them distracted, then that is their problem, not mine. Simple as that. 

And so today, I went bra-less to do grocery shopping. Before I even got the chance to leave the house, I was stopped by my concerned husband. 

"Aren't you gonna put some bra?" He asked me. 

"Nope." I answered. 

Seeing the amusement on my spouse's face, I went on and on, explaining how I refuse to be a slave to the society, how not that long ago, women were pressured into wearing uncomfortable beyond belief things called corsets, and how that was finally abolished too. My husband just stood there, listing patiently to my verbal rant. When I was finally done with educating 'one of the male population', he smiled insecurely. I could read his face that said: "There is that crazy girl I married! Watch out world, here she comes!" 

At the grocery store I didn't pay any attention as to what was going on around me, so I can't tell what impact (and if any) my bra-less outfit had on others. As usually, I stayed focused on picking and choosing the organic (non-GMO) fruits and vegetables. What I did notice was the difference in how I felt while driving back home. I rolled down the window and I immediately felt the fresh sensation of having my breasts being caressed by the wind! The air flew effortlessly through the summer shirt I wore. The pacific breeze made its way all the way to my unrestricted by bra nipples. Throughout the entire ride, the fresh air I was able to feel on my liberated breasts, continued to give me a sensation of freshness and freedom.  

What a freeing, liberating and totally pleasant sensation that is! If you haven't experience it yet, don't wait.. You won't know what you've been missing, until you try it yourself.

Remember: -- it's not illegal not to wear a bra, so it's not like you'll be braking law or anything. :)  

December 1, 2013

Preventing Suicide - 1 Simple Thing You Can Do To Save Someone's Life

Suicide, (and having suicidal thoughts) is still one of the biggest taboos in the modern world we live in. It really doesn't have to be that way though.

Approximately 8 years ago, I found myself attending a free seminar in LA. The seminar organizers were offering free 3-nights lodging at a nice hotel for the attendees, so I took the offer, and I drove from Mojave Desert to the City of Angels. 

Four thousand people attended this free event! Throughout the entire seminar, which lasted 3 long days, we were asked to take numerous breaks, so our brains could stay fresh (more receptive, of course, to what the organizers were selling). On those breaks, a loud music that was coming from the speakers was energizing the atmosphere. Not able to resist the rhythm, I jumped on the stage and I started to dance. Immediately, I was followed by the other attendees who started to dance on the stage around me. This was taking place on every single break. With a blissful smile on my face, and while moving my body freely, quickly I became sort of like a sensation. 

Towards the end of the seminar, the host had asked if any of us would be willing to share on the stage something personal, perhaps something that we felt grateful for. I joined the line that formed around the microphone. When it was my turn, I took the microphone, and I told the four thousand people that were starting at me, that I felt grateful to be alive, -- that I have had survived despite that fact of having to be hospitalized several times for intentional overdose on sleeping pills. The crowd remained speechless for a while. Then people started to stand up and to applaud. 

When I left the stage, I found myself immediately surrounded by numerous people. Everybody started handing me their business cards. People were trying to let me know how moved they were by me, and by what I've said. Some lady had even invited me to appear as a guest on a live TV show. Some movie producers shared their interest in making a movie based on my life and my story. All this experience was pretty amazing, but not nearly as amazing as what happened next. 

In the midst of all this commotion, caused by the attention I was getting, I was pulled aside by a young girl. She had a look on her face as if she just saw a ghost. Her face was pale and she seemed unable to contain the excitement. Her words seemed to be leaving her vocal cords too slow to follow her aroused mind.  

"Oh my god! Oh my god! I have to tell you something!" She kept talking while directing me towards the corner, in an attempt to hide both of us from the curiosity of others. When we finally reached some privacy, she told me few things about herself. She was 18 years old and she came to this seminar with her boyfriend to celebrate their last 3 days on this Earth. The young couple have been feeling depressed and hopeless for quite some time. Neither of them had a job and they were living here and there, on whoever's couch they were allowed to sleep on. Fed up with the world and the life they've been enduring, the two teenagers decided to end their lives together. They had decided that after the seminar they were going to jump of the bridge. They already picked the time and the place to do so. But since the seminar had offered free lodging, they decided to take the offer, and to enjoy their last days on this planet. And that's how our roads crossed...

"When you were dancing on that stage, I've been watching you and I've been hating you the whole time!" The girl continued explaining everything to me.

"I was so irritated by you. I was like, what a fucking bitch! Look at her, dancing all day long, all happy, and all that. If I was as beautiful as she is, I'd be dancing too! She's probably some spoiled, rich girl who never had to work in her entire life. If I had her life, I'd be jumping like that too. And then, you got up on the stage, and you said what you said. At that very moment when you finished talking, I suddenly saw a black energy, sort of like a black Soul or something, that was floating away from my, and my boyfriend's bodies! I'm not kidding you. Look at me, I still have goosebumps on my skin!" The young girl kept shaking while I kept staring at her completely speechless. 

"And so then, I knew we weren't going to jump of that bridge. You've saved our lives! By being so honest, by sharing what you've shared you've literally saved two lives today. That's not even all. After that dark shade disappeared somewhere in the ceiling, I looked at your face. You were still standing on that stage but you didn't look the same anymore. Your face was glowing and you looked like an Angel. You didn't even look human to me! The energy around you was so beautiful, and you were soooo beautiful, that I can't even describe it! I just felt like I had to tell you all this."  

This amazing experience had taught me that we can indeed help those who are feeling hopeless to the point of considering suicide. We can share openly our own heartaches, and by doing so we make others feel that they are not alone. 

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