Feeling Down? Ask Yourself These Questions...
We all feel low from time to time. Part of the journey of being a human is to feel our way through life (Otherwise, what are we really? We are not machines…) However, feeling low for an extended period of time is not healthy or useful for anyone - and we should take care to avoid accepting a depressed feeling as our new ‘normal’ state of being.
If you’ve been feeling down and you aren’t sure why, I encourage you to ask yourself these six questions. They may help shed light upon some of the areas in your life that require nurturing.
1) Does my current work fit with what my soul is calling me to do?
It’s okay if your job is, well, your job! Your hobbies & passions can be something separate…but if your work is consistently draining, not aligned with your values, not ultimately serving the world for the better, or is something you dread, it’s time to re-consider.
I understand you may not know the next step yet. That’s okay. Start exploring. There’s no need to drop everything tomorrow and leap into the great unknown (although, that does work wonders for some people.) More conservatively, make the commitment to begin honestly looking into a career shift. Perhaps this simply means less hours on your current job, which may also mean cutting back on expenses so you can focus more on your passions. Or, maybe it’s time to start that business you’ve been dreaming of; start working on your idea in the evenings, or wake up two hours earlier each day. Take a week/weekend away from your family and construct a master plan.
If these suggestions sound ridiculous to you, ask yourself if you’re happy that you’ve created a life where these suggestions sound ridiculous. If ‘no’, then begin re-creating.
2) Does my current lifestyle align with the person I desire to be?
If you would like a toned, healthy body but you drink three liters of alcohol each weekend and never go to the gym, keep dreaming. If you’d like a more peaceful mind but you listen to disturbing music and hang out with aggressive, negative people–your environment is working against you. If you’d like to be thought of as a graceful soul, yet you don’t say thank you to the fellow who held the door for you - or you don’t show compassion for the tired check-out clerk when you’re in a hurry -how do you ever imagine grace to fill your soul? Take a look at everything you do on a daily basis, including the way you conduct yourself and the places you spend your leisure time, and ask yourself if your lifestyle is supportive of the person you long to be.
3) Am I being totally honest in my relationships?
Am I my most authentic self in my relationships?
Living authentically = living in joy.
Living in-authentically = living in misery.
Are you living as your most authentic, pure, TRUE self in your relationships? This is a big one. Our personal relationships are one of the most influential aspects of our lives. If we aren’t in healthy and honest partnerships with the people closest to us, we are bound to feel depleted and ‘off’. If you don’t receive enough support from your partner, aren’t deeply in love with (& loved by) him/her, are continually fighting petty battles, are no longer connecting physically, emotionally, or spiritually, or are holding in repressed emotions such as anger or resentment, it’s time for a heart-felt conversation.
There’s no need to suddenly drop the relationship (unless that’s what you’ve been called to do…) Less extremely, have a conversation with your partner about your desire to live more authentically. Explain to your partner what that looks like. Share how important it is that he/she supports you and loves you as your most authentic self.
Then, ask you partner if he/she is living most authentically. How can you be more supportive along their journey?
If there are problems or repressed emotions that need to come to the surface, tenderly address those them in a calm & level-headed fashion. Don’t blame, shout, nag, ignore, or distort anything. I find it’s helpful to meditate before any heart-to-heart conversation with someone I love. That way, I’m in my best form going into the situation.
4) Is everything I’m putting into my body healthy and supportive of a vibrant, strong physical system?
This includes pure foods, getting enough water & sunlight, your use of natural/unnatural beauty products, and your drug intake (not just illegal drugs - also caffeine, sugar, technological intake, alcohol, medications, birth control, etc.)
Take inventory. Everything that enters your precious body through the mouth, skin, sex organs, or any other mode of entry - becomes a part of you. Yes, you may reject or release part of what you intake, but part of everything we intake remains within us (even if only in ‘essence’, but oftentimes much more tangibly than that.)
I once worked with a woman who was on a raw foods cleanse. During the second month of clean-eating, she began to experience extreme de-toxification symptoms including: a perfume that she hadn’t worn for 25+ years began exiting through her skin! That’s correct. A perfume she’d worn in her teens & early twenties began seeping out through her pores, in her sweat. What had those chemicals been doing inside her all that time? Probably nothing helpful.
5) Are there any messages I’ve been receiving intuitively that I continue to ignore?
You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: when God has a message for you, she taps politely at the door the first time….then, she returns with a fierce pounding. Finally, if you don’t open that door, she becomes a hurricane and blows it down, just so she can get through to you!
This is the way with all messages from God/Universe. The messages may first come to us as silent whispers - gentle voices we feel after we pray. We may be quick to ignore them because they don’t speak with vigor. Or, we may ignore them because we don’t like what they say (“Leave your relationship!” - “Get to the gym” - “You were wrong about that decision” - “Stop seeking power through fame and money. You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. Live a good life, humbly.”)
Whatever the Universe may have whispered to you, if you ignored Her message the first time, you are bound to receive another message down the road. In the mean time, you will feel depressed, low, and lackluster. Why? Because you’re ignoring God’s guidance for you.
It isn’t God causing you to feel depressed. It’s your refusal to go where Providence is guiding. God knows how to bring you bliss, peace, satisfaction, abundance…you must only learn how to listen & submit to that intuitive guidance. When you listen to your soul’s guidance, you naturally move away from depression and into joy.
6) Are my decisions driven by fear or love?
Straight-forward and simple: make choices from a place of love, every time. Refuse to be a slave to your fears and they WILL eventually dissipate. At every cross-roads you approach in life - whether big or small - remember to make your decisions from a place of faith, love, and deep gratitude. And never look back.