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Thinking That Makes It So

If you're feeling depressed, remember Shakespeare's words - there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

When you feel depressed, what is it that lets you know you're depressed? What is it that moves you from a mere feeling of lethargy to a self-imposed label of depression?

You see, you can only feel one way. You can only experience one thing. That one way, that one thing, is what you're experiencing right now. You can't experience the past and the future as reality. You can only experience the past and the future as thoughts in the present.

Without the thoughts imposed on your situation, you would just feel how you feel in the moment, without any story. In fact, in most cases, it's the story that keeps you there.

It's the excessive rumination on your current predicament which makes you feel depressed.

The real reason you're stuck in a depression is because you're caught in a sticky, glue-like narrative that's so captivating that you don't even know you're inside.

But when you start to watch how often your mind pulls you in and serves you the same story, you begin to wonder just how ridiculous this predicament is. For as long as you stay stuck in the sticky contents of your mind's narrative, you'll be lost in the quicksand.

The only way out is to recognize that it's happening in the first place. Watch your thoughts. Watch how your mind reacts to things. You can watch without interfering with it. That's what meditation is, and that's why it's valuable.

Meditation provides a doorway into the present moment, something your mind cannot do.

In fact, trying to think your way to presence will only bring you farther away. But watching your thoughts, inhabiting your body, feeling sensations as they come and go without attaching labels - all of that is your doorway to presence.

The more you can inhabit presence, the less depression you'll feel.

I'm not belittling what it means to feel depressed. I've been there plenty. In fact, I probably spent most of my high school and college years being depressed. I know that you know, it's not fun.

Watching your thoughts won't make the depression magically go away forever. However, it will give you glimpses into what life can be like without the story looming over you.

The more moments of present wakefulness you can string together, the better.

You are not depressed. You are just temporarily experiencing a depressed mind. You, yes you, are a beautiful living being with more love and light to give than the sun, stars, and moon combined.

Live with substance!

Gabe Orlowitz

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