Monday, August 13, 2007

Chinese Proverb: Birds of Sorrow

"You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair."

I love this Chinese proverb, particularly as someone who has suffered from depression, since childhood, and learned to overcome it.

Depression, for many, usually starts off with a thought or a feeling. And, although we have no control over those negative thoughts or feelings that randomly pop into our heads and hearts, we do have control over how long we indulge them. The longer we allow them to sit and fester within, the harder it becomes to dig ourselves out of the dark hole we have climbed into. The sooner you dismiss any negativity in your life, the sooner you become whole again. It truly is a question of choice. When a negative thought enters my mind, I immediately dismiss it. I refuse to give it any credence, and promptly replace it with a positive thought.

As for feelings of sorrow or depression, as soon as I start to feel that certain 'heaviness of heart', I acknowledge it, realize it is just an illusion and release it. The best thing to do is get on the mental plane, by doing something that involves some kind of mental activity. Or go out and be with people, watch a comedy, or read some kind of spiritual book. Sitting at home brooding will just worsen the situation.

The choice is ours. We just have to want to make that choice.


Pat Jenkins said...

depression not only seems to attack the mind, but as you mention the soul as well. making it a difficult and a taxing cure. it is consuming and demonic, without sounding religious, and there is never enough that can be done to help eradicate it. i lived with an overly depressed, wraught with negativisim father and a controlling manipulative mother whose demeaning actions have caused my sister and me much pain. that has taken both of us through throws of depression and continual emotional trama from a a lack of any self worth. it is not a easy hole to climb out of.

Incognito said...

Indeed it isn't easy to overcome, Pat. I struggled for years with it, and remember struggling since childhood. My mother, too, suffers from depression and has only recently found some meds that seem to be helping a little. That was a route I chose not to take. Meds. I'm fortunate I had the strength and will power to win that battle.

So sorry to hear about your folks. I'm not sure parents always know how detrimental their behaviour can be, and how it can adversely affect their children. I don't think we know how to cope with that kind of negativity as children, though as adults we, i believe, can decipher truth from falsehood and choose to either accept what others dish out or not. It's hard living and dealing with negativity, but one's faith and spiritual life can help one step into wholeness again.

I hope you have been able to release all of that.

Frasypoo said...

My father-in-law used to go into a seasonal depression every year.Strangely it stopped when he retired,I think he hated working!

Incognito said...

:-) You are funny Poo. Could have been the work.
But a lot of people suffer from SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder a depression that comes during the winter and is a result of lack of sunlight, but I'm sure you already know of that.

Pat Jenkins said...

thank you incog. and i am working on it. on the postive side i would not be the person or human being i am, or becoming, if not for what i have been through. for that, i would not trade anything.

Incognito said...

Very true, Pat, we learn from all things (even the negative) that happen in our lives. It strengthens us, in many ways.

A great way of overcoming that kind of negativity is positive self-talk.