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Depression, learned behaviour and the freedom to choose.


It's no secret, I have tried so many things to beat depression. I have come at it from every angle, been on and off meds, prayed, fasted, experimented with food and exercise and done whatever I have thought to do. The early years of my struggle are recorded in Hope's Journey. There are days when I feel cheated of life itself, like I will never know it feels like to be content or normal! It is frustrating. At times I just hate myself. I hate that I cry for stupid things, shout at the children I love dearly and annoy my wonderful husband with my nonsense. I don't always feel this way or even behave this way but there are times when I do and I beat myself up over it because it's not the person I want to be.

Our current Girl's Night series this year is a powerful one and already after the very first session I feel empowered and excited about the possibilities. What struck me most was that I had to choose contentment and not wait for the feelings to come. I know this to be true of happiness too, you can choose to be happy or sad. There is always the option for both emotions in most situations and we can choose how we response or react. At times I have been upset that I can't just be happy, why do I have to work so hard at it.  And now to add to my annoyance it seems I have to work at being content too!

My lovely father-in-law bought me a great book this Christmas, Passion into Profit, to encourage me in my business. Right in the beginning the author, Andy Harrington, described a real life scene from his own life at a Tony Robbins convention.  We will jump in at a random point of this story which won't make much sense to you but read it and bear with me as I tie all these pieces together for you afterwards.

"I swallow hard and hope Robbins knows what he’s doing.

‘So you’re depressed? Why are you depressed? Tell me about it,’ Robbins commands.

Within a few moments she is tearful, rocking back and forth on her chair in the foetal position, and she’s starting to become withdrawn and unresponsive.

‘What the hell? How’s this going to help?’ I’m thinking.

Then he asks her something that totally surprised me. ‘Have you ever had
an explosive orgasm?’

‘Huh?’ she asks, incredulously.

‘I’m just curious. Have you ever had an explosive orgasm?’ he asked again.

‘I can’t tell you that!’ she said coyly. The audience laughs.

‘Well you just told 5,000 people about this depressing episode. Why not
tell us about this joyful one?’

She’s stumped, and looks confused. Robbins calls on help from the audience.

‘Ladies and gentleman, can she tell us about this experience – yes or no?’

Five thousand people respond as one with ‘Yes!’ and clap enthusiastically.

Robbins asks, ‘Can you think about that time now? Go back to that time and see what you saw, hear what you heard and feel what you felt.’ 

She closes her eyes and begins to associate back to the experience. It starts to resemble the scene from the movie When Harry Met Sally where Sally (played by Meg Ryan) has a full-blown orgasm in a cafĂ©. The crowd cheers her on and it starts to build up – and I mean really build up, if you know what I mean. She is flushed in the face and making quite a sound through the microphone she’s holding. Now remember, there are cameras onstage looking at us, so the whole audience can see on the big screens what is taking place. You should have seen the look on my face. All I remember thinking was ... ‘I haven’t seen this before!’

This one seminar changed her life. She was totally stuck but came to realize through this intervention that she had the power to choose her emotions depending on what she focused on and the meaning she gave to what happened to her."

This got me thinking, as I have thought many times that the power lies with us to change our mind. Freedom comes when we take possession of our mind.  We can choose happiness, we can choose contentment and we can choose our emotions. Most people allow emotions to rule them but the truth is we can choose our emotions.  

Too often we question why God doesn't heal us but I have recently learned that God has healed me. I very specifically remember being prayed for one evening and raced home to tell Eric that I had been healed from depression. I remember it well.  So if that's true why do I still struggle, why do I still cry when I don't want to, why do I still get in a mood and why do I still sometimes just want to die?

I now know why. It is not depression anymore. I believe I am not depressed now. There are two things left that I need to work on and they are: 1) my freedom to choose my emotions and 2) my learned behaviour.

I am going to stop here because before I share these two powerful keys with you I want you to take some time to think about this.  These keys are not only for people with depression they are for every single person no matter what the struggle!  They apply to EVERYONE.

Please share your thoughts with me in the comments box below and I will share part two of this post soon.  It will blow your mind!  You will be free. Nothing will have power over you every again. The enemy will be defeated because his mind games won't work anymore on any of us. I can't wait to tell you about it... but not yet.  First you have to do your homework and think about this carefully and how it applies to you.

*** Please use your common sense, only you know where you are at on your journey with depression, there is nothing wrong with medication - I took anti-depressants for over a year and it was a welcomed break from all the hard work I have done to beat depression. I feel stronger and ready to do all I have mentioned above.  There is no condemnation in this, just know that God works in many ways and you need to follow His guidance as He leads you in the way you should go.  He lead me to anti-depressants for a season and I am so grateful as it has helped me so much. But now I want to move forward without them because that's what I feel is right for me.  You must figure out what is right for you too.

Love

Comments

  1. Emotions are a God given response, just as the body responds in pain to an injury or otherwise to more pleasurable activities! They are neither good nor bad. To think we can or should choose our emotions can be dangerous - it can get us into denial, and masking problems- and that can often lead to - guess what - depression and anxiety! We do have choice though: what we do with our emotion and what we use it for. It is not a sin to cry or be sad or depressed. We know Jesus wept, he mourned, he was disappointed, frustrated and sad at times, but he dealt with these emotions and situations in a perfect and sinless way. It is important we learn to regulate our emotions and handle them appropriately though - forgetting this can lead to all sorts of problems in life and relationships, but to deny our emotions is dangerous territory. God sees every tear and know every desperate thought, but he does not condemn them. By being honest with our selves and others in supportive community we can move forward and be transformed as we allow The Lord to renew our minds. As we worship Him in spirit and in truth we can freely and truly be who God made us to be - this doesn't happen by choosing to respond against how God designed us or by covering, masking and hiding. We can choose contentment and to pursue the strength of The Lord, which is joy, even amidst pain and suffering, but this is different from happiness. Susanna

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    1. Thank you for your views. I agree on some points but there was no mention of sin or right or wrong in my post merely a call to self control which is one of the amazing fruit of the Holy Spirit.

      You may enjoy a book I wrote on emotions called Emotional Gravity. www.womensbusiness.club/product/emotional-gravity

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