Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Are You Depressed Because You Can't Find Love?
Depression seems to be a hot topic on dating and relationship blogs right now. No doubt the coming winter and the lack of light in the Northern Hemisphere, where all the blogs I currently follow are from, plays a roll in this. Having had my share of minor depression, especially of the seasonal variety, I know all too well how easy it can be to get down about being alone. Even when you have an otherwise good life.
The first thing to realize is that being without a partner is not a character defect. Single folks in many societies have long been demonized for various reasons, but the fact is that there's absolutely nothing wrong with being single. In fact, I'd argue that sometimes our lives paths are such that it's absolutely right to be single for awhile.
For those of you struggling with being ok by yourself, perhaps this simple meditation practice will help.
Take a comfortable seat and close your eyes. Let your awareness move to your heart center, and feel whatever it is that is present. It might be a specific feeling, like happiness or sadness. Or maybe it's some less defined energy - a flow or a tension. Occasionally, I seem to feel nothing at all when I do this, and that's fine as well. Whatever is there, just let it be.
After a few minutes, begin to slowly say the following phrases to yourself. You can say them silently or out loud. Either way is fine.
May I be happy.
May I be healthy.
May I love and be loved.
May I be free from suffering.
You can repeat these as often as you want. Or just say each once and then sit quietly for 5-10 minutes before moving on with your day. Sometimes, I'll do a little journaling if something specific that seems important came up during this process. Like a distinct memory that I want to reflect upon more.
One important thing about practices like this is to just do them, and not fixate on any particular outcome or goal.
I recall one particularly difficult period, following a break up, where I did this meditation amongst other practices nearly every days for months. I doubt that this practice alone allowed me to heal and move on, but it likely helped, and regardless, it gave me something tangible to do in the face of depression and sadness.
Your thoughts? What have you done when you have felt depressed about being single?