There is a certain melancholy that follows me around. I used to think it only happened in autumn. I used to think I had S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or some other acronym of a disorder. I used to try to find something to blame it on so that I could make it go away. I used to separate myself from it, hide it from myself and from others. I used to call it by the clinical and cold term “depression”.
I’m now beginning to accept that what I do “have” is something that I term “M.E.” which is an acronym for “Myself Existing”.
It's been said that some people live and some people just exist.This statement seems fraught with judgment and finger pointing. There is so much pressure to have a big, happy, meaningful life these days. I believe that what defines a big, happy, meaningful life is relative to the very personal circumstances that compose each of our lives.
Existing is the best I can do some days.
I teach yoga, I meditate, I eat right, I take vitamin D, I get acupuncture, I breathe, I exercise, I love, I dance, I enjoy nature, I appreciate music and art… still this melancholy is with me… almost always.
Sometimes I embrace and love it.
Sometimes I reel against and deny it.
I do know that it is time to accept it as a part of myself.
I'd like to blend it into myself like ingredients in a cake batter. I’ve always liked the batter more than the finished cake anyway. Maybe because the batter is still raw potential with so many possibilities, yet once it’s baked it does need all of the ingredients to be delicious.
The word “melancholy”; has a certain lyrical quality to it. I want to let this melancholy flow with me, through me, around me, above and below me. I want it to inform me, not to fight me. It is constantly knocking at a door that I am resistant to open.
Ultimately if I am able to open to and accept this part of myself completely, I may be able to open other doors as well. Doors that when open could welcome some and release others.
The dictionary defines it as “a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.”
"With no obvious cause”... Letting go of the obsession with trying to find the cause of this melancholy is the tricky part for me.
Letting go of the need to examine it, to treat it or to fix it.
Blended together is most likely the only way that both of us will live.Separately, we will always be at odds. Always knocking on the door. Always searching for a piece of peace… a piece of delicious cake.
Self-acceptance allows for acceptance of others. As I am… as they are. We can live with each other or just allow each other to exist in the same world without the need to fix or to fight each other.
And so I attempt to begin each day with gratitude and acceptance. I have found using the mantra "So Hum" very helpful. Loosely translating to "I am all that is". It is helpful in letting go of the resistance to self-acceptance. Beautifully sung about here in this song (bonus track) by Vanessa Torres.
If you'd like to try it yourself, begin by sitting comfortably, closing your eyes, focusing on your breathing. Keep the breath steady and easy. No force or work. As you inhale, silently say "So". As you exhale silently say "Hum". You may find that as you focus on these words or mantra, they may eventually start to fade and you are led further into a meditative state. Come back to the mantra, as you need.
It's a nice one to use at heightened or extreme times in your life as well. It's silent so it's your little secret and your piece of peace.
Now, I don't about you, but I want a piece of cake!
**I do not in any way mean to discount any form of depression or mental illness here. This is my experience and opinion only. Depression and mental illness are real and serious conditions. I do believe that the stigma that comes with them does need to be released… if not by society than at least by the individual and those wanting to offer support. **