To fight despair is a deep challenge. Despair can knock out the will to live, Everyone hits against it at some point in their life. Even the strongest person can be brought down low by despair, even those you wouldn’t expect it from in life.
It’s especially true now watching all the damage happening around the world. It is easy to lose hope, to lose faith in oneself.
I am not speaking as a person who is always upbeat or positive. Positive thinking while powerful isn’t the charm to cure all. I have wandered many places in my life, including suffering deep depression in my own life. At times I push myself too much, and then I can truly feel despair. I will never use medication as the teachings in Taoism helps me overcome depression and fight despair with deeper practices.
I don’t let fear define my life, so I can safely explore my own despair when it attempts to tempt me to collapse my dreams down to nothing.
This morning I felt a deep despair down to my core.
I am talking a deep unwinding exhale of despair…
counter balanced by a deeper
inhale of breath of pure wondering…
Wondering how to pull together dreams that connect up the dots of my life, as larger economic pressures force people to work harder to hold together… Here is the very clue of how to defeat despair… Not by working harder (which would only stoke the flames of depression greater by pushing myself too thin) but by releasing…
Despair will trick you ,
to think it’s time to release dreams
to release hope…
But that is despair’s deepest trick
To make you miss the point of what you should release!
Despair is working to make you release hope. Fight despair by releasing the judgement thinking you have already lost the battle! Nothing is ever lost; you have breath to push and make life expand and connect outward still.
To base a life upon values outside the heart, makes it all too easy to lose faith in oneself. This is most especially true as the world collapses down in chaos, as the chaos of the world strips away those very outside measurements that people tend to use to define their life towards!
If you feel the “fight” when despair comes up, the trick isn’t to fight despair at full power. Wisdom is patience and fighting without wisdom often reinforces what you fight, which then reinforces your despair. So add a dash of wisdom, patience, to how you fight despair. Also to fight at full power drains your energy away to sink a person into depression later. So patience will temper how you push to not over drain yourself. Instead you gently roll around your fight, flip it around and use the malaise to remind you to pause. Then find creative new directions to make a difference in how you move in life.
Never forget in the fight, in the challenges, in the crazy moments… life is also always beautiful.
To fully defeat despair you must release judgment!
A very difficult thing to do in a society that only teaches you how to judge yourself. Also add in the trap that western culture reinforces the concept that you are guilty when you are unable to work enough to pay the bills. It’s hard to defeat despair when society actually encourages the despair to depower you!
Taoism gets around this problem since we teach to have faith in your own heart, to connect out in potential rather than having outside judgments limit /reduce our life down to a prison cell of despair.
The real trick is to accept your heart,
rather than to defining your heart outside of your life!
Choose Your Heart
Heart and Connection
Connecting back to the world and yourself is the path towards healing despair. Heart is all about connection. This is why so many people will say repair your heart when working with despair.
In the enlightenment business, you hear this all the time…
“Heart” This and “Heart” That
Live your passion
Follow your Dreams
To a person who doesn’t know their heart, nor dreams, nor passion… this is the most asinine advice of all. Since it give absolutely no direction at all!
Think about how annoying it is to tell a person they have to live to heart.. When it is clear they don’t know their own heart. Or to say chase your passion if the person feels no passion.
When this is the case, the advice has to shift greatly.
You then teach a person how to play. How to explore their life, discover the boundaries of sadness and joy. In these activities we each find our own heart and in retrospect then say
“Ah, that is what is meant by heart!”
In this people also look for inspiration, writers, poets and those who seem to hold joy as they have explored these waters.
We find inspiration in the least likely places since it is the key ingredient to changing our life, This is why inspiration usually doesn’t linger around the office nor daily routine.
Inspiration is seeing something in a new light
Today I found inspiration in despair. I don’t dwell in despair. Instead I dived like a veteran dumpster diver to instead discover pearls of wisdom.
Don’t be afraid to experience the harder sides of life and through each experience then fight despair. You will be surprised at what you find.
Use all of your life to live fully!
Then you will discover what is meant when a Taoist says to you,
Live to your heart!