Is reality hard to face today in the fall of 2020? With the U.S. having the pandemic, racial struggles, and in an election year? If the harshness isn’t bringing you down, congratulations! But you – in my opinion – are rare, or at least not the person who has my thoughts and prayers today.
Even those who have hopeful outlooks are prone to depression, sometimes. As a Stroke Survivor – with empathy – I’ve had my time dealing with my depression. As a Masters of Divinity and Clinical Pastoral Education Chaplain Resident graduate, and now a Doctor of Ministry candidate, I have had schooling and practical application on counseling others who are dealing with depression caused by crisis to what the DSM V calls “major depressive disorder.” As a Chaplain, it is my calling and vocation to walk beside some people in the darkest of times, especially during this pandemic. Enlisted in certain circumstances with the help of others (ex/ psychologists, psychiatrists), I try to come alongside someone and help them through the situation or challenge.
So, what thoughts do I have on depression – at least from a spiritual perspective?
First, accept that it is a fact of the times. Even if you don’t agree with it, or are fighting against depression, admit that it’s there.
See the reasons for depression – whatever that is in your world. Not to get you down, but to name it then do something about it.
If seeing depression for what it is, you cannot move, are stuck, or want to end your life, seek help from a counselor or physician, or even a friend.
You have to realize that you are the only one who can change your view of the world. Even if you are a Christian or have a higher faith, you must decide to allow that “Other” in to fix you (it’s called “free will” in Christianity).
You are special; one of a kind; the only one with your view… and if you’re Christian, God sent down His Son for everyone (that includes you), so that you could have a relationship with God through eternity.
Human beings have feelings, and that leads – sometimes – to feeling alone, without hope, in pain, worthless, and the list goes on… But being human is also being human – and being in relationship. Most everybody is feeling depressed in their own world. Not entirely like you, but similar enough for you to walk together… and maybe that’s where to start: Reaching out to others in hurt, pain, or loneliness.
It’s scary, reaching out in the darkness, not knowing if someone will grab your hand, heart, or walk with you in some way that you desire. I encourage you to try, for hope is sometimes relational; reach out – in a safe space – and see what happens!