“Today, let go of all that self-improvement stuff and say to yourself: ‘I don't have to be a better person today.’ You don't … you're already close enough. Now with lightness and merriment go do your creative stuff.” –Jill Badonsky
Anxiety and depression messes up how we see ourselves. No matter what is going on, when we are depressed, we are not good enough. It doesn't matter if you are a CEO or the dish washer in a diner, depression brings us all down to the same level – the basement.
If we could remember that wherever we are, whatever we are doing we are good, there would be so much less anxiety, so much less depression in the world. The things that make us anxious appear to be real but they usually are not. They are shadows of little things that are made huge by our minds.
I have to remember this all the time myself.
As a therapist it is not hard to explain to someone who is anxious that the thing that is making them anxious is a trick of the mind, something made up by our mind to keep us in a confined comfort zone. I can see it clearly. Helping the other person to see what I see is my part of my job.
Doing it for myself is trickier.
Conditions are things like "When I find the right guy I will be happy" or "When I start working again," or "When I stop being anxious about driving on the highway." These are all conditions that keep us tied down just like a chained dog.
What life has taught me, a lesson I learn over and over, is that I am always Good. I always have value. The bill still needs to be paid, and I may still want to lose ten pounds, but no matter what, I am a good person now.
It is wonderful when we are validated externally, when someone we respect says, "You did such a great job!" But it is most important when we know it truly, deeply for ourselves.
Photo courtesy of jcornelius