Anxiety, Depression

It’s time to stop caring!

I’ve spent the last few days in a very dark hole.

The underlying reasons are really not important. It’s enough for me to allow my vulnerability to communicate with you. Most of us have visited dark holes occasionally and maybe my words will help you see the light should you find yourself there.

On my descent down into the painful abyss, I reached out to a few friends for their thoughts, guidance, encouragement, anything. And they responded. There was warmth, empathy, guiding truths, and while some messages were peppered with platitudes and others with directives, some bordered on the side of judgemental. The intention embodied in all of them, however, was one of trying to help.

But it was my own internal diatribe that finally succeeded in sinking me into a raw pit of depression where ‘bleak’ and ‘hopeless’ best described my outlook.

But here’s the thing …

… I am actually most appreciative for the emergence of that perception. I’m not saying that it was correct, as there is always a choice. But it was what I believed at the time, a fait accompli, and therefore was real to me, then.

What dawned on me, and thus the reason for my appreciation, was that with no hope, I concluded that there was no point to anything. And with that came the realisation that there was, therefore, no more caring to be done. If the outcome is bleak no matter what, why should I waste any more energy worrying about it, over-analysing, judging, (mainly myself but others too) and of course, caring. For what?

Suddenly, I felt free – like all the ‘trying to work it out’ lifted. I no longer cared.

But that’s not the end of it. A more profound thought evolved in which I realised that with nothing more to lose (remember the outcome was set according to my perception) I could relax into just being me. Not me playing games or compromising myself.

I no longer cared and therefore I no longer feared.

It was more than ‘I don’t care what others think or say or do.’ Others disappeared out of my picture. It was more than ‘To hell with the circumstances and all external factors!’ The external disappeared out of my picture.

All the fuel for my fear came from my thinking.

Once I changed my thinking to one of not caring, I had no reason to worry.

This may not sound like a major epiphany, but trust me dear reader, I heard the chains of restraint crashing to the ground around me.  It was time for the real me to come out and play. It was time to see reality undistorted by my fear of possible outcomes.

It is we who imbue external circumstances, or others, with power over us, through our fear of outcomes. But once we give up caring, we simultaneously disinvest them (circumstances or others) of any power over us.

It was to this end that I realised that a thicker skin was needed for now, one which wouldn’t fail in its duty to me. A duty of shielding my right to do what’s true for me, allowing me to honour and freely love me. And again the words, To not care, as well as my liberally using the two words that Martha Beck has advised the use of often enough, ‘So What!’, without a trace of malice.

My appreciation for my spell in that pit of darkness grew – better clarity with an aperture to awareness no longer restricted by tension and worry.

And as I didn’t care about the future, I had to be in the present. ‘Not caring’ allows you to remove your fixation from the outcome. With my focus on NOW, I can only feel peace. And therein lies power, to do what I can do, no matter how tiny the steps, to be me and to not care.

Any resolve to change an attitude, especially one that stems from a long ingrained pattern of thinking and belief, will take practice.

Will we slip up? Of course.

And that’s when gentle guidance back to the way of truth is required. What I find most helpful during times like this, is taking time out and sitting in stillness (eyes closed!) And should your thoughts leap about and jeer at you, let them, without building on to them. They’ll soon lose momentum in the absence of your resistance to them. Allow the balm of calm to soothe you.  It takes time and courage to return to being the true you, but it’s so worth it.

One day at a time is all we ever need.

And to end. On the day that I wrote this, I woke up with a headache, one of those tenacious numbers which hang on to the side of the head, thumping out a beat where there is no tune. But instead of bemoaning my fate and resisting, I interpreted it as a message which said: “Rest child. Today is not a time to take up the cudgel.”

So I did.