Archive for April 10th, 2010
What a surprise when I woke up yesterday morning. The day before I drove from my son’s home to my eldest daughter’s home. It was a sunny and warm day, a great spring day with temperatures going up to 19 C. Yesterday’s photo could have been taken in many locations here on the Canadian prairies. And then? Yes, a blizzard with the temperatures down to -4 C. This is normal as well, here on the Canadian prairie.
In full colour there wasn’t much difference than this rendition in black and white, or should I say, a universe of greys. It’s interesting how nature shows us images of the inner landscapes.
Depression is not much different than this. And for me, the appearance of depression comes just as unexpected as a spring blizzard. With the depression I lose interest in heading outside to enjoy nature. Rather, I retreat into a shell, a cocoon in order to protect myself from the intense winds and cold of my psyche under seige.
But, is this a bad thing? Well, in the big picture in nature, the answer is no. In fact, the spring blizzard is often a blessing as it brings in needed moisture that will nourish new life. In Jungian psychology, one could consider that the arrival of depression can also signal something positive, that it can lead to a renewal and a promise of needed nourishment. Here is what one of the blog authors on my blogroll has to say about depression:
Depression is a state of being where libido (psychic energy) is sucked down from the conscious state into the unconscious. ‘The well is dry’. The waters have retreated down into the depths. According to Jung, the Unconscious or the Self does this as a protective measure – your psyche wants to you sit up and pay attention to something awry in your life. And your Psyche doesn’t want you to squander libido foolishly – so it is withdrawn for your protection and for your attention. (Ur-Spo, Spo-Reflections, Depression From a Jungian Point of View, January 6, 2008)
This description fits well with the image of the blizzard that I have captured. I withdraw into the warm house of my daughter’s and I am protected from the extremes of wind, snow and cold. So what is my depression, your depression trying to tell us? What is awry? What needs attention? Where does one’s energy really want to flow? What are we denying our soul? As we try to silence these inner questions, the depression grows deeper. We deny and rush to doctors for medication for the depression hoping to hide the inner voices and place responsibility for dealing with the “self” with the medical profession. We become victims rather than take on the role of main hero in a heroic journey that must face all the trials that appear in any heroic journey. Or, we can pay attention and let the questions be heard.