There will be many who offer you complex, lengthy and detailed reasons behind negativity, a significant factor of depression. Yet, broken down in to its simplest form:
Negativity and depression arise when we live in fear and live in the past.
Some of your patterns of negativity are inherited, some learned. No matter where they come from, they are not who you are. Most of your fears are based on past experience, or learned responses. Therefore fear is the past. So if you break it down to one thing – “Negativity and depression occur when you live in the past.”
What you think, how you feel, your reactions, your actions, behaviours, responses – the way you live your life, is down to choice. Your choice. At any given moment you can decide to change your life, by changing your perception.
Here’s the thing – you cannot change what happened in the past. And believe me, throughout your life you will have written several versions of past events. Not only are there your versions of “reality”, you also have the versions written by others who were present. You cannot change what happened, or how others perceived what happened. What you can do is accept you have a past and, leave the past where it belongs…in the past.
Our stories of the past that hold us in negativity and depression have elements of shame, blame, abandonment, anger, loss, frustration and separation. Our repetitive cycle of holding on to the past means we bring this into our current situation, so consequently we are a self fulfilling prophecy of gloom and doom.
One day it is like a new beginning, everything seems to be going right for a change. You tell yourself it won’t last, and lo and behold – it doesn’t!
So, how do you leave the past in the past, be present in the present, and let the future occur without holding too tight? You make that choice! You decide if you are a prisoner of your past, or a pioneer of your future.
Awareness and choice are our greatest tools. In every moment thoughts arise from past patterns, emotions surface that have little to do with current situations, and we over react based on past experiences. The choices we make as to how we respond determine if we are living in the past or present.
Become the observer of your thoughts, emotions and reactions. If you try to “push” your thoughts away, they come back with intensity. I have found by simply observing the thought without attachment to changing it, deleting it or judging it, the thought dissipates. Space is created to be with what is now.
Emotions arise, reactions occur, and I ask what are you? Fear? Anger? Frustration? Shame? Judgement? etc. In doing so I am able to find the core of the emotive response and recognise a part of me unresolved and triggered by the current situation. For me, this allows understanding, compassion and gratitude to be present, thus changing the dynamic of the situation, and bringing it back to what is happening now.
In each and every moment I am present. Present with all that arises, and all that falls away. Everything you think, feel and envision in each moment creates your future. So do something today your future self will thank you for!
Suggested reading: The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle