BEHOLD THE LIGHT
Some special words from Merton to uplift my fellow artists, friends and visitors
who might be suffering with depression or anxiety
Dear brother/sister artists, friends and visitors,
I am so sorry you are having trouble. I dealt with anxiety and depression a lot, especially when I was younger. The thing I found that helped me the most was to try to make my life fit me, in every way I could. It can take a while, but through effort, prayer in ones own way, asking the Universe to show one what things to do/change, a life that fits one can be crafted. Many times (depending on our efforts, the specificity of our intention, and the time spent getting clear and praying/affirming/manifesting), that new life can manifest very quickly.
There is an us that is enjoying that life right now. We just have to get clear, send our prayer with all our heart, every day, and then we (sometimes amazingly quickly) just sort of jump train tracks to the parallel Universe/us that is enjoying that life. It does sort of seem like magic, but I really don't care if I am accused of "magical thinking." For, I have seen this work over and over in my life. We do have to do our footwork, though. The getting clear, praying/affirming/manifesting just kinda makes things supercharge and often happen very easily, even effortlessly. In fact, I love to use the term "effortlessly" in my own prayers, affirmations and manifesting.
Several years ago, I felt I was really "there" with achieving that life that fit me, but then the Universe, God, the Fates (whomever) suddenly whooshed my whole life away. I had to start over crafting that life that fit me, just when all seemed to be going so well. It was very disconcerting. Then, this happened again, a very short while after I had just gotten back on my feet! Needless to say, I was upset with God. Nonetheless, I started over on creating that life that fit me.
Now, even though I do not have the quiet arthermit life (which fit me so well) any more, it is still a life that I can deal with and which contains many things that I need to be calm, happy and nourished in body, mind, and spirit. I learned much in manifesting my earlier, truly perfect, arthermit life, and I have incorporated elements of it into my current much more out in the world life (which circumstances and, perhaps, some aspect of God seem to be demanding of me). Does God demand things of us and instigate changes in our lives at times? Well that is the subject of another literary letter!
Back to manifesting that life that fits us. Whether we are in a phase of our life where we can thoroughly manifest that perfect life for us to a "t," or whether we are in a phase where we seem to be impelled toward something we did not quite expect (as I am in, right now), I think that very simple things can make a huge difference. Aspects of our existence such as where we work, how we work, how much sleep we get, rising and going to bed times are, in my opinion, quite important.
A night owl should probably not have an early morning job, for example. If we have employment that does not fit us, a schedule that does not suit us, relationships that do not work for us, if things are required of us that do not essentially "fit" us... then our body, mind, spirit and psyche, will (in my opinion) try to get our attention through anxiety. And, if we are really trapped in a life that does not fit us, we get despondent and depression comes.
I am not saying that we should not work at making our current relationships, our employment, our schedules work for us. That is a given that we must work at things. But, if they on some essential level are not for us, if they really rub against our inner grain, if we must try so hard that our souls and bodies are constantly exhausted and tugged and pulled in ways that we are not meant to be tugged and pulled in, then there comes a time to say, "this is not for me."
My best advice to whomever might be reading this, is to be about finding and designing that life that fits you. Pray, think, experiment, and try new things that might help you feel that your life is one which matches you, uses your talents and abilities, helps and uplifts others, extends love to others, etc. Find that life, schedule and mode of living and being that gives you, your body, mind and spirit just what you need and also gives those special things inside of you to others... in just the right measure, way and amount.
It is not so important how, when, or "how much" we give our special abilities and qualities to the world, but that we do this. It does no good to exhaust and overextend ourselves. We throw out the baby with the bathwater if we do that. We end up destroying ourselves, and then we cannot give to anyone or anything. God and the world will (eventually) understand eventually if we must find a different way to be, live and relate. They must. If they do not, we must just go on being ourselves and living in the manner that is right for us. Given time, the world will understand, even if it does not seem to understand or accept us, right now.
We do not have to embrace the old mode of "work your fingers to the bone, come down with some fearsome illness because we have exhausted ourselves, then die and become a saint." That is romantic (and I love reading about the saints!), but it is not very realistic. It is also especially bad for folks prone to anxiety or depression.
And so, I suggest you do what you are able, in the manner you are able. Seek the life, work, schedule, balance and mode that really works for you, even if this is different than the "normal" nine to five world. Do this no matter what anyone says. I assert that we must not let people make us feel that we have to live as "everyone else does." I know that right now economics creates a necessity to do just as the world and its ways suggest. But, if we pray, affirm and manifest, those economic realities will sort themselves out for each of us.
Give yourself what you need, and your anxiety will dissipate. Pray for, affirm and manifest everything you need, in your own way, no matter how seemingly small or big this thing you seek seems to be. Do this even if others say you are silly, wrong, inappropriate, etc. I ask for anything I need and try my best to know with confidence it is coming. If I am constipated and cannot go potty, I manifest the solution! If I need to change my schedule, I pray about it and change it. If I need to be a night owl (when most of the world is not), I allow myself to be a night owl. Get the idea?
This is what I have found, and it sure seems to work! No matter the situation, no matter what changes, if I keep doing this, I am back to a life that fits me. Friends have said I am the luckiest person they know and that I am like a cat, always landing on my feet. I do not think it is really either of these things; I think it is that I get clear, pray, affirm and manifest concerning all things that I need in my life. I work very earnestly at this.
The above is what I must do, if I am to offer my talents and abilities to the world, be at peace, and keep my health of body, mind and spirit. This has been my strategy and experience, and I suspect this is an outlook which would benefit the world. I suspect this is what the world needs, if we are going to manifest a new world which survives and ascends to a higher spiritual plane.
The old paradigm where all must fit into a nine-to-five square hole is not working. People are exhausted and rather at their wits end. Don't you feel and see this? I do. I think that is what all the stuff about the "one percent" and the "powers that be" is all about. People just cannot do anymore what the old paradigm asks of them. They are exhausted and long to be doing what their soul yearns to do. They long to be doing and sharing what they love with others and for that to make their living. They long for a world where each soul knows and lives its purpose. They long to live in joy, peace and balance... the balance that is right for them.
The world we have now does not allow or promote peace, balance, soul purpose, joy, etc. We are slaves to the dollar, kept in servitude by fear and fear of lack. There is enough for everyone. Everyone could be doing what they love, helping others, spreading love and joy naturally by virtue of the fact that their daily life fulfills their purpose and sings their soul's special song. We must insist that our our life do this. We must manifest it, no matter what the world says. We are connected and one, but also unique like snowflakes, as the old metaphor indicates.
If we do not do this, if we do not insist, if we do not manifest the life that fits us, makes our soul sing, and helps/uplifts others, then anxiety and depression will come. Anxiety and depression is our signal that our life does not fit us, our soul is not singing. It is our sign that we are not fulfilling our purpose. They are our signal that we are out of balance. They are our signal that we are afraid, sad, discouraged and despondent because we're not doing what we came here to do; we are not living in the manner that is fitting for us.
And that is what we came here to do. We came to earth know our purpose, live it, and thus learn and grow. We simply must do this. If we do not, our bodies, minds and spirits let us know. The world is beginning to understand this. We are waking up. We can only endure so much slavery and being out of tune with our soul and purpose.
The present world system has wreaked so much havoc over the years that now, souls all over the world are becoming aware of this. We are starting to see just how our current system is not just killing humanity physically but deadening our souls and preventing us from being about fulfilling our soul purpose. Anxiety and depression is our signal that it is time to wake up and live in the manner that fulfills our purpose and makes our soul sing. We are tired of being stressed, scared, sad, bored, overwhelmed, frightened, etc. ... individually, and now as a people and planet.
I think that all know that we and our world has to change. We have to love all our brothers and sisters, realize our oneness and uniqueness. We must allow each of us to have and express our different talents, abilities, constitutions, ways of seeing things, ways of living, ways of creating, etc. Our lives, world and planet must allow this. There is no excuse to have all the suffering and inequality in our world anymore.
It should not be that just keeping a roof over our head and food in our bellies consumes most of our time and energy. It should not be that a whole system and world-wide way of life forces all humans to try to fit into a round hole just to survive. Some of us are square pegs, or any number of types of pegs. We are all different shapes and sizes, and we do not all fit that round hole.
It is time for basic human needs to be taken care of for all (which we could do if we at all tried, without communism, dictatorships, tyranny) and for people to be free. It is time for all to find and live their purpose. Imperialism, fiat currencies, lobbying, campaign contributions, the federal reserve system, money systems period, empires, spying on citizens... it all has to go. Of course people have anxiety and depression in epidemic proportions! Our world makes almost everyone frightened, worried, and asks too much, so that no one can hear, focus upon, manifest or live their life purpose.
It takes some doing to overcome anxiety and depression (with our current world system still in place), but we have to try. And, for now, we must try, must insist on the life that fits us (or as close as we can get to it) while our world system is in its death throes and the populace is waking up and struggling to imagine a new way of living/being. This is the modern challenge.
Anxiety and depression is our wake up call. It is seemingly very hard to overcome, but if we get clear about where we must go, how our lives must be, who we are, what our purpose is, then we are on our way. The more effort we put into knowing ourselves and manifesting the life that fits us, the sooner our suffering (individually and collectively) will dissipate, and we jump train tracks to a new, calm, balanced, connected, happy, peaceful and joyful us.
You can do it. You really can. We all can. It just takes "the little willingness," as Course in Miracles calls it, or "faith the size of a grain of mustard seed," as the Bible calls it, and all is moving toward wellness. Focus on the little willingness and the mustard seed, and it will grow!
Well, that is enough for now. Best of luck to you, my friends. I am wishing each of you peace and happiness in your life and in your spirit.