There are many who experience regular depressed episodes that come about as a result of the letting go that is part and parcel of the spiritual journey. Not everyone may experience spiritual depression, but for those that do, it can often be a symptom of releasing unhelpful stories and emotions that no longer serve us, or match who we are becoming.
In the context of the spiritual journey, depression often comes about because there is already a feeling of differentness and otherness, from those who embrace mainstream thinking and doing. That sense of not being understood, valued or appreciated for our willingness to go deeper and look deeper, can be demoralizing if there is no one else around to appreciate that commitment.
It is also true that allowing long buried feelings to come up and be explored is not always the most pleasant aspect of the commitment to seeking unchanging truth. There is often a rejection by our egoic nature – which wants to cling on to its victim status – to exploring events from a headline perspective. The feelings of depression in this case, is often a sign of the resistance of the ego to stepping into greater awareness and deeper understanding.
If you have been on your path for any length of time, you will have no doubt experienced the shift that comes when we let go of our resistance to releasing our victimhood. The feelings of overwhelming heaviness and lethargy suddenly lift, as we step into a new realization about our situation. The speed with which this shift can happen often looks miraculous, but it is in fact a natural side-effect of clearer seeing.
Each time we make that shift we become a little less identified with our stories and limiting beliefs. Each time we are willing to be a little bit more radical in our awareness and our ability to forgive another's seemingly unforgivable behavior; then the ego's resistance can show up as depression or emotional 'heaviness.'
Sometimes depressed episodes also come up when we are allowing others' judgments to determine how we see ourselves. When the shift back into 'lightness and rightness' comes; we can observe that we have been carrying around those judgments and treating them as our truth. They are not our truth, and therefore they do not sit right with us; they do not feel good to, us.
If we review the thoughts that were playing out in our minds during our experience of depression; we may find that the repetitive and negative thoughts, are actually the 'voices' of our parents, or authority figures, or society in general – who may believe that playing by the rules, fitting in, or being approved of; are the most important things in life.
If that is no longer where you are in your awareness, then constricting your expansion to try to fit in, or play by the rules, will lead to feelings of depression, or an eerie and heavy; sadness. It is as if our very Being itself, is being reduced to oughts and shoulds. And that will never feel good, or joyful to us.
Whatever the trigger for this type of spiritually-induced depression, the antidote is always to seek out others of likemind. It is important to find people who affirm your journey, who honors and appreciates your commitment to your path; where you find acknowledgment for your struggles and see positive mirrors and reflections of yourself. This is not to say that everyone will be exactly like you, or exactly where you are; rather that there is a commonality and a thread running through each other's experiences, that you can relate to and then appreciate.
With the benefits of modern technology it makes it easier to connect with those who resonate with where you are, yet meeting in person or talking directly with someone; brings a sense of communion and sharing, that will support you through any challenges you may be facing.
Still, it is important to know that with or without that support you are doing just fine. You are a courageous and wonderful being, who is willing to follow your own path and go to those sometimes dark places that most are not even willing to acknowledge; let alone experience.
Trust yourself. Trust where you are. Trust that everything that is not who you truly are are shedding itself and revealing your perfection to you; just a little more. Notice that each and every time you experience the heaviness of depression and come out the other side, that you are a little more aware and feel a little freer. Bless that. Acknowledge that. Embrace that, and know that this stage of the journey too; shall pass.