Today is T.J.’s 22nd Birthday. Although he isn’t here on earth to celebrate with us, I have no doubt he is now free from the depression that stole his mind and is celebrating with a clear mind filled with only light and love. In his memory and in honor of his birthday, I ask you to give a gift of a filter of kindness with no judgement as you go about your day. Let me explain. . .
At a yoga class I took recently the instructor opened the class by asking us to start each day by selecting the “filter” we wanted to view the world through. It might be a filter of joy, peace, gratitude or simply love. Unfortunately, if we don’t pay attention to this filter, it may be one of negativity. Whatever filter we choose will determine how we view everything we experience throughout the day. That car driving so slow ahead of us—a filter of gratitude will help us to be grateful for the opportunity to slow down. That nasty woman in the grocery store—may make us grateful we are not dealing with whatever she is to make her so nasty. This resonated with me and I continued to reflect on it throughout the day and each day since.
My thoughts then turned to T.J. as they often do and I realized he wasn’t able to choose his filter. His mind betrayed him and made it impossible for him to see the world outside the fog of his depression. Depression is its own filter. Make no mistake, it is not something people choose. This is why it is so painful for the depressed person when people try to talk them out of their mood. Those who have never experienced depression literally cannot imagine what it feels like so saying things like, “everyone has a bad day, things will get better, look at everything you have to be grateful for” can actually make the depressed person feel worse. Intellectually they may know all these things, but they can’t help the way they feel. The deep, dark feelings of emptiness and sadness are so intense and all encompassing and defy common sense.
So for all those suffering from a brain illness like depression, I ask that you choose a filter of kindness and nonjudgment. Be grateful if you have the gift of a clear and healthy brain and understand that for those whose minds betray them it is not a choice. Also know that help is available, but you have to let someone know you are hurting.
Wishing you a beautiful day and a clear mind on this wonderful day that marks the birth of my beautiful boy. It is a day I will always celebrate in my heart. With love and T.J.