How Depression Makes Life Harder

Written in April 2009 during the Training in Women’s Ritual Dance, given at Neskaya by Laura Shannon.

I feel so much grief and anger that I haven’t been able to participate and enjoy these days with this group of women.  I’m afraid the anger is directed at myself — for not being stronger, or more courageous, or something.  Laura says we can make a choice — but I don’t see any choices, or only limited ones.  I can, and do, choose to be present to my experience, I can and do choose to extend compassion to myself in my suffering.  I don’t see how to turn depression and terror into positive energy for living.

This morning I was saying how bad I felt that I wasn’t able to participate more and Laura said “You are present with your vulnerable broken heart, and you are taking care of yourself, and you are a model for all of us.” Her support has helped a lot.


Take a big step back.  Here’s this woman, who at great personal cost built and subsidizes a building that is a healing sanctuary where magical things can happen.  We just completed a training for women in becoming in touch with their own power, in energizing themselves from the powers of nature, of the living earth, and using this power for good in the world.  Not in her wildest dreams could the visionary who built the building have imagined such a fulfillment of her vision.  It was the perfect embodiment of all she hoped for.  But the woman herself, for mysterious reasons probably connected to childhood trauma, was unable to fully participate, appreciate, and enjoy the event she had made possible.  Can I feel compassion for her?  At least it seems to have dissolved the anger, all I feel now is sadness.

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