depression vs. sadness: the power of mincing words

“When you’re depressed, nothing matters. When you’re sad, everything does.”
Gloria Steinem, via @spiver, aka Susan Spiver, author of The Wisdom of a Broken Heart

“So you’re feeling a sense of hopelessness,” the therapist said to me.
“No, I’m feeling despair,” I clarified.
“Same thing. You’re feeling hopeless,” she came back.
“Nooo, I don’t feel it’s hopeless, I’m experiencing despair. I feel disheartened, but there’s still hope here,” I said.
“Hope and despair are pretty similar,” she said.
“Look it up.” I shrugged. “I’m going with despair.”

(We didn’t last too long as therapist/patient.)

I relish in semantics (“the meaning, or an interpretation of the meaning, of a word.”) The more you know about the true definition of a word, the more powerful it is when you speak it. Precision is power.

Depressed and Sad are two very powerful, similar, misappropriated words. Portal words. Sacred words. And if we look more closely at them, we can claim what’s true for ourselves and set about transforming depression and sadness into their contrasting states.

Depression may be the cousin of sadness, sometimes the defended response to unyielding sadness, but it makes you feel anything but alive. It dulls, weighs, and messes with your memory of your true essential nature…which is that of joy.

I’ve been through wrenching heart breaks. I’ve left a decade-long relationship that is still intertwined with my DNA; been devastated by betrayal in business; said goodbye to overseas love that was doomed from the magical start. I’ve cried those guttural cries that dying animals make, I’ve canceled meetings because grief caught me off guard en route. I moved arthritically, lugging my heart in a wagon, to get groceries and tend to life on the surface. And through it all, I’ve felt undeniably, and intensely alive. And this, this is sadness. Acute, sometimes enduring, but always sensory and evocative, sadness.

When you’re sad, you’re feeling. Sometimes, more than you want to. You wish you could be despondent, but the sadness is sharp and it bleeds your attention from you.

Depression — a term our med-happy nation uses much too glibly — dulls one’s feelings.

Where sadness makes you feel raw and skinless, depression is like wearing a snow suit and mittens and wondering why you can’t feel the caress of life.

Sadness strips you. As I was just reminded, “Sadness is so f–king cleansing.” Depression is muddy and muffling and numbing.

Depression vs. Sadness
Each comes with different gifts, challenges and assignments
Each is a sacred state. Both divine and brutal.
But not the same.

When you respect the difference, you’re closer to the cure.

 

 

related posts
Susan Piver Love

The 4 Noble Truths Of LOVE: A live conversation with Danielle LaPorte + Susan Piver

It’s medicine when love is driving you crazy, or you’re crazy in love.

Hopefully Devoted

[LIGHT WORK] Examining our devotion: If we don’t feel free… what’s the point?

I know that countless mystics throughout time agree that the reason for our spiritual endeavoring—our devotion—is liberation, and only liberation. The “work” in our light work creates a freedom from afflictive states: anxiety, selfishness, shallowness, insecurity, always comparing ourselves to other people, restlessness, fear… If the whole point of our devotion is liberation, then here’s the question…

Hopefully Devoted

[LIGHT WORK] Hopefully Devoted

This is the last episode of this podcast series. It’s devoted to one of my favourite topics: Devotion. We’re shining light on our prayers, our beliefs, our teachers… and whether they’re actually getting us closer to what we really want—liberation. We’re talking about the real work of light work.

Sacred Activism

[LIGHT WORK] On Sacred Activism

I’m interested in how we work as individuals and how we come together as a society—to create justice. To be in right action. To balance the scales. To transmute darkness into light. How do we hold people accountable? How do we speak out with fire and clarity about our ideals? How do we call people on their destructive shit without creating harm or incurring karma?

How to be a revolutionary for just love4

[LIGHT WORK] How to be a revolutionary for just love

This episode is about our personal activism. I’m talking about how we can get justice, without incurring too much karma. I’m talking about how to be a revolutionary for just love.

Sweet like honey, and sledgehammer hard lessons from my year Danielle LaPorte

Sweet like honey, and sledgehammer-hard: lessons from my year.

After one more trip around the sun, here are a few of my learnings (some of which came down like honey, others, like a sledgehammer. #reallife ):

Everyone on #TeamD takes these personality tests

Everyone on #TeamD takes these personality tests

One of our best investments of time is in understanding each other: what our strengths and talents are, how we show love + appreciation, and how we respond to stress. We’re working to be even more thoughtful and diligent around these practices in our culture, but we’ve got some great tools in hand.

Special Birthday Event. It’s Pay What You Wish time!

It’s Pay What You Wish time!

Pay what you wish for The Creation Space Meditation Kit and we’ll do a meditation class together on Friday, May 25 at 7am PT. (If you miss us, the replay will be available right after the call concludes, at the same link.) The Kit + live class normally retails at $50 USD, but for my birthday week only, you can pay any amount your heart desires. Really.

Beliefs, Movies & Man Crushes1

[LIGHT WORK] An intimate Q&A episode. It’s deep, it’s lite, I hope it’s alllll right.

If God is in the details, then the Soul is in a good Q&A. And that’s the substance of Podcast #4: Beliefs, Movies & Man Crushes. Your questions make it so easy for me to rant and offer some (hopefully) useful how-to’s and tricks of the trade. The “trade” being discernment and devotion. It’s deep, it’s lite, I hope it’s alllll right.

Beliefs, Movies & Man Crushes-Danielle-LaPorte

[LIGHT WORK] Beliefs, Movies & Man Crushes

In a nutshell: I’m hot for hot man feminists who work (in their own way) to make the world a better place. Service is a huge turn on for me.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This