Please pardon my “X-out” edit of this very beautifully designed and very well-intentioned meme, but it’s important for me to draw the distinction between this idea and the truth I’m presenting to you here at Relax and Succeed. Look, the problem is, the entire reason that depressed people are depressed is that they feel that they are surrounded by darkness. They feel stifled and oppressed by it. And even when they are happy, they worry about its return as though it is a raven or a magical cloak that might find its way into their life again.
The truth is, everything is light. We have the power to think darkness into existence, and we can think dark thoughts all we want, but there is no actual darkness; there are only dark thoughts created within the lightness. Because there is no out there independent of in here.
Do you understand that a wave is separate from the water? That’s why beach balls don’t get pushed to shore—they just go up and down. The water isn’t moving toward the shore until it collapses and falls forward. The water is sitting still and the wave is moving, and it pushes the water up as it moves through the water. So if good feelings were the crest—or top—of the wave, then not-good feelings would be the trough—or bottom—of the wave. But can you see that they’re both part of the same wave? That you can’t have the wave of a life without both the crest and the trough? Do you see the Yin and Yang of it?
There is no darkness fighting to get in. You build darkness with dark thoughts. You use your thoughts to tell yourself where to surf on this wave of existence. You could be up near the top, at appreciation, where the view is long and wide and you can choose your path more wisely. Or you can surf at the bottom of the wave, in the trough of want and sadness, where the view in every direction is just more dark water. But no matter which choice you’re making, it is always you who is using your thoughts to either surf or just think.
You are naturally light. As a baby you were playful and curious and brilliant. And you’re still those things. You’ve just been taught to think that you’re something else; something you were told; something outside of you. But the water can be clean or dirty, and the wave will still be the wave. You have to stop battling its existence and you have to focus on learning how to surf.
Take responsibilities for where you steer your surf-board. For as long as you blame other people for where you are surfing, the more you will be asking to surf at the bottom of the trough. And the more you take responsibility for your thinking, the more likely you are to choose to surf at the crest of the wave, where the air is fresh and the view is beautiful, and the ride is exciting.
Enjoy your day. I’ll watch for you at the beach.
Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.