There are so many of us are trapped in a dark place right now. A dark place is unique space, but it’s one where everyone shares the same commonality no matter how successful, how poor, how rich, or how beautiful they are. When you are in this place, things are simply hopeless and depressing. You don’t know what will happen to you. You don’t know which way to go to. You don’t have a clue. You are so very worried. You see no one and the situation seems to be impossible. IT IS DARK AND YOU ARE ALL ALONE.
Listen to me . . . a dark place is like a long tunnel. Once you are trapped in this tunnel, you are pretty messed up and you can’t stop wondering whether you will survive.
Actually there is a simple thing that you can do for yourself when you’re in this dark tunnel.
So how do you do it? Well, first you must give yourself an earthquake, to shake yourself out of the depression and have some awareness that life is not all about those particular problems. If you cannot create that earthquake for yourself, seek counseling and a wonderful counselor will shake you out of that zone.
Depression is dangerous: it can even discourage you from going to the toilet. Get yourself out of the depression zone first – before you do anything else.
Second, grab a mirror and look at yourself . . . talk to yourself and ask yourself kindly about what you can do for yourself right now. It should be something that is not at all related to those problems and can give you some comfort at this moment. Some of you might notice some defects in your facial structure and realize that you can definitely improve those by going to a cosmetic surgery clinic to plan your new face. Some of you might see that you are skinny and remember that actually you haven’t eaten yet. So get yourself out of the door to get something really nice to fill up your stomach – and follow that with your favorite dessert. Some of you might feel tired, so get yourself to bed. Some of you may want to cry, so you cry fully . . . allow yourself to be sorry and grieve about what has happened to you. Hand yourself a fat roll of tissue to cuddle and to dry your tears at the same time.
You focus on “YOU” and you give yourself something you can provide to you right now. Please yourself with something really nice. Take good care of yourself with your own love and with wonderful things. No one can do this for you as well as you do it for yourself — just remember that.
The Third Step: After your moment of “I love myself” is done, you can start your distraction plan. Take yourself away from thinking only about the problems by doing something else totally different and totally nice. You create a personal project, something you have never done for yourself . . . going to some place alone, taking a dance class, learning how to cook yummy stuff, taking out your wisdom tooth (I did), making new nose, going fishing, buying a lottery ticket, adopting a cute stray, etc. These little things that you can do for yourself are your little candles. They shine brightly and they attract you to look at them and to pay attention to them. You don’t care what people would think or say . . . you care only about “YOU” and you keep looking toward the bright light of those candles.
Never stop lighting the candle in a dark place. You keep finding yourself new candles when your previous candle is about to finish off. Remember, these candles give you hopeful light and that light helps you walk 2-3 steps. You know a bit that you are still alive and you are standing on some ground. You can see your own feet from the candlelight and you can guess a bit where you can head forward. Those are all you need . . . small steps forward. Every day that goes by, you keep making small steps and keep lighting more candles for yourself as something for you to look forward to and to care for.
After your have done it for a while, you will not feel that time passes too slowly – it actually goes at a bearable speed. Eventually, you will feel the progress of your tiny steps made daily. And finally, one day, you will discover that, somehow, it is not so pitch dark like it used to be and maybe there is a glow of light shining through . . . and that you know you are coming closer to the other end of the tunnel.
Don’t forget to light your little candles. This tiny light the candle is giving in a brief period of time means a lot to you when you are in a dark place.
PS: Thanks to Richard Laidlaw for lighting the language of this blog to its brightest.