3 Tevet 5767, December 24, 2006

Pay attention, open up and allow HaShem to speak His Words of Living Torah directly into your mind and heart...
Depression 1
By HaRav Ariel Bar Tzadok. Copyright (C) 2006 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.

Nature has designed each of us to be a certain way.  Nature has delegated to each of us an individual sense of purpose.  Nature has created for each of us our own personal set of boundaries, wherein which we are defined and known and wherein which we will know fulfillment and our own personal truths.   The Way of Heaven is revealed through the natural course.

When we live in accordance to that which is natural for us, we find ourselves to be happy and stable.  When, however we blur our personal boundaries and set out on a course in contradiction to our naturally set way, we come into a place of emptiness.  When we lose our way back to ourselves, we become lost. 

Being lost is a dangerous place to be.  When we are not on our right path all types of bad things can happen to us.  Life becomes ever so complicated and full of problems.  Despair sets in, hope fades away, what is left is a chasm, an emptiness, a heavy weight upon our hearts that senses that our life is way off course.  This is the genesis of depression.

The path that leads down to the darkest areas of the soul begins with a single step; a step outside of one’s natural self and sense of properness, into a realm perceived to be desirable, but which in the end brings ruin instead of relief.

The inner voice of conscience has been placed inside us to serve as our natural moral compass, to direct us towards what is properly right for the individual and to guide us away from that which is not proper for the individual.  For each of us have been created different by Heaven.  We each have our unique personalities and dispositions.  When we violate our own boundaries and embrace attitudes or actions that are foreign to our innate inner self, we begin to walk down a dark and dangerous path.

The further we walk away from our own inner truths, the greater the distance becomes between what we know intuitively is right from wrong.  The more we deny our own boundaries, the lesser and lesser our inner voice of conscience becomes, until it becomes no more.  We can become so lost from ourselves that all that remains in place of the inner voice of conscience is a wide dark chasm of despair.  This is depression.

Not for naught have we been given intelligence and a rational mind.  Not for naught are we also intuitive being, blessed with a foreknowledge, a way of discernment transcending the intellect, enabling us to discern truths and make proper decisions when intelligent rational reasoning becomes blurred or has reached its end.

The genesis of depression is when we allow our hearts to run ahead of our minds; when we convince ourselves of the greater value of what we desire regardless of whether or not it is good for us.  When we pursue what we want instead of what we need, we end up far away from our needs fulfilled, in foreign and dangerous psychological territory.  Being lost and sensing no way to come back to one’s natural inner state, depression sets in like a heavy weight upon one’s shoulders. 

The way to safety begins by not taking the first step into danger.  The way of healing begins by accepting that there is always hope, no matter how dark and lost one feels.  Depression can be beaten, if one is willing to do what it takes to come out of the darkness and go back home, to the inner place of fulfillment and peace as ordained by Heaven.  Finding oneself and fulfilling one’s destiny is how depression is beaten.  Yet, the obstacles to accomplishing this are many. We will address how to overcome them next.
Shalom, Ariel Bar Tzadok

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