Depression is understandable, perhaps even expected, when one has suffered a great loss: a loved one has passed away , a job has been terminated, or health has deteriorated. Hopefully there is support from friends and family, and there is much in the literature to provide direction.
Some individuals find themselves feeling depressed or dissatisfied despite everything in their lives being positive. They may have achieved most of the goals they had set for themselves years earlier. From the outside, it looks as though they have a great life. This may include a wonderful partner, great children, a nice home, good income—all the trappings of conventionally defined success.
It is a frustrating situation, because resolution cannot come by changing some external circumstance. Everything is as the individual desired it to be. Often people are very hard on themselves when this happens. They chastise themselves, because they see no reason not to be happy. They think something is wrong with them, because they have worked hard to accomplish all they wanted, and still, they are unhappy. If not unhappy, they feel a void: something is missing.
Indeed, it is. After years of pursuing external goals, they have lost touch with themselves. Focused on things outside of self, they have lost track of who they are. They are not who they used to be, for much has changed. Having spent little time on inner reflection, they do not really ‘know’ that person inside anymore. Now, when they do have a little time with themselves, it is like being with a stranger.
If our focus has been so much on things outside of ourselves, and we are not connected with our inner selves—our souls, there will always be the feeling that something is missing. We cannot feel truly grounded, secure and satisfied without this intimate connection to our own spirits. Continuing to try to ‘feed’ that inner void with more things or activities only makes it worse, creating even more distance between our inner and outer worlds. So if you feel this kind of void or loneliness, despite a full life, it is probably time to start looking inside, rather than outside, for the answers.
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