Depression: That Was Yesterday
As you continue to drift and float, all other sounds fade away into the distance. You pay attention only to the sound of my voice. I want three points about depression to become firmly established in your mind. For that is what we are going to discuss, and each point about depression is the absolute truth to you. Now the first point is, that you have a right to be here. You are as good as anyone. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees or the stars. You have a right to be here, and whether or not it is clear to you, the universe is unfolding the way it should be. Therefore, you can accept that there is a universal plan, greater than any man, greater than any one of us, and so, you can be at peace with yourself. You can be at peace with yourself if you want to be … and that comes to the second point.
For in that plan that affects everyone in this universe, outside of natural disasters, all depression is subconsciously self-inflicted. That is the second point. All depression is subconsciously self-inflicted. Now, each emotion of the mind is reflected in the electro-chemical balance of the brain. Prolonged feelings of depression can cause chemical imbalance that, most times, corrects itself. With my clinical experience, I can usually tell who will respond successfully if I place them on medication right away, and who can respond successfully without it. In either case, you will be successful in conquering depression. When you do feel well again, you may do so for only a matter of minutes or hours, and then depression may return, and it may be another several days or even weeks before you again feel well. There may be a half dozen of such ups and downs before the symptoms are gone for good.
Now the third point has to do with time and the absolute necessity to live, not just in the present, but the moment of here and now. The third absolute truth has to do with the necessity to live each moment of the here and now. For example, yesterday you were depressed but today is a new day. Every day is a fresh beginning. Every day is a fresh beginning, and every morning is a world made new. Today is our most important day. Yesterday is gone. We cannot live in the past, else we cannot go forward, because living in the past dulls the keen edge of our imagination. The past, even yesterday, can be of value only as we glean lessons and profits from our experiences. For as Longfellow wrote, “Nor deem the irrevocable past as wholly wasted, as wholly vain, if rising on its wrecks, at last, to something nobler we attain.” Have you ever felt circumstances crowding in upon you because of failure and disappointment and depression and said, “If I can only get a break, an opportunity to start all over again?” Well, then, remember what Walter Mallone wrote about opportunity – “They do me wrong who say I come no more, when once I knock and fail to find you in, for every day, I stand outside your door and bid you wake and rise, to fight again. Though deep in mire, ring not your hands and weep. I lend my aid to those who say, ‘I can’. No shame-faced outcast ever sank so deep, but yet, might rise again and be a man.” Yesterday, the sun sank behind the horizon at the close of the day. The sky was overcast, no stars appeared within the firmament, and you were downcast, depressed, because the day had brought only frustration. Today, you awaken with the sunlight pouring in through the window, a new day is at hand, a new opportunity to build upon the lessons learned from yesterday’s failures. Now, each of us is here to accomplish something, some particular phase of the universal plan that is greater than man, greater than each and every one of us. This universal plan or life force goes on whether we like it or not. When we face life as a whole, and try to realize that every experience is leading us towards fulfillment of that plan, when we take each day and endeavor to make the most of it, then, things come out alright. Someone has said we must listen for life to happen, listen expectantly. Now, you have not been listening expectantly. You really have not been listening at all. You have been concentrating on your problems and as long as you concentrate on a problem, then you have a problem, because you are what you concentrate your mind upon.
You are what you are greatly concerned with. Now, when you let go of that concern, when you let go of that problem, by changing your thinking, when you say, “To heck with the problem!” then you begin to see the solution to your problem, because your mind is free, and therefore, when your mind is free, you can utilize it to be effective to make it work. You must say from now on, “I let go of my depression. I develop and maintain a happy disposition each day. Each day I reject the negative and see the positive in all things.” Because the only reason that you have been staying depressed is that you have not learned yet how to deal with your negative thoughts, to allow in the positive thoughts of truth and love and hope. Every day is a challenge, a new opportunity to prove yourself in reality, to be a believer in truth, and love and hope, that you do not need to feel helpless and hopeless, that you can separate off and distinguish the vast difference between those events in your life and your reaction to them, for they are vastly different. They are not the same at all and you must separate off from those events in your life and your reaction to them. The problem is not whether you need a new job, whether your wife or your husband has gone or left, or that someone else did right or wrong, or that you did right or wrong, or the terrible things that occurred in your life. It is not any of those things at all. It is your reaction to them. It is the sentences you say in your head, such as, “Oh, my husband is gone! I cannot live without him!” Or, “I’ve got a terrible pain in my back! I’ll never live a normal life again!”
That is really the problem for when you give yourself those negative thoughts, then you are bound to feel depressed so you have to learn how to turn those sentences around, turn them around completely: “OK, so I made a mistake, but I won’t again” Or, “OK, so my wife died and I miss her but I can start over with a new life.” Whatever it is that you say to yourself about those past things makes you depressed because you have not learned to turn them around and when you are depressed, when you are in this frame of mind, you are dead! That is death! Remember Lot’s wife was told, “Don’t look back for you will turn into a pillar of salt!” But, she just had to look back. Now, you must not look back. You are through looking back. You can only live the very moment you are living, and you can live that to the fullest, and enjoy it by the proper thinking. Hasn’t there ever been a desire, an urge, to accomplish something you never attained? Think about that. Take each day as it comes, and enjoy the sunshine, the song of the birds, the laughter of the children. See all those positive things.
Let each day crowd out yesterday’s sorrows completely. Remember that “he that climbs the ladder must begin at the first rung” – Robert Scott said that. The Chinese say, “A thousand miles journey begins with one step.” As we seek higher and wider vision, each new day becomes the next rung upwards, a new opportunity to rise above yesterday’s sorrows, frustrations, depressions and failures, to a world made new, so that the Oriental poet urges us: “Look well, therefore, to this day.” Look well, to this day.
Now, in your mind’s eye, I want you to visualize a sign, a sign, hanging right in front of you, and that sign has three words on it, and the words are: That was yesterday. That was yesterday, when things didn’t go right. That was yesterday, when you failed to turn your negative thoughts around. That was yesterday when you gave up hope. That was yesterday, when you didn’t decide to start over, like you should have, and that was yesterday, when you were only thinking of yourself, instead of the happiness of others, and what you could do for them. That was yesterday, when you made a mistake. That was yesterday, when you know you said the wrong thing. That was yesterday, when you know you did the wrong thing. That was yesterday. That was yesterday, when you hated yourself, but every day is a fresh beginning, and every morning is a world made new, and the past is not wholly wasted. It is not in vain, rising on its wrecks at last, there is something nobler you will attain. By replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts, every new moment is a new opportunity, and as you accept this truth, you feel the warmth of truth and love and hope course through your heart, you relax completely, confident that there IS a plan for you, and that, even though you can’t understand, you must go through these learning experiences that you are going through, in order to satisfy that plan. You are, nevertheless, perfectly willing to go through whatever experiences you need to go through, so that you can allow yourself to be the master of your own fate, to be in control of your own feelings, for this dawn of a new day only comes after the night. You cannot have a mountain without valleys, otherwise, everything is all a plateau.
The brightness of the sun would mean nothing, except by comparison to the darkness of the night. It’s only by contrast that we can understand life, and so, instead of reacting adversely to the problems and frustrations of yesterday, you hang on them that sign. That sign that says, That was yesterday – you see the sign in your mind’s eye. You lift those problems from your shoulders and hang them upon that sign and leave them there, because, as a result of the faithful practice of your self-hypnosis, and the learning to control your thinking in a positive way, every day, as a fresh beginning, and every morning is the world made new, and this is a new day for you, and a new morning – a day without depression, a day without frustration, a day without failure, a day in which you are more effective in every single area of your life, than you have ever been before, and why? Because you have let go of your problems. You have stopped letting them handle you. You are handling it, by turning those negative thoughts around, because it is not the events of your life that are affecting you. It is your reaction to them, and you are through letting negative thoughts create negative reactions to the experiences of your life, which depress you and run you ragged, run your every moment, every moment of your life. You are going to learn to relax comfortably, in the knowledge that you can and will do your part and will continue to do your part.