The following discussion about depression and spirituality has been excerpted from a recent DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS (2013) titled I’LL DO IT WHEN I FEEL BETTER. ( 2nd edition )Smith, Hugh. Louisville, KY 40217. (p.86-87).
Bob P., a charter member of Depressed Anonymous shares his thoughts on the subject of SPIRITUALITY AND DEPRESSION.
Spirituality involves the recognition and acceptance of a Higher Power beyond your own will and intelligence, with whom you can have a relationship. The Higher Power can provide you with an experience of joy, security , peace of mind, and guidance that goes beyond what is possible in the absence of the conviction that such a power exists. Spirituality can be seen as being distinct from religion. Different world religions have proposed various doctrines and belief systems about the nature of a Higher Power and humanity’s relationship to it. Spirituality, on the other hand refers to the common experience behind these various points of view – an experience involving the awareness of a relationship with something that transcends your personal self as well as the humane order of thinking.
The ‘something” has been given various names –“God being the most popular in Western society — and is defined in ways too numerous to count. You can choose to define what that means to yourself in whatever way feels most appropriate to you. Your own sense of Higher Power can be as abstract as cosmic consciousness or as down to earth as the beauty of the oceans and the mountains. Even if you consider yourself a non-believer, you may get a sense of inspiration from taking a walk in the forest or contemplating a beautiful sunset or a small child’s smile may give you a special sense of joy. Whatever inspires to and takes you beyond yourself into a larger perspective is the direction of what is referred here as your Higher Power. ”
In the following quotation, Bill W., gives uis his concept of God. By doing so he has basically reframed all of our understanding of God.
When therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God. This applies too, to others spiritual expressions, which you may find in this book (Alcoholics Anonymous). Do not let any prejudices you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you? At the start, this was all we need to commence spiritual growth, to affect our first conscious relation with God, as we understand him. Afterward we found ourselves accepting many things, which often seemed entirely out of reach. That was growth, but if we wished to grow we had to begin somewhere. So we used our own conception, however limited it was.
We had to ask ourselves but one short question: Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a power greater than myself? (see, BELIEVING IS SEEEING: 15 WAYS TO LEAVE THE PRISON OF DEPRESSION. DAP, (2114) Louisville, KY 40217.) As soon a person can say that he or she does believe or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him or her that they are on their way. It has been repeated proven among us that upon this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built.”
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We will continue our discussion about depression and spirituality in the posts to follow. Please, stay tuned. Your comments are always appreciated.