Dealing with Despair

Face of Despair

Face of Despair 

Good morning. I hope it is a day of brightness for each of you. Yet, judging from the search term of “dealing with despair,” which showed up three times, I suspect some of you are not feeling brightness in your lives. So today, I want to talk about a way out of despair.

See the image to the left? Can you see the little face, mouth open in a wail of despair, hands covering his eyes? It is from my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing, with the verse that says, “Can you hear my wail? Can I hear myself?”

What I meant by “Can I hear myself” was that often, we do not pay attention when we are in deep pain. We ignore it by stuffing it, by becoming incredibly busy, or by numbing the feelings with substances. Is this you?

STOP! Your soul is crying out to be acknowledged, wants you to pay attention to it, wants the opportunity to heal. When you feel those feelings of despair, stop. Become willing to write in a journal or notebook what you are feeling.

When writing, I suggest you print with your non-dominant hand. This will prompt all sorts of your deepest feelings to emerge onto the page; you’ll get to the bottom of your woes more quickly and easily. Try to stay with those feelings for at least 15 minutes at a time. When you can no longer deal with them, THEN get up and be active… do the dishes, take a walk, do something productive.

Then look at and consider what you have written about your despair. Consider how you want to feel instead. Write about that in detail… what would your life look like if you were not in despair? Vision it, write about it. Now, consider if there is an action you can take right now that will move you forward to that vision of how you want your life to be.

Focus on that one thing, that one action. Keep it simple. You will have to find one action you can take. Maybe you cannot do it in the moment, but you can do it today sometime, or tomorrow. Make a to-do list and put that action step on the list. Often, when we are being of use to someone else, our despair lessens, so you might consider an action step that involves doing something good for another.

On the other hand, we often forego our needs for the needs and desires of another, so you may need to focus on your needs and desires right now. Doing good for another can come after you have met your needs.

Now, take that action. Just take it, do it – that one simple thing. Once you have done it, sit and contemplate how you feel about yourself now, having done something good for yourself. Write about it, share about it with someone you trust not to steamroll you.

I am not suggesting this is easy, for it is not. It will take willingness on your part. AND, once you do it, you will reap the rewards and you will feel less despair and more peace in your heart.

Sit down and write today… now. Then take that action step.

If what I say resonates with you, move at the speed of instruction. : ) Write again and again about your despair, focusing on your vision and taking action. Let us know in a comment if things change for you.

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