Dear Ones —

A little help from the group?

Someone on this Facebook page asked me what to do when you feel you have lost your connection to spirituality? After an exhilarating year of "seeing God" everywhere, this person has lost the thread, and has fallen into a depression.

It's a big question, and I wonder if I might open it up to everyone to try to help?

For my part, I wanted to offer these thoughts.

1) Please don't take depression lightly. Please go find someone to talk to — a therapist, a minister, a wise neighbor, a support group. Don't go through it alone. What may feel like spiritual collapse could be something else that's going on in your life — something that needs to be properly explored and examined.

2) Try to recognize that it is not really humanly possible to live in what the yogis call a state of "peak experience" at all times. A monk in India taught me to be mindful of those moments of exhilarating spiritual clarity, as exciting as they are, knowing that "instantaneous bliss can dissolve instantaneously." I, too, have floated high at times on the wings of divine connection, only to sometimes crash later. I don't chase those highs anymore. For me, it's been more important to try to find a steadfast path, a pace that can take me through my entire life safely, through all seasons.

3) Lastly, don't be so sure that God has lost track of you, just because you have lost track of God. There is still a plan for you, even if you can't sense it. I offer this poem, by Rumi, which has brought me great comfort at such lost times:

"This being human is a guest house.
Every morning, a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be cleaning you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes
because each has been sent
as a guide from the beyond."

Will you all share your collective thoughts and wisdom on this subject? It's an important one…let's please try to help a friend in despair.


via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall