"Once physical disease is ruled out, it is time to consider the root cause of most mental depression: a lack of love and connection in life (not a lack of serotonin)."
Via Paula's blog comes the idea of grabbing some book, going to page 62 and line 6 on that page to use for a blog post. I opened Kindle to the last book I'd been reading (Graves MD, Harrison. Mantra Meditation: An Alternative Treatment For Anxiety And Depression (pp. 62-63). Novus Energia. Kindle Edition) and Kindle being what it is, I chose what it claimed was page 62 and what was the sixth paragraph (or line shift, if you will) because the sixth line was a header. My sixth paragraph is the quote above.
The quote also echos another book I'm reading: The Shack. I saw a quote paraphrased from it on Facebook: "Why am I here?" "Because this is where you got stuck." That resonated with me, so I decided to reread the book.
I'm stuck, you see. Stuck somewhere in the past. Stuck with habits that served me in the past but aren't serving me now. I'm trying to get myself unstuck.
That right there, though, is part of my problem, my challenge: I am trying to get myself unstuck. Me, by myself. Just like the protagonist in "The Shack", I haven't been willing to just trust in the Divine, to devote myself to that trust.
I'm not in a good place right now, so today I called in sick and stayed home and read. So many good lines in this book, but the one that suddenly had me bawling was the description of the protagonist's soul: A messy but beautiful garden, rich in layers and details:
[T]his garden is your soul. This mess is you! Together, you and I, we have been working with a purpose in your heart. And it is wild and beautiful and perfectly in process. To you it seems like a mess, but to me, I see a perfect pattern emerging and growing and alive— a living fractal.
Young, William P.. The Shack (p. 138). Hodder & Stoughton. Kindle Edition.
Fractal. And the tears started. The whole paragraph made me cry, but the word "fractal" was the trigger.
You see, in all my attempts and trying to understand not only myself, but humanity, the planet, the universe, it seems to me that the best model to understand it all is fractals.
Fractals are a seemingly complex image but it is made out of many smaller images that look exactly like itself. If you keep zooming in on a fractal, you just see—the fractal. It doesn't change and it can go on forever. It's eternal and no matter where you, what viewpoint you have, you are seeing the fractal.
Where do patterns repeat? All over, in many ways. Some examples:
We marry someone who is like that same-gendered parent, and we repeat our parents' marital pattern.
Stressors we experience as adults actually go back to our childhoods.
The model for an atom looks just like the model for our solar system.
Under a microscope, neurons and ganglia look like the roads of a metropolitan area.
Anything you need to learn and heal in this lifetime can be found in this lifetime; you don't need a past life regression.
Sure, you could call that macro and micro. For me, the fractal idea is a better visual description. It shows why the macro and the micro have so much in common.
The other thing about fractals, is the repetition. You keep repeating something simple and you end with something complex, like the broccoli pictured above. Also, something about the growth, about it never wavering from its original pattern was what got to me in a good way while reading today. It's another way to have eternity.
Repetition shows up in another way, too: In all the help I have received, in all the friends I have who can relate, in all the messages abounding about how to approach the Divine, how to have a regular, spiritual practice and a regular, spiritual connection. This isn't my first time trying to figure stuff out, but I'm hoping it'll be the last time I'm in this much pain. (I admire those of you who have struggled with depression your whole lives and still keep going.)
Something has been growing, in spite of my efforts to ignore it. Some gardener has been tending to my soul, to that which is good and right with me, underneath the veneer of human life. It is time for me to join in the gardening.
Let me just finish the book first.