I have noticed that when I'm not getting enough sleep especially, but also sunshine, exercise, carbohydrates, certain oils, or other things that our bodies like to help avoid depression, I can once in awhile more easily be triggered to go into deep sadness when it isn't necessary, and I know it's an over reaction.
Through the almost shamaic exaggeration of our inner life that comes from sleep deprivation, yesterday, I detected a pattern that I feel probably stems from a period of loneliness in my adolescence. I was somewhat isolated out in the country, an only child, with a father who claims he has never loved anyone, and was separated from my mother at that time, and I had an artistic, sensitive personality that made me feel rejection strongly. I loved my rich life overall as a youth, which was full of meditation, nature, writing, reading, art, ballet, classical music, energy work, biking, and other solitary activities. but that period of adolescence left me crying myself to sleep at times, repeating the phrase, "they don't love me." Otherwise, sometimes I didn't get any sleep at all, and the engagement with life that kept me awake too long the other nights was leading to a strong need for sleep.
I've recently detected a certain melancholy that can descend upon me in a second if that feeling is triggered, and it even affects how I squeeze together the very bones of my skull. I feel like I'm in a chemical abyss I can't easily crawl out of without some method, from a nap, occasionally a glass of wine, raw cacao, H-HTP amino acid capsules, watching "The Office" online, crying, or Something!
I know one method has helped me and many others I've used it with to overcome automatic patterns like this in the past, so I am using it now. I'll detail it as I go, in this post. I used it one time when Carolyn Christy, the aura viewer, was watching my daily progress and it changed my auric dynamics greatly at that point, more than most things I was experimenting with. She saw that I was able to maintain the boundaries of my aura better and avoid having my energy sucked or auric contagion come into me. My aura was bigger, brighter, more substantial, sparkling.
Obviously, it's not mentally healthy to simply forget our past and pretend we had another one. That can affect those around us if not us, if we truly believe that, and create a kind of amnesia. I'm not suggesting anything so drastic as that.
However, I do believe we are spirits who existed long before this incarnation, and that we chose our parents, our lives in general, and if we want to imagine choosing different parents, for example, or imagining having different conversations with our parents, different choices in relationship to them, or having parents with slightly different traits, etc. it can be a way to tune into what may or may not be actually parallel realities. We can do this with anything. Because, we are always at every moment, pulsing out of the non-manifest, into the manifest, and we don't have to be beholden to our history, totally. We aren't fully trapped.
We don't have to act as we do because of how we learned to act, based on our environment. We can imagine what it would have been like to have a different environment, and how we could have been a little different ourselves therefore, and become that person. We can still appreciate what we did have, and the path it took to become who we are, flaws, and all, and the reasons for it. We can just as to it, in a kind of fantasy world, if you will, and have it be an effective, and enjoyable therapy. I have used this method at times with clients, and it's effective to have a guide, doing energy work, hypnotherapy, coaching, etc. But it can also be done alone.
We can imagine what our lives would have been like, our expressions, our gestures, our tone of voice, our way of walking, our posture, our habitual lines on our faces, our choices in styles of dress, our choices in partners, career, habitual reactions to things, dreams, health, auras, friendships, everything.
So, first, I'll tune into the feeling that comes up at those times of deep and sudden melancholy, and see if I can identify when they first began. On noticing I recognized the feelings from the past, I originally associated them with adolescence, and crying in bed at night, feeling unloved by my parents, and, being such an all A's, chaste girl, somewhat prudish, classically trained in ballet and music, rather than into dancing to rock and roll, somehow not finding boys inviting me to stare into their eyes for hours.
So, I can recreate that feeling to some degree, though I feel OK now, by clenching my parietal bones together, along the line down the center of the front of my skull. I used to squeeze in order to bring myself to tears, in adolescence, as I must have felt the way tears do release toxins and release chemicals that let us come back to equilibrium. Something about squeezing and saying phrases my body really hated to hear would make it react with crying. Turning my eyes inward, curling up, retreating into myself, I could just be with the feelings, experience rather than deny them, focus on them to understand them as much as possible, and through letting myself express them even if so quietly to myself, truly be myself as a whole, rather than just facing the happier parts.
The feeling was therefore useful, being that strongly upset. Research has shown the benefits of crying to be profound, at least by implication. We build up a lot of stress hormones before crying, stress hormones are horrible for every aspect of our physical health, and they are released in tears.
When I am barely getting any sleep for long periods, I go into times of crying easily, and this is totally normal, a major reason for crying more throughout the entire population.
Stress hormones have deleterious effects on brain cells, unfortunately creating limitations therefore on being able to eliminate the stress hormones, ironically. The immune system, digestive system, heart, endocrine glands, and structure of the body are all strongly effected by lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation from stress can cause diabetes, premature aging,
Not sleeping may be the body's response to cortisol issues from stress, and though it has mixed blessings, certainly, but damaging as insomnia is, as it can at least temporarily reducing the intensity of depression, while the damaging our lives at the same time.
It's ironic that sleep deprivation may be useful, as it has been shown to help with depression on a very short term basis, and is often prescribed by doctors. Yet in the long run, often as an effect of depression, sleep deprivation causes obesity, leads to hernias, cardiovascular issues, and more. Sleep deprivation has been proven to cause people to have inappropriate overblown responses to situations an inability to put them in perspective and control their responses. (2007 Harvard Medical School and U of C at Berkeley.
So, if crying can release stress hormones that keep us awake in an attempt to relieve the very depression it is causing, maybe those overblown responses have their purpose, and allow us to get the tears out and finally be ready to get back on rhythm, therefore. Very complex.
Sleep deprivation often reduces depression, but without special care, only until we get enough sleep the next time, and paradoxically, long periods of sleep deprivation cause serious depression. And even the temporary lifts in mood from a night without sleep were outweighed by the intensity of the pain subjects felt in tests, such as Philipps-University of Marburg, and the University of Bamberg, Germany.
So I can imagine what life would have been like if I had gotten enough sleep at the time of my adolescence. I would perhaps have had to have been less excited about great literature, scientific and historical advances, meditation, writing and painting and dancing and insights. I would have gotten less accomplished, maybe gotten a B here or there. Maybe I can just imagine a world with more time, or less wasteful time at Pep Rallies that were required and left me with longing to be at home, isolated, painting, practicing acting, or the flute, or dance.
If I can simply imagine my responses to the world being those of someone who got a normal amount of sleep, at a time when my brain and behavioral patterns and perceptions were being formed, I can imagine how I would react now to situations. I would like those responses better. I would be able to get to sleep more easily. I would not have adrenals quite so fatigued. I would look younger, thinner, and feel less need to cry.
And I can imagine not staying up late as much in adolescence due to those feelings of not being fully appreciated and wanted. I can do this by picturing my parents being better able to show their acceptance of me, and having more of that appreciation for me, as well. I can picture anything I want!
I can live it by fantasy. In a way, it's like self-hypnosis, living out the sensation of a different reality to the extent we can own it, and gain insights from what it would have been like. How would we have learned out reactive patterns? Well, why not see how much we can adopt those, change our defective ones to effective ones, by feeling what that would be like, from the inside out, because it seems real, in a strange sort of way.
This process can take time, and does require a good imagination, and a kind of method acting. It can use good role models for that imagination, people we've met since we formed our personality traits. We can imagine having had those role models in the past, and how we would have been different. We can pick different people in our lives and imagine them as our siblings, best friends, parents, counselors, or whatever. How would we have grown up if we had known them, learned from them, mimicked them, been loved by them. Retroactive love and wisdom. It works.
Maybe not always, as much as we'd like. I've done this exercise many times, and am not perfect. But each time, it does help, and the more consistent the practice is, the more layers we take it into, the more we embrace the concept and allow ourselves to enjoy the way we could be feeling if we had chosen a different life in this incarnation, tuning into a kind of parallel reality, the more we may find ourselves becoming more of the person we want to be.
In the process, though, it's important to remember to thank ourselves for being just as we are, and for those who helped us be that, through playing difficult roles in our lives. Even though an improved version of ourselves can be great to move into, I certainly suspect we should love ourselves and people who really were in our lives, as much as we can.
One way we can love ourselves is through self-acceptance. An additional way, however, letting us get more sleep, perhaps, and thus a longer, healthier life, is by rewriting an alternative past, as well.