Tag Archive | how to help a loved one with depression

The Trouble With Linear Thinking

2014-02-26 06.35.23

Linear thinking is defined as a process of thought following known cycles or step-by-step progression where a response to a step must be elicited before another step is taken.  It is a highly focused way of living whereby one continues to stick to their own path without turning around to evaluate spherically how their actions, inactions and words affect others.

I applaud those who are so focused, but I believe that it also stunts growth potential when we simply live linearly and do not stop to turn around and see the world around us even for a few moments.  Living in this way, allows us to move blithely through life with blinders on, unaware of what is going on around us.  It disconnects us from ourselves and others during our lifetime.  I imagine it is not an easy way to live (or perhaps it is), but I see it as a very solitary way of living.

I am a spherical thinker for the most part.  For me, my kindness and compassion radar is tuned in to those around me.  Even when angry, I can see the other point of view and many times, I find myself feeling compassionate towards the one who has evoked the anger within me.  I can ‘see’ how this person is hurting and feels out of control and in order to gain control, must retaliate in this fashion.  I can forgive because I look outside myself to view their grief and hurting.  It is my choice to do so and one which I choose many times even when I’d prefer to not see the entire picture and only view it from my side of the fence.

It is frustrating to have linear thinking folks in my life who border on narcissism.  It is most likely frustrating for them as well to have me there, intently trying to get them to turn around occasionally to see more of what life is offering, to connect with those who love them and to connect with themselves on a deeper level.  To feel again is a difficult task for those who have disconnected for whatever reason.  They strive to look away, to remain focused on the task ahead and to cement those blinders on so that they do not have to see what they are avoiding.  It becomes a stall tactic which holds them motionless while the world around them moves on without them.

For those of us who wish for communication outside the nothing box, it is an uphill climb to constantly reach out and try to penetrate the walls of their stoic thinking.  We can occasionally catch glimpses of the heart light inside of loved ones, but almost as quickly as the twinkle is revealed, the light is hidden again, the door is shut, locked tight and darkness remains.  It is in the darkness that the nothing box dwells and in there, the light of life is forbidden its sparkle.

Who holds the key to the door of life?  Why you do!  But many people are afraid of moving out of their comfort zones to feel what they hide, to experience more deeply the suffering which they keep safely hidden away from others.  Many times they hoard those dark feelings and experiences in fear.  It is hard to open up and to look at ourselves and others in a different light.  It may be easier to remain amidst the dark depression of the nothing box.  This way we don’t have to deal with the consequences of our own actions, inactions and words.  We can simply pretend to make it all about others and not ourselves.

Those of us who can see those heart lights shimmer even for a moment know that these folks are hurting and we can see the potentiality to flourish in them.  So we wait, trying to lure them out of their linear thinking, to turn them around even for a few moments so that they can see the healthy, healing love that life has to offer.  We can offer them unconditional love which they have always had, but it is up to them to accept it.  It is a choice that is theirs alone to make.

Take my hand.  I have known depression, but as a friend once told me, ‘when you think you are going through hell, keep going’ which is a rendition of a quote attributed to Winston Churchill.  So let’s keep going…together. ♥

 Shine On!

xo