I read a lot about following our bliss and to follow what makes us feel good inside. And although I get the background of this, I also know it’s not that straightforward.
For 2 years I tried to follow my bliss and to follow what felt good, but instead of my life changing for the best, it got worse and I felt confused, angry and frustrated.
I still had episodes of feeling depressed and anxious and I was utterly confused as to how to combine my episodes of depression and following my bliss.
How can I follow my bliss if I feel depressed? And how can I follow my bliss if I don’t really know what I want?
These were the questions I struggled with and I found the answers to.
First of all, let’s dive into what bliss is and why it’s so important to follow it.
What is Bliss really? Bliss is a feeling we can have but, as how I see/feel it, is more profound than our general emotional range of sad and happy. For me, Bliss feels like I’m going to explode and I cannot contain how I feel within my body. That’s how bliss feels to me.
It’s more profound, more expanding and going beyond my body and mind. Bliss is maybe like a glimpse into what we really are. Like that moment just before you’re about to do something you really, really love, and just before you go and do that, you have that moment of silence, grandness, openness, and vastness.
Bliss is about not being in our mind, not even in our body, Bliss is moving beyond that.
Why should we follow that? Because it helps us remember. Remember who and what we really are.
When we’re in our day-to-day lives it can be easily forgotten. We have our jobs, our business, our family, our dogs to walk and it seems as if the physical world is so real. It seems as if that is our reality. And we forget the truth. That our physical world is part of an illusion, just as we are.
That everything we see and be, is the same expression of consciousness.
We start to believe that doing the things we do is important and that we need to work to earn money, or we need to do those things to feel loved and we forget that everything we have ever wanted is already within us.
Bliss is a reminder, a way to remember. To reconnect to that which is never lost. To realize that what we THINK is important is merely an illusion.
Following what feels good to us, following our bliss is merely a way to remember and step away from our attachments to the world and our ideas and beliefs.
But what about depression or anxiety?
Depression and anxiety is a human experience. An experience in which we lose ourselves in the attachments of the body, the mind, and the world. It’s like a magnet with glue on it that keeps sucking you back into the illusion of the body and the mind.
It feels very real, very heavy and very painful.
And nothing to be ashamed of or frustrated about. Yes, it hurts, and of course, we would rather feel happy and blissful, but for some of us, maybe you, life seems more difficult to bear.
And phrases like following our bliss and doing what we love, can feel disheartening and disempowering when dealing with episodes of depression and/or anxiety. I know.
But the thing is, our connection to consciousness, the Divine, to God, to Spirit, to Source is never gone. It’s always here. Even during a depression. We are always consciousness, God, Spirit, or Source. Even when we don’t do the things we love. Even when we’re dealing with our depression.
Following our bliss is a way to remember our connection, but it’s not the only way!
Even when following our bliss, we can get sidetracked as our ego has wonderful ways to let us think we’re on the right track, while at the same time we’re living out our limiting beliefs (see this article for more about that).
Or worse, we can fall into the thinking trap that the only way to feel bliss, is to do what we love.
Dealing with depression and/or anxiety feels very real for the one experiencing it and phrases like “follow your bliss” and “do what makes you happy” can feel empty, hollow and unattainable.
My experience is when being in such an episode, it’s not about following my bliss or doing what I love, it’s about getting through this period as best as I can. It’s about taking care of myself in the best way possible, it’s about guiding myself first through the mind maze of negative thoughts and then out of my mind maze of negative thought.
It’s about continually reminding myself I am not my thoughts and I am not my body. It’s a continuous going back and forth between attachment to my negative thoughts and to being able to witness them. It’s giving myself a break from my overly present mind (aka watching Netflix).
How to combine Bliss and Depressive episodes
It’s been quite some time now since my last depressive episode. I’m very grateful for that and I do believe that continuously working on myself and my personal development has helped me lessen those episodes in frequency and intensity.
This has helped me tremendously in spending more time finding out what I do love, opening up to bliss more and doing what makes me happy.
These depressive episodes haven’t made it easy but they haven’t made it impossible either.
On the contrary, those episodes helped me surrendering to what is at this moment. When I felt myself gliding in such an episode I sort of put everything else on hold. I gave space to that experience without needing it to go away. It helped me strengthen my faith in that this too shall pass.
It helped me have confidence in myself knowing I could deal with these episodes. Knowing my life wasn’t over when being in such an episode and when this was over, I could continue with what I was doing, but with more strength and more insight.
I stopped fighting these depressive tendencies and started accepting them as my own. I started looking at the limiting beliefs getting triggered during these depressive episodes and when feeling better, I started working on those.
If anything, these depressive tendencies have strengthened my resilience and insight as well as my faith and confidence.
When being in a depressive episode, it’s not about following your bliss. It’s about survival and getting through it as best as you can. Following your bliss or doing what you love can just wait while you take care of yourself as best as you can.
Depression strengthens Bliss
In my experience, my depressive episodes have strengthened my empathic abilities as well as deepened my appreciation for life. The smallest of moments can strike me with awe and leaving me breathless. I can enjoy the small things in life because I know the darkest moments of my mind.
My appreciation for Bliss has deepened so much. I don’t take it for granted to feel like that and I know it’s a lot of work to, first of all, detach oneself from the mind and the body and especially when dealing with depressive episodes.
I know it’s tough and difficult when having these experience but I also know they have great gifts within them. The gift of faith, confidence, appreciation, empathy, resilience and a deep, deep appreciation for life.
So when you’re in a bad place at the moment, know there’s a time and place to follow your bliss. And this moment is best to reach out for support and help. This moment when feeling low or bad it’s best to spend taking care of yourself as best as you can and to focus on being and healing.
If you’re feeling low, reach out to a friend. You are never alone in feeling like this.
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