Saturday, May 14, 2005


What is illustrated here is the depressive drive to take control of their own lives, and deaths. These are examples of independence, often in the face of pleas and offers of help from those who appear, at least momentarily, to try to take that control away from them.

Losses may be subtle, losses may seem small-- but they loom large in the eyes of the one who has lost. A most poignant example is that of the person who has become aware through scraps of memory, deep introspection, or perhaps outright accusation, that he or she has in fact transcended moral principles that were always held dear. As passé as it may sound, honor has been lost. The word honesty comes from honor-- and one now feels somehow dis-honest; no longer the basically “good” person in their bathroom mirror. Self-awareness has crept in, just as it did in the Garden of Eden. Now, a lot depends on what is done with such self-awareness. The question is, are they willing to trust and depend on God’s love and forgiveness,-- knowing it might require painful confession and true repentance? Or do they hide it and put on a cover-up face to the world? Do they realize the latter choice is the much harder one? Some lapses that involve pride loom very large-- including the practice of selfish, hurtful arrogance. The remarkable thing about God’s grace is that just the same choice needs to be made for both small and large transgressions. When a depressive condition is involved the choice that has most likely been made is to hold it all within, perhaps only to act-out even more to prove “who’s in control”. The depressive one jealously hangs onto every last pain even unto death.

So anxiety about control is still the core problem-- this is frequently where it all starts; at the soft underside of depression lurks the same fear of losing control-- now gone entirely underground, not thought out but mostly acted-out. Any thorough and enduring resolution requires that the sufferer face that fear and replace it with the commitment to live, and to live a resurrection life. This may be especially appropriate here since depression is like a “dying” rather than a “living” experience. Has one in fact died to the world? If so, paradox again-- the depressive may be, without realizing it of course, a lot closer than many to being “born again”. Have you ever wondered why the words “do not fear” are repeated so often in scriptures?

Perhaps scriptural principles are observable here and the following seems in order: If you are going to boast, boast in the Lord-- If you are going to fear, fear the Lord your God!

The simplicity of these principles frequently confound the wise however, and those who are blind and deaf by obdurate choice will be puzzled by this very simplicity too. We are after all dealing with the complexities of regular doses of self-defeat, self-damage and self-destruction all in the covert pursuit of “control” and independence. Many of those who early on sense that life on earth includes chances of defeat, damage and destruction will develop private ways of refusing to take such chances through bringing it on themselves. If one takes any chance at all, one faces just win, lose or draw. To stand inert and lifeless is still chance taking, i.e., doing nothing. One truly has a sense of control only by bringing on the only thing you can do for sure-- loss, rejection by others, failures in crucial situations: if one sees possible criticism, give them something to criticize you for-- after all, it’s no surprise, you caused it yourself by telling them what to do!

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