bah! humbug!

Why is it that some people just seem to get out of bed grumpy? Admittedly, I am not the most social a person until I have a cup of coffee in me; or two, or three. OK, I can tolerate conversation on one. But there are some people who wake up to make their day, and yours, miserable.

For some it is seasonal. Seasonal Affective Disorder— the darkness becomes overwhelming; the depression spirals downward. For others it is far more serious; for a cluster of historical and/or environmental reasons their life itself is miserable. For some personal reason they believe it their responsibility to pass their wretched state along to all they meet. O joy!

Though it can be true that this perpetually dark mood can be due to hereditary, it is not true that that it is irrevocable. There have been those who have come to me for counsel who have revealed their consistent struggle with a sense of failure and depression; some, even to a point of desperation, longing for relief. In an earlier phase of life my wife would often describe my personality as morbidly introspective. And she was right. My depression and external moods were deeply rooted in failure.

What did I do to claw my way out of this perpetual Bah Humbug!?

  1. First, I gave up trying to please or impress others. I simply started living within the parameters of my gifts, skills, and passions. I developed and expressed my strengths and addressed my weaknesses in privacy.
  2. Then, secondly, I stopped using others to feed me and started to feed them. I became the vessel of service in their lives rather than always calling on them to empty themselves for my sake.
  3. In a couple months I found I could laugh more. I kept laughing. There is always a tad of joy and comedy is almost every situation.
  4. My conversations with God became less intense, and more receptive. I accepted His forgiveness in Jesus Christ and laid aside the roiling guilt that added to my failure and depression.
  5. To my shock I discovered that there were some people who actually enjoyed being my friends. This surprised me. I shifted to enjoyment in our friendship rather than making them about me.

I know there were probably a number of conscious and unconscious things that went on in that period of my life. But it sure feels great to no longer carry around my own inner Scrooge.

Have a nice week,

Gary

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