Tag Archives: depression

You may at times neglect your faith but it is never to late to renew it

When I first moved into my new apartment I was gifted an African Violet as a house warming gift. I remember thinking how beautiful it was with its purple blooms. Now I’m not exactly known as someone with a green thumb but the African Violet did not need much attention. You have to keep the soil moist to dry, and allow the soil around roots to dry out before watering. It thrived in moderate to bright, indirect, indoor light. Pretty much it was set and go and enjoy its beauty.

In the beginning I made a point of taking great care of the plant, it was after all easy to do. I also found myself looking to it as a source of relaxation and motivation due to its striking color and amazing blooms. Just by looking at it I could feel my spirits being lifted as it seemingly gave me a sense of purpose.

As the months went by the good times were plentiful. Success seemed to be around every corner. With success I found myself spending more time at the office as I endeavored to continue which at the time was a rapid rise up the corporate ladder. When I wasn’t in the office I was out networking and enjoying the social scene. During this time I neglected my beautiful African Violet that had provided me with so much inspiration.  Then as fast as the success came the economy took a downward turn. Cutbacks were on the horizon. I survived the company purge but the rise up the corporate ladder came to a dramatic halt. The large bonuses, that I had foolishly incorporated into my budget to finance my over extended life style, dried up. At the same time my girlfriend who I believed loved me answered the question New Edition once asked. Can you stand the rain?  Her answer as you may have guessed was no and she told me it was over. She made up some excuse about us growing apart but it was pretty obvious the distance between us only widened as my bank account lessened.

I fell into a funk. Depressed I cut myself off from most of the world. Constantly asked myself why is this happening? Spend many a weekend laying in bed with no desire to get up and embrace the day. One day I went to look at my long neglected African Violet in hopes in could once again inspire me with its beauty.  When I looked at it I saw it had stop flowering and its leaves had turned yellow.  I immediately understood that it was my failure to water it and cultivate its soil, because I was so busy enjoying the good times, that was. responsible for its current condition.

I had taken it for granted and assumed that it would always be there in all its beauty as an inspiration when I needed it.

Your faith is like the African Violet, it does not require super high maintenance.  But it does require that we not neglect it. Not cultivate and continue to strengthen it in the good times and expect that it will simply be there for us in times of angst.  We must continue to take steps along our spiritual journey, praising the Lord for the blessings He has bestowed upon us in good times. Strengthen our belief each day so that we do not turn away from the Lord and egotistically pat ourselves on the back for achieving such success, forgetting that without the Lord we would literally be nothing.

I looked at the African Violet and took the steps need to restore its beauty. Watering it, cultivating its soil, ensuring that it received the proper amount of sunlight. Soon its beauty began to return. It started to bloom once again. New bright and vibrant green leaves took the place of the ones that had turned yellow.  My renewed commitment to the African Violet brought me a new and stronger plant and with it a new source of inspiration. Now each day I now look at it in all of its beauty and go out and embrace all that the world offers me good and bad.

As with the African Violet you can renew your faith by recommitting to the Lord. The Lord does not hold grudges and His blessings are always there for you. As you restart your spiritual journey and you offer your praise unto him you will soon see that your situation will in time begin to brighten.

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Two people – one seeking happiness, the other pretending they found it

Two people, one for the outside world to see one for only me to know. The outside world sees the smile, the upbeat optimism that makes it seem nothing can ever bring me down. But inside I’m hurting, wondering what I did to deserve this lot in life. Feelings of loneliness flood over me even when I’m in a room full of family and friends. Thoughts of dread preoccupy my mind. The slightest mention of you don’t look good or the question what’s the matter with you is met with the response I’m fine or nothing. But the truth is the question itself is frightening and I don’t want to hear it or think about it. Often times I’ll snap at the person asking the question. I know they ask out of concern but I’m tired of thinking about the negative and those questions just flood my mind with the negative.

Alas in the times when I’m feeling good there is no family to share the good times with and by family I mean MY family, a wife, children, grandchildren. I missed out on that, stupid decisions and wrong choices on my part I guess.  This is just one more thing I bury deep inside. Because when I express it to family members they don’t understand the hole it has left in my soul, they feel as if I am not valuing them. That of could not be further from the truth I know how much they love me and I love them but as close as we are they’re not MY family not my wife, my children, my grandchildren. It’s something I have always dreamed I would experience in my life but never have. Instead I look on with jealousy as others share stories of their child’s success or even failures. Their lives with their spouses good and bad. Especially the bad because they found a way to work through it while it seems it was always easier for people to walk away from me. Am I that hard to love? Is it not worth the effort to try and make it work with me? Has anyone ever really loved me?

I have always been a believer in a higher power if not religion itself, after all who needs a third party to talk to God. But lately that belief has been shaken. I always tried to do the right thing. I always tried to live right. They say God doesn’t give you more than you can handle but you know what I’m getting pretty close to all I can handle.

Many times I am thankful for that other person, the side the outside world sees. He is filled with high self esteem and boundless optimism. Truth be told if I didn’t have that side to pull from I don’t know where I would be. Work is my refuge. It’s there I pour my heart into. It gives me purpose, I know I’m respected there, I know I’m good at what I do there. I don’t really know what I would do without it besides the obvious loss of income I wonder how losing it would impact my self esteem. Without it would I just fall into a pit of self despair. Again not something I share with anybody most times all you’ll get is the cliche answers – it could be worst, at least you’ve got better than (insert name), be thankful for what you have. Guess what I am thankful, I know it could be worst, I know others have it tougher. That doesn’t make it any better for me because I’m looking at how it impacts me and only me not someone else.

Anyway I know this post has been kind of all over the place I guess I just needed to vent. In the meantime i will lean on the happy side of me and hope things turn around after all I’m Carl Cooke damn it and at the end of the day nothing can stop me…at least I hope.