I just read someone’s story and cried. I met a new friend, and was in awe of all they had done and accomplished. When I read their story of heart-break, the sadness of ending a relationship that was going nowhere after several years, and the feeling that time is running out – I remembered that I had been there. I know that feeling.

It is a dark place.

There’s a big difference between being depressed and sad, and having depression. Everyone gets sad at times, that’s normal. Depression is not about lack of happiness, it is about lack of hope. To be hopeless is the worst you can be. To be without hope is to have nothing to live for. That’s why you just can’t tell a depressed person to “just cheer up”. Cheer up for what?

Keeping positive thoughts is not always easy to do. But trying to put a spin on a bad situation can sometimes help us see the light in the distance.

For instance, ever get a flat tire? Usually we get really upset. Now we are late for a meeting, for work, or maybe starting a road trip. We keep thinking about how much time is lost, how much a delay it is, how it is going to screw up the whole day. Maybe you were in a car accident, even a little fender bender. We can keep having unconstructive thoughts, wasting energy and worry, and manifesting anger…….or we can put a spin on it–Even if it is an imaginary spin. I sometimes will thank the universe for giving me this flat tire, because it got me off the road to avoid an accident that would have killed me up ahead. Wow, this flat is nothing compared to what would have happened to me.  Aren’t I lucky I got this flat!

You can do the same with any situation: This relationship is ending because the universe has the right person waiting to meet me. (At least that is what I tell myself!)

I often see patients that were in car accidents that have minor injuries, but are very upset, stressed, angry, etc. They are so focused on what happened, why the cop didn’t give the other guy a ticket, how much damage was done to the car, etc. So, before they leave I always tell them something to try to make them shift. I say “your angel was in the seat next to you and protected you” to which they give me a puzzled look. “It could have been a lot worse, at least you are walking and talking.” And then they suddenly shift– they smile a little, stand up straighter, and walk out feeling glad they are at least “OK”.