On Kindness


October's depression came right in on time this year. Like a heavy, black train into a station, it steamed forward, hissed and grounded right into my chest. It heralds the loss of light in this hemisphere--a darkening of days and a shorter daily time period to work. I grieve the sun on my face and it hurts my heart.

Only, this year it came with a fierce infusion of postpartum inconsistency. Like a whipped center into a baked good, hormones stuffed into my body with no apparent exit. This year, more than ever, I went crazy.

Insomnia and worry danced in my head. I was anxious, uncomfortable and tired. There days I'd beg to hibernate, retreat to the bed with arms and legs unfolded wide like I could sleep and stretch the gloom out of me. There was never enough rest.

My personal relationships suffered. Sensitivity took over my balance and I was tipsy and wary and full of second guesses. I was certain I didn't deserve people anyway, I didn't deserve anything. I couldn't be grateful for what was in my world because guilt was in the way. And even though it was always rattling around in my throat, on the verge in my eyes, I couldn't cry because I didn't deserve that either. There was no release.

"Do you want to go see someone?" Chup asked on morning when the depression had hovered over me all night.

I was too shocked to answer. It bowled me down. I couldn't think or deliver form or function. I was just breathing in and out, in and out. My thoughts couldn't get past the ringing chorus, you aren't good enough, you've never been good enough, you will never be good enough.

"Maybe we should get some meds?" he asked again.

On that morning a new limb to my walking dreariness was born, the appendage about hurting others with my hurt. I was about to stop walking and beg to be carried. It was a heavy load for my husband, but he was all I wanted.

I hadn't asked for anti-depressants since college, even though I always felt a little seasonal despondency. Medication made the depression go away but it also made me numb, I missed the nuance of emotion. I recognize it as a blessing in pill form, but I decided to use it sparingly. For me, it was last resort.

"I am going to start a morning meditation routine," I answered. Some tiny part of me knew that the loss of love I felt in my life could be rescued with a heavy dose of consistent, spiritual enlightening. Fear vanished when learning commenced. For me, it has always been my true rescue.

So I started. Every day I'd ignore any impulse to sulk the awakening of my eyes. I prayed, read scriptures, help books and wrote down good thoughts that bubbled into my head. Every day I asked my Heavenly Father for a little bit of knowledge that I didn't have before. And it came. Tiny bits of ideas, pieces of truth until one morning I was healed. It was a flash of brilliance, and my puzzle was solved. It was this:

There is faith, hope and charity.

There is past, future and present.

Faith is believing that everything in my past has a purpose. Every misjudgment, jealousy and hurt. Every joy, indulgence and success. All my wrong choices, all my right choices pushed me forward to right now. My rejoicing, my repentance, my realignments, all of it, has brought me here. Faith is believing that I have been on an upwards progression all my life, guided by the very angels of heaven. There have been no mistakes so grave, no depression so dark, no wind so strong that I've been knocked off course. Faith is believing that the past has accumulated for my good. And though it still makes up my soul, the past is over.

Hope is believing that the future will come. A future of better things, stronger convictions and securer sense of self. It is having the confidence that everything I don't have today, everything I want, will come because I am worthy of it. Hope says, I am weak today, but tomorrow I will be a little bit stronger. Hope can promise all the hurt, all the fear, anxiety, the lacking will slowly leave, vanish, melt away. Hope is okay that today isn't perfect. Hope holds all the mysteries yet to unfold. Hope is never-ending because the future is always ahead.

Charity is all we have in the present. Our past is gone, our future is yet and there is no sense living in those two spaces. We remember, we project, but for now we love. We love all that we have presently, all that our eyes can see and bodies can touch. We love the people who are in our rooms, our spaces our dreams. We love with intelligence and understanding. We may not have the money we want, the body we crave the things that occupy our desires, but we can love the salary we do make, the body we have cultivated, the things that fulfill our needs. We love the meals we eat, the shoes we wear, the woman at the grocery store. Charity is the now we own, the present we can manipulate. It's all we have and it's all we have to give.

So be kind to yourself, I heard the Spirit say to me at the end of this watershed moment.

And I've been trying.

Since then the train in my chest huffed and puffed and finally pulled off into the distance.

You can still enter to win all the Basa Body products you can handle or a Kenmore Elite stand mixer or a Kenmore Elite refrigerator or the kitchen sink. Just kidding about the kitchen sink.

Los Ottavio's?

I am Courtney Kendrick and I am feeling better.
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