“When you are sad, know this need not be. Depression comes from a sense of being deprived of something you want and do not have. Remember that you are deprived of nothing except by your own decisions, and then decide otherwise. (T63)”
Affirmation: “I am deprived of nothing except by my own decisions”
1 – Change What Hurts
This passage is part of a group in which Jesus negates negative emotions. He makes clear at this point that we make our own decisions, and we can change conditions that hurt. In particular, in this passage he indicates that sadness can be overcome, even when it is depression.
2 – Pills
Elsewhere Jesus notes that pills are a form of magic, but that they may be necessary if we are already fearful. They are an intermediate step that will assist us, still caught in illusions, to overcome what is wrong simply because we believe that it will work for us. Certainly medication for depression would seem to fall in this category.
3 – Change the Circumstances
Pills are not magic potions, though some people may disagree. We need to change the life circumstances that are causing our discomfort, but this does not necessarily mean an outward change. It may be enough to change our inner reflections, turning to prayer and meditation, contemplation and reflection. God will always be there for us when we seek Him. The Holy Spirit guides us inwardly, and He will prompt us to make change in our outer circumstances if these seem warranted. I have found, though, that most change is best made internally, by a readjustment in thinking and feeling. And it is the thought that leads to the feeling (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).
4 – An Explanation of Why Depression Happens
Note the explanation of why depression happens: a sense of being deprived of something you want and do not have. The vast majority of us can relate to this, sometimes on a daily basis–and certainly over our lifetime. It is a great relief to know that we have actually chosen these instances of deprivation. We are trying to learn something. The fact that we are learning through pain is not good, because elsewhere Jesus says that it is not necessary to learn through pain. Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) indicates much that supports A Course in Miracles, but his pathway toward Awakening was in fact through tremendous anxiety and depression. A later book by Tolle, A New Earth, makes this point even clearer by his explanation of the “pain body.” Jesus, though, would not have us take this route if we can follow him to the uttermost that he promises.
May I leave sadness behind, by my own decision. May I choose the gladness that can come, also by my own decision.
If I need to use pills to combat depression, may I do so knowing that they are an aid, but not a cure. The real cure comes through changing our minds about what we want. And what we want is joy.