by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths
Someone asked, “How do you battle sadness?”
This problem severely hampers so many people, and in truth, it is a senseless struggle. Anyone who wants to rid himself of this handicap can do so anytime he chooses, if only he will be persistent in following this advice.
There are two types of sadness, common sadness and severe, persistent sadness, which is really depression. Common sadness often comes for a good reason. When we make mistakes, we want to feel sad about them so that we will correct ourselves. This is a very positive thing. It is a sadness that forces us to ask, “What did I do wrong?” And then we are pushed into changing our behavior.
However, if we are generally sad, without a good reason, then we are not sad; we are depressed. While sadness can come for a good reason, depression never does.
Everyone has two rooms in their house. In one of these rooms there is a hole in the roof, and cold rain is pouring in. There is a chair in that room right under the hole. When the owner of the house sits in that chair, he rightfully feels miserable. Really! After all, ice cold rain is pouring down on him, and he feels horrible. He sits there all day long, and he complains all day long because of his terrible situation. And he is right. It is terrible!
But you know what? He has another room in his house. And the other room does not have a hole in its roof. It is dry and comfortable in there. Actually, it is a very pleasant place to sit.
When you ask yourself, “What’s wrong with me?” your mind will immediately search for everything that could possibly be wrong. And you know what? There is plenty to complain about. You start to list the things that are wrong, and you feel bothered by them, even depressed, about each and every one of them. Some people live their entire lives sitting in this room, asking, “What’s wrong?” and feeling sad.
But, if instead of asking, “What’s wrong with me?” you ask, “What is right for me?” and you start to list all of the wonderful things that you have, you will begin to move out of the miserable room, and over into the nice, dry room. You will be comfortable, and after a while, you will even become happy. The more wonderful things you list, the happier you will be.
But the mind screams, “HEY, THERE IS A HOLE IN THE ROOF IN THE OTHER ROOM!” And you know that the mind is right. There is a hole in the other room. So you go back into that room to see what is wrong. This is the exact time that you can cure yourself of the persistent sadness.
When the mind insists that you go back into the wet room, you have to ask yourself, “What is good in my life?” At first it will be a struggle because you are so accustomed to the wet, miserable room, but do not give in. You must make the effort to move into the dry room. Make a list of those good things. Read the list over and over again.
Do you go for kidney dialysis three times a week, like so many thousands of people do? No, you do not. Well, thank G-d for that. Do you have a headache? No, you do not. Thank G-d for that. How is you broken leg doing? What? You do not have a broken leg? Thank G-d, again and again. Thank Him for all of the good that He is giving you. You have food. You have family. You have friends, a place to sleep, and on and on… thank G-d. Thank G-d. Thank G-d!
The more you thank Him, the longer you will stay in the dry room. And after some time, you will be so accustomed to living in the dry room, that you will wonder why you ever wasted a single minute of your precious life by being sad.