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Lessons from the Winter Blues Part VI

Welcome back fam! This post is the final lesson I learned during my last depression episode. This lesson is one that I think is really important.  

During this experience, I was able to learn to accept a perspective of rest and peace. As a black woman, this lesson has been so impactful to my daily living. 

One of the most beautiful things I’ve read recently is that our black ancestors once dreamed of rest. When I first read it, I teared up (fun fact – I’m a waterhead!) because the simplicity of that dream was unrealized for multiple generations and is still hard to lean into today.  

Black women in particular have a difficult relationship with rest. We work hard against every stereotype that sees us as lazy, denying ourselves time to see ourselves outside of the capacity of drive, resilience, and the grind. We will take care of everyone and everything else before the thought even passes our minds to take care of ourselves. It’s problematic and it keeps us from living out our dreams and the dreams of our ancestors. 

I realized this while reading that earlier thought during my depression, and I want so badly to live out that dream for them. And that meant taking rest seriously, and seeing it as my birthright.  

I also learned that living in rest could provide space for healing. I learned that whatever my body needed, to give, whether it was sleep, exercise, stretching, fresh air, meditation, quiet time, etc. I let go of the guilt of not doing what I used to while giving space for rest to be a priority. In my reality that meant hiring cleaners and laundry service, utilizing delivery services for everything, and being okay with my house not being perfectly unpacked and. giving what my mind, body, and spirit needed. What I found surprising is that this space also allowed other issues that needed to be acknowledged and healed to arise.  

In the darkest of moments, where me, God, and depression sat, my heart got lighter, my vision got clearer, my peace surpassed my understanding. I found joy in small things, I found respite in music and worship. I cackled at my favorite Youtubers and TikTokers. I filled my shelves with books that nourished me and entertained me. I bought plants and flowers to surround myself with. I breathed in self-affirmation, and exhaled anything that didn’t align with that. I loved the moment I was in and I loved me in it.   

Let me tell you, rest experienced fully allows peace to follow.  

I found peace once I accepted rest. In that space, I could affirm myself by choosing to love myself in and through my deep, blue moments. 

Depression didn’t break me; this time I allowed it to shape me. 

It narrowed my focus until I realized that I was the focus.  

Never doubt the lessons you can learn in the moments that appear dark and stagnant on the surface. Whether it’s mental health, chronic illness, relationship and job woes or anything in between, know there’s truly a chance to grow in the dark.  

I encourage you to find a few moments in your week to sit in the space of rest and stillness and look inward. I know for certain; a lesson is just waiting there for you to see it.  

See it. 

Sit with it. 

Grow from it. 

And just in case you needed another reminder, strive to see yourself, my friend. 

And know I see you too! 

P.S. I hope you are on our mailing list, because a bonus lesson I’m really excited to share will be in your inboxes this evening!