“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
To paraphrase the famous Serenity Prayer, it is so important to recognize those things in our lives that we can change and those things that we cannot. While there may be a great deal in your own life that you cannot change, you may be surprised at how many things you can. One of the keys to overcoming depression is to honestly and realistically evaluate your life. Then, develop a plan to accept those things that are possible. This requires taking stock of your life. Just as a storekeeper takes an inventory of all that he has, it is wise for us to make a tangible list of our physical, mental, and spiritual assets and liabilities. Make a list in your responsibilities; write down what you want to do or be in addition to what you have already done or become. Consider what needs to happen (or stop happening) to fulfill your hopes and aspirations.
You may be reluctant to do this exercise for fear that it will make you even more depressed. But the objective of taking stock is not to create an inventory of all the things that are wrong with your life. Rather, taking stock will help to categorize the changeable and unchangeable things in your life to intentionally more forward, out of depression.
Too often, we live our lives feeling like spectators instead of active participants with the power to choose our own course. We get caught up in life’s low, whether good, bad, or neutral. Wherever the currents take us, we go. It’s as if we are on autopilot, but depression happens when our autopilot gets stuck in a negative descent. Unless we take intentional action, chances are that circumstances won’t force a change to the positive.
In other words, if you go along waiting for some “thing,” or some event to alter the course of your depression, you’ll probably be disappointed. It’s time too take control and look at where you are in your life. It’s time to actively and intentionally participate in the course of your life.
If the prospect of taking inventory of your life is overwhelming, and you don’t even know where to begin, The Center • A Place of HOPE can help. Our team of depression specialists can not only help you take the first step towards recovery, but they can guide you every step of the way. If you are ready to begin your journey, fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak with a depression recovery specialist today.
Excerpts of this blog were taken from Dr. Gregory Jantz’s book Turing Your Down into Up: A Realistic Plan for Healing from Depression.