Depression gives way to Love
During high school I struggled with depression. When some family members passed away, that aggravated the situation. I would come home from school, wanting to just sleep or cry, and I had no motivation to do schoolwork. Some days I was unable even to get out of bed. It felt as if I were in a deep hole and couldn’t get out.
Through the study of Christian Science, I had learned that I could rely on prayer for healing, and I had experienced healings in my childhood. I called a Christian Science practitioner and asked for metaphysical treatment. The first thing the practitioner warned me about was putting false labels on myself, such as “depressed,” “anxious,” and “hurt.” These, she pointed out, were lies about me, not part of my true, spiritual identity as God’s loved child.
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I had been taking medication for the depression, prescribed by a psychiatrist the school system had recommended, so I could be approved for homeschooling. However, I wanted to rely solely on God for healing. I hadn’t been practicing Christian Science for a while at that point, but the medicine wasn’t helping me. So I decided to turn to prayer instead. As I began to learn more about my relation to God, I felt I could trust Him, and I was able to give up the medication without fear.
Praying and studying Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, I began to realize that mortal mind—the false, material sense of self—had no power to harden my heart or make me sad. What I needed to do was put this false sense out of thought, affirm my real selfhood as God’s reflection, and let God’s overflowing love shine through.
I took to heart Mrs. Eddy’s instruction: “Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously” (Science and Health, p. 392). This helped me reject negative labels that made me feel like a victim. Another statement in Science and Health that I found helpful was “Love and Truth are not at war with God’s image and likeness” (p. 19). This emphasized to me that God is the only power, so nothing unlike God’s love is real or could have an effect on man.
In dealing with grief at the loss of family members, I had to handle the fear that I could lack love. I learned from reading an article in the Sentinel that the spiritually impelled love of the people who are dear to us demonstrates God’s love. That love doesn’t come from them; they are actually reflecting infinite, divine Love. Because of this insight, I knew God’s love had always been everywhere. I became more grateful for the people I currently had in my life and realized that the qualities I missed in those who were gone were being demonstrated in new relationships.
I also realized that I had been focusing too much on myself and not enough on others and what I could give. I began a teaching internship, working with children with special needs. Of course, I knew it was important not to put labels on them any more than on myself, since we are all created as the expression of God’s qualities, such as health, intelligence, and happiness. Cultivating this spiritual view of the students was a great way for me to demonstrate the love that was unfolding to me through my study of Christian Science. When I focused more on how I could express God’s love to others, I stopped thinking so much about myself and ceased the self-pity. I realized I needed to see these individuals not as victims, but as the strong, resilient, happy children of God that they truly were. This enabled me to reach them better as a teacher. It also became even clearer that I needed to see myself this way, too. I found so much love inside me that I had to share it—and the sadness left.
As I was demonstrating my true identity, I was a kinder and gentler person, and my grades went up dramatically. I became more grateful and could see the good all around me—and I felt no trace of depression. This healing happened five years ago. In the years since then, I have had many proofs of God’s loving care for man. No matter what challenges come up in life, I know I can turn to God, and I will never forget the valuable lessons I’ve learned about loving unselfishly. I trusted God, and my innate spiritual joy was revealed. I continue to be grateful for Christian Science and for all that God, divine Love, is continuing to show me about love. As Mrs. Eddy writes on page 57 of Science and Health: “Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it.”
Chevy Chase, Maryland, US