Today is the first day that truly feels like spring. The sun is shining, there are few clouds in the sky and I can see green. This is particularly important as I live in the drought stricken state of New Mexico high on a plateau where once upon a time pinto beans could be dry farmed.
I love spring. It is the time of new beginnings, endless possibilities, and boundless potential. Sadly in almost every conversation I have had with friends, family, and internet opinions I hear none of the same optimism.
I do hear plenty of self-pity.
As a licensed therapist with over 20 years in working with people there is a reason I no longer do. Mostly because I want to live in the first two paragraphs while most people seem to want to live in the third.
So, to join my esteemed colleagues that I no longer engage with, I have come up with a clinical term I think will just about cover it.
“Entitlement Depression.” The quotes are mine. The idea is not. Another less clinical or concise way of saying this is a whole lotta people seem to be either depressed or angry about all the things in their lives and this world they don’t want and even more pissed off or depressed that the world isn’t giving them what they do want.
I get it. I too have much of these same complaints. I also have had a long history of depression that I spent about three decades trying to crawl out of.
Which got me thinking today at what point I decided it was my responsibility to feel better and not the world or those who live in it to fix me.
I also don’t remember when it occurred to me that why did I think I was ever entitled to have everything I wanted, when I wanted, and how I wanted it. And, if I didn’t get all of the above, clearly you who I deemed responsible for giving me this didn’t love, respect, honor, care, or understand me.
You can fill in the blank of who is responsible for me with: government, parents, friends, family, employer, God, doctor, therapist, police officer, pet, or my least favorite to see burdened - child.
You can also include the scary global elite who seem to think somehow they are responsible for me in knowing what I want, when I want it, and how it should be given to me.
I don’t remember that day either when it occurred to me, who did they think they were? It might have been when I lost my house, my job, my retirement, and most of everything I owned.
But that was also about the time a few years earlier when somehow it filtered in that the only one, and there is no clean way of saying this, that was screwing me over was me.
I hadn’t been paying attention or willing to take ownership of all of it.
But then, I did.
I’d like to tell you it all went wonderfully smooth from there. It did not.
It is still hard. I still seem to screw myself over on a regular basis. But here is the big difference.
I don’t blame anyone.
I don’t feel like a victim.
And most importantly I don’t have to wait for someone who doesn’t even like me to decide they want to be responsible for me and give me everything I want, when I want, and how I want it.
That my friends is true freedom.
And that is when I figured out I wanted freedom more than I wanted depression, anger, justice, apologies, compensation, a cure, or anything else that I had been waiting on to be happy.
Which is why I love spring. All potential. All possibilities. All new beginnings.
I invite you to make this spring to make your new beginning and join me on this journey. I can’t promise you it will be easy. I can promise you it will be the most meaningful journey of your life.