We just left the theater after watching Revolutionary Road and I can't shake the internal dialogue in my mind. The movie dabbled in many of the flaws and struggles of the "human" condition. Self definition. The pursuit of happiness. Self worth. Contentment. Family. Self Awareness. Marital conflict. The meaning of commitment. I could probably go on for another 20 minutes listing themes.
What strikes me as I'm sitting here now however is part of what I saw as the main struggle of Kate Winslet's character in the movie. Internal happiness. Contentment.
I can't say that she was right or wrong in feeling like she needed something different or more out of her life. That's not mine to judge. However, I can say that in her discontentment I feel like she turned her focus and her needs so far into herself that she wasn't conscious of how she was affecting the people around her...or how they could affect her. She wasn't able to be.
I think that part of getting out of depression is being able to look outside of yourself and appreciate the way life works and moves on and progresses even while you are down or consumed. It's about trying to see the light outside even when the inside of you is dark.
I'm not saying this is always possible. But I do think it's important.
We can take ourselves seriously. We can want better. We can want more. We can want change. But when we get so wrapped up in it that we can't see that life is good just for the sake of being LIFE...the climb out of darkness is long and directionless. We can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I guess what I am saying is that it is always important to stay connected to something bigger than ourselves and to the people around us. It is important not only to do right by our own needs, but also by the needs of others. Sometimes all it takes is reaching out and doing something solely for the sake of someone else to create worth and light in our own lives. It's so important to know how to genuinely wish for other people to succeed and to smile for them when they do.
When you allow these little things to count then every day starts counting for something - even if you don't have a "personal" triumph that day.
When you let happiness in you invite more happiness in. You can change the feeling inside of you.
Plus it's important to realize that we don't always know the road that will take us to where we are meant to be. Patience, faith, gratitude and presence of mind can be as important as ambition. They hold many of the keys to forward progress.
I think that it is important to realize that we can't always drive the changes that we need in our lives because we don't always know what is best for us. We have to trust that we will get there and that we will learn and do what we are meant to do as long as we keep ourselves open to it and connected to possibility. When we shut down we shut off the possibility for good things to find us.
Life can change simply saying yes to something that is presented...by embracing possibility when it comes. If we are too shut down to see it, if we shut down connections and lose faith, the chance for getting out of depression and hopelessness moves further and further away.