Distressed infants eventually cease their crying when they arrive at a state of FUTILITY
Responding to a conversation about depression: Looking through what I describe as a “Lens of Love” I can attest to the terror that an infant feels when the grown-ups who sustain them cannot be ‘reached’.
From the perspective of a powerless week old infant disconnection = death, and this association persists throughout a person’s life.
If we’re to replace the word connection with the word Love (for reasons that I won’t go into here), Love represents survival and life, while Isolation or Rejection represents a threat to life.
Children are equipped from birth with the ability to express their need for connection (and their fear of isolation) by crying.
If fact, at an early age, that’s their only means for drawing attention any physical or emotional distress or discomfort that they’re feeling when a caregiver is out of physical reach.
Distressed infants eventually cease their crying when they arrive at a state of FUTILITY.
Futility is reached when the nervous system recognizes that no amount of crying will result in a CONNECTIVE outcome. When we have exhausted every possible strategy at our disposal to connect so that we can feel loved, we enter a state of FUTILITY characterized by a cessation of all further efforts to connect.
In grown-up terms that state is recognizable as Depression. When a person has exhausted every possible strategy for restoring connection and has reached a state of Futility, this reinforces a belief that “there’s nothing in the world that I can do to feel loved, so ‘why bother trying’!” … and “if I’m neither connection-worthy nor love-worthy what point is there for living?”
Many of us throw in the towel at that point and allow our life force to ebb away. Attempts at suicide often follow.
So here’s my exciting news: Depression begins to lifts the moment that dependable-connection and secure-loving becomes available.
As exciting as this might sound, it’s not as easy as it appears, because that love or connection can only be felt when it is judgement-free and unconditional.
However, every one of us can learn how to achieve freedom from judging and we can accept others unconditionally, BUT only after learning how to love ourselves without any conditions (loving our addictions, our narcissism, our cruelty, our shame and our betrayals AS MUCH as we love our intelligence, devotion, and gentleness).
We have an incredible journey ahead of us and I consider myself so blessed to be living at a time in history when we can openly dialogue about such matters of soul and survival. Philip Be’er