Depression is a huge problem in our society. While there are many causes for feelings of depression, one of the causes is disconnection from self — self-abandonment. Just as a child gets depressed when the parent is disconnected and unavailable, so our inner child — our feeling self — gets depressed when we are disconnected from our feelings and not taking loving responsibility for them.

Another cause of depressed feelings is social isolation and the resulting loneliness, which is often one of the results of disconnecting from ourselves and then being unable to connect with others. In the film Happy we are taken on a trip around the world to the happiest people on the planet. Invariably, these are people who live in communities where they feel connected with each other. They feel safe because they watch out for each other. They are not lonely. However, many people who have tried to establish connected or intentional communities end up leaving them for the same reason they leave marriages: They don’t work unless people are connected with themselves and taking responsibility for their own feelings.

Since we come together at our common level of self-abandonment and our common level of self-love, if we are abandoning ourselves by disconnecting from ourselves and avoiding responsibility for our feelings, we will likely attract someone who is doing the same thing. Each partner hopes that the other will fill the black hole within. While they might seem to do this for each other for a short time, eventually each feels unloved and resentful, leading to relationship failure. We cannot fill up another person. We each need to do this for ourselves, and then share our love with each other. We cannot connect on a deep level of love with each other when we are not connected with ourselves.

In my experience, sharing love with another who is also filled up with love and sharing it, is the most fulfilling and joyful experience in life. Do not confuse getting love with sharing love — they are light years apart!

Peace and Love, Jim

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