Do You Look for Spiritual Signs to Fight Depression?
The Midweek Muse
A little inspiration to get you over the hump!
I wonder if any of you do this. Look for signs? As in "give me a sign" to keep on hoping. Give me a sign that things will get better. Give me a sign as to a direction or path.
This can be a spiritual quest or simply a cry out to the universe, "Help! Give me an answer!"
I think it is a very human thing to look for signs.
There is this offbeat movie I like called Punch Drunk Love. It is a difficult movie to explain. The main character, Barry Egan, is played magnifcently by Adam Sandler. Barry is a true lost soul. He has a job he doesn't like (he dresses up in a suit to work in a warehouse where he markets themed toilet plungers among other novelty items), a family who doesn't understand him and criticizes him unmercifully, and a clear lack of human connection. I won't tell you the whole plot line but there is a point in the movie where Barry sees this promotion by Healthy Choice who makes mostly frozen dinners. With each frozen dinner you would buy you would get frequent flyer miles.
So he is in the supermarket feeling lonely, empty, and depressed, just aimlessly going up and down the aisles. Have you ever felt like this? And you can just tell that he is looking for some sign of hope even in the supermarket. And he suddenly sees this pudding made by Healthy Choice. Barry quickly surmises that the same promotion is not only good for their frozen dinners but also for their pudding. And he quickly figures out that he can get the same number of points for buying the pudding which is much cheaper than the frozen dinners. He then plans to exploit this loophole to amass a million frequent flyer miles (this part of the movie is based on the true life experience of David Phillips who is known as the pudding guy).
(I know I have lost some of you at this point but please bear with me)
Barry Egan then buys crates of the pudding and stores it at the warehouse on a forklift in an attempt to get the flyer miles necessary so he can go to Hawaii to follow a budding love interest.
My point in telling you about this part of a very odd movie is that we all have those moments in life where we are looking for signs. Whenever I feel I see a sign of hope in my external world I now call it a "pudding moment" based upon this movie. Maybe it is a weed flower which is sprouting from a sidewalk crack reminding me that not even concrete can stop growth. Maybe it is kindness from a stranger which lets me know that human kind is not all just a cesspool. Whatever the "sign" is...it gives us a moment of hope that all is not lost.
I have also written about being "signless" through poetry. Here is a very different version of looking for "signs."
corner figure of a wizened profile
standing with open sign
the end is coming!
cars streaming by in mocking procession
undaunted with her task
she stands to warn
and beckon towards
a certain future.
the world is
as the world was
too much the same
too much spinning
where do people go
when they spin off
into the stars?
some people look for signs
in amorphous clouds
and in tears from statues
me...i just pass by
without a sign
without a warning
simply holding on
Now what about you? Do you look for signs when you are feeling depressed or weary of the world? Have you ever seen a sign which changed you or gave you hope? Talk about it here. Or express it through a poem, image, or even a song lyric. I can't wait to hear what you have to say!