Thanks to a reader for this question:
"Despair: the feeling that everything is wrong and nothing will turn out well.
Do you experience this? We've all heard of cell phone 'dead zones.' Sometimes I enter a personal dead zone. Here's how it works...
I'm going about my day, doing the next thing, perhaps even walking in the present reality of God's kingdom and mindful of the fullness of life and spiritual abundance within me...and then suddenly the dead zone...a surge of despair and emptiness and aloneness and despondency sweeps over me.....
I am contacted by many people who express despair. So, I have some questions. Do you experience despair? What is it like for you? Does it take some specific form such as the ways I descried mine above?
Also, are feelings of despair a sign of failure - as in you're just not "getting it" or otherwise you wouldn't be experiencing such negative thoughts or feelings? What exactly is "despair" beyond the above definition? Where does it come from? What causes it? What is the way you deal with it?
Whatever it is, is despair simply a part of being human? Just wondering if you had any thoughts on this
Despair is a feeling of immense disillusionment with life, we could say. On the emotional scale that Abraham published in their first Hay House book, Ask and It Is Given, despair is listed in last place as far as feeling good is concerned. It's #22, along with its buddies, fear, grief, depression, and powerlessness (p. 114).
I personally do not experience despair, but I may well have experienced it at earlier times in my life. I'm not inclined to go back and evaluate that, for I've now trained myself to think only about the good-feeling times in my past. Nothing good comes from feeling bad or from remembering times when we felt bad.
I do know that sometimes negative emotions, such as fear, grief, and despair, can seem to come upon people out of the blue -- as if we've entered a "dead zone." We know that our feelings come from our thoughts, so there must have been some major thoughts of what we don't like and don't want accumulating in our vibrational offering, even along with thoughts of appreciation and abundance. Then, we may run head-long into some unhappy thoughts/ thought forms from other people. (Like attracts like, and as our unhappy thoughts gain some momentum, they can draw others to themselves.) At that point, we feel heightened emotional discomfort,which is, of course, our Inner Being's way of urging us to find somewhere else to place our attention.
Despair certainly can be part of being human, but as we learn to move up the vibrational scale by choosing thoughts that feel a little better...and a little better...and a little better yet, it doesn't need to be part of our experience. If we do feel despair or its cohort emotions, though, we can be thankful that our emotional guidance system is alive and well and nudging us to focus our attention differently. We can also be thankful that as we practice choosing better-feeling thoughts, we will not continue to dip that low on the emotional scale.
Many people do experience despair, and it's always, as far as I can tell, a result of how they've been focusing their attention, their habitual patterns of thought. Further, a person who has intense desires, who is a "powerful wanter" in Abraham terminology, will be more prone to despair than those with fewer desires if both groups are focusing in ways that don't allow their desires to find them. A "powerful wanter" has more to potentially feel frustration and disillusionment about than someone who has fewer goals and desires that are calling to him/her.
How does one move beyond despair? It's the same way that one moves beyond every emotion to a better-feeling one: deliberately thinking thoughts that feel a bit better, as mentioned above. Let's tinker with a few thoughts that might come up:
"I suddenly feel despair right now. I feel like I'm a victim of these emotional states that seem to descend on me.
Actually, I don't feel despair all the time. Sometimes I feel fine. It's just that when I'm in a negative emotional state, it feels as if I'm always here. I can remind myself that's not true.
I know that negative emotions are valuable feed-back from my Inner Being, alerting me that I've been focusing, off-and-on, on circumstances that I don't like and I don't want. They're like the pain receptors in my fingers that alert me to take my hand off a hot stove. They serve an important function.
Despair doesn't mean I'm a failure in my spiritual practice. It simply means that my guidance system is alive and well. That's actually a good thing. I wouldn't want my fingertips to become numb, and I wouldn't want my emotional guidance to be numb, either.
I'm going to deliberately think some feel-better thoughts right now. I'm going to focus on some pleasant memories or something that I hope for in the future. Maybe I'll also try to find something to appreciate in this moment. As I practice some better feeling thoughts, I'll magnetize better feeling thoughts and thought-forms, and I'll gain momentum in feeling some relief.
My goal isn't to try to think thoughts of glee and jubilation. I'm simply aiming to focus my attention in ways that feel a little better than where I am. Through this simple process, I can begin moving up the emotional scale. Thinking slightly better-feeling thoughts is a tool I can use wherever I find myself on the scale -- in anger, blame, disappointment, or even boredom. Through this process, I can train myself to feel better...and better...and better yet.
As I take my emotional journey upward, I will notice my circumstances changing to more of what I like and want. My dreams and desires will start to come within reach. But those manifestations will simply be the icing on the cake, for it just feels so good to feel good. And now I know how to get there.
It suddenly matters less where I am right now, since I know how to get where I want to go
I'm thankful for the opportunity to respond to my reader's question and for Abraham-Hicks, who share the most brilliant psychology in the known (and unknown) Universe. Abe, you rock!
Logo by C.J. Martin, firstname.lastname@example.org