Spiritual help
Posted by pam2
15th Nov 2015

A path to freedom.
I got some great advice from a very wise old spiritual director who I found when I was in a hopeless state of severe depression yet again in my life. After faithfully following it I’ve been free from the black dog for years now and I’d like to share it in the hope that all of it or parts may be helpful to anyone in that nightmare state.
• Every negative thought, (often lurking at the bottom of a negative feeling) and to be symbolically transferred into a pebble. The pebble had to be dropped into a container of water, with the prayer ‘may we leave the past to God’s mercy, the future to His Providence and may we face the present, trusting in God’s Grace’. The water represents the ocean of God’s love and mercy.
The ‘we’ referred to the people that I chose to pray for that day eg the sick, prisoners. I then had to leave that negative thought thus in God’s hands…not fish the pebble out again. The effort to do this is our way of drawing Grace, earned by Jesus, down on others. We are in fact ‘taking up our cross with Jesus, who helps us to carry it. We are alone no more! This ‘pebbling’ needs repeating however many negative thought there are and there are many in the beginning
Even when going out this ‘pebbling’ can be done eg by dropping a pebble in our pocket. Eventually this could be all done mentally without the use of actual pebbles.
Everything that follows aided me in this effort to distract myself from the surrendered ‘pebble’ and live in the Present, where God is and emerge from my ‘prison’.
• I had to go on two substantial walks daily, and on each one find four things to thank God for. I had to really look at nature eg even into a flower to see the detail.
• I had to read a decent novel for two periods of half an hour each, concentrating on what I was reading. At first it was really hard to concentrate and remember what I had just read.
• I had to eat 3 meals a day and shop for them. I had given up eating properly balanced meals.
• I had to memorise a few lines of a hymn, psalm or poem every day and then these could be used in meditation
• Meditation was very hard for me at first and he said to just try and rest in God and repeat the lines learnt. I had to ‘be willing’ to believe in the personal and unconditional love of God for me. I had to ‘let God love me’.
• If I awoke in the night and was oppressed with all the negative stuff, I had to get up, ‘pebble’ it and watch the television for half an hour, not dwell on it at all or analyse it.
I truly can witness that this works, even if we have little or no faith to begin with, ‘to want to want to have it is enough for God…He so wants to help us and free us and walk this path to freedom with us.

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