You are not depressed… you’re distracted

By Facundo Cabral

You’re not depressed… just distracted… distracted because of this life that populates in you. You have a heart, a brain, a soul and a spirit, so how can you possibly feel unfortunate or poor? You’re distracted from the true life that surrounds you, dolphins, forests, seas, mountains, rivers.

Don’t fall for the same thing that your brother fell for, who suffers because of another human being, when there are more than 5.6 billion humans in this world.

Besides, it’s not so bad to live alone. I do just fine deciding what I want to do at every moment and thanks to my solitude, I know myself, which is essential in life.

Don’t fall for what your father fell for, feeling old when he is seventy, but forgets that Moses led the Exodus when he was eighty, and Rubinstein played Chopin like no other when he was ninety, just to name two examples.

You are not depressed; you are just distracted. That’s why you think you have lost something, which is impossible because everything was given to you. You didn’t even create a hair on your head; therefore, you can’t be the owner of anything. Also, life doesn’t take things away from you; it relieves you, lightens you so you can fly higher to achieve plenitude.

It is all a school from cradle to the grave; that’s why what you call problems are just lessons, and that’s why life is dynamic and it’s always in motion. That’s why you should pay attention to the present time. That’s why my mother used to say: “I’ll take care of the present time, God will take care of the future.” That’s why Jesus used to say: “Tomorrow doesn’t matter,” because he would soon bring new experiences. Every day should be lived to the fullest.

You didn’t lose anybody. The ones who passed away simply got ahead of us because, eventually, we are heading in that direction. And, the best part of them, their love, will always stay in you heart.

And who could say that Jesus is dead? There is no death… we just move on. And on the other side, there are wonderful people waiting for you: Gandhi, Michael Angelo, Whitman, St Agustin, Mother Theresa, your grandmother, and my mother, who believed poverty is closer to love because money distracts us with plenty of things and pushes us apart since it makes us grow distrustful from each other.

You can’t just find happiness. It’s not so easy. But all you have to do is listen to your heart before your head intervenes and gets in the way, which has been conditioned by your memory, and complicates things with old orders from the past, with prejudices that can make you sick or enslave you. It’s the head that can divide or impoverish. It is the head which cannot accept life as it is or as it should be.

Do whatever you love to do and you will be happy. Who does what he loves is blessedly condemned to have success, which will arrive at the right moment because what ever must be, will be, and will arrive naturally.

Avoid doing things for obligation or commitment, but rather do them for love. Then, there will be plenitude, and among all that plenitude, anything will be possible with little or no effort because it is moved by the natural force of life, the one that kept me going when my wife and daughter died in that plane crash… the one that kept me alive when the doctors said I had only three or four months to live.

God gave you the task of taking care of one human being: yourself. Only you will be able to make yourself free and happy. Only then, you will be able to fully share your life with others. Remember Jesus’ words: Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.

Reconcile with yourself. Sit in front of a mirror and think that the creature you see is a masterpiece of God. And choose right now to be happy because happiness is an acquisition -not something that will arrive to you on its own. Also, happiness is not a right, but a duty because if you are unhappy, you will make everyone else around you unhappy. One single man without talent nor value for life ordered the death of six million of our Jewish brothers.

There are so many things to enjoy, and yet, our journey in this earth is so short that suffering is just a waste of time. Some of the things to enjoy in our life are the snow, the spring flowers, chocolate from Perugia, French baguette bread, Mexican tacos, Chilean wine, the oceans, the rivers, Brazilian football, Davidoff cigars, books like One Thousand and One Nights, the Divine Comedy, Don Quixote, Pedro Páramo, boleros by Manzanero, poetry by Whitman, music by Mahler, Brahms, Ravel, Mozart, Chopin and Beethoven, paintings by Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Velazquez, Picasso and Tamayo among other wonders.

And if you happen to have HIV or cancer, there are two things that could happen, and both of them are good. If the disease beats you, it will liberate you from that awkward body (i.e. I am hungry, I am cold, I am sleepy, I feel like… I am right, or I have doubts)… And if you beat the illness, you will become more humble, more grateful. Therefore, you will be happy and pleased easily, relieved from any guilt, responsibility and vanity, ready to live every moment profoundly as it should be.

You are not depressed, you are just unoccupied.

Go and help that child that needs you, that child who will grow up and be partners with your son. Help the elders so the young will help you when you grow old. Besides, serving others is a guaranteed happiness as when you enjoy nature and care for it so others will do the same in the future. Give without limits and you will receive without limits. Love others until you become loved. Or even better, love others until you become love itself.

And don’t allow yourself to be confused by the few who are homicidal or suicidal. Goodness is part of the majority but it’s not noticed because it is silent. A bomb can make more noise than a caress. But for every bomb that destroys, there are millions of caresses feeding the forces of life. Goodness feeds on itself. Evil destroys itself. If the bad guys only knew what great business it is to be good, they would all be good guys, even if it was just for money.

You are not depressed… you’re just distracted.

If you would listen to that other one, the being inside you, you would know everything. And in everything, you would find that something that is the right thing for you. Then you would elevate yourself constantly, and there would no longer be confusion. Instead, there would be different color shades. And in that serenity, you would not look for anything, but yet, you would find everything. And in the present time, you would say and do everything in every moment naturally and gracefully with no effort, which would make your relationship with others plentiful. And growing up within the force of love would make you more creative, without limits or conditions.

Ignorance creates our limits and makes us feel mortal and confined, which means that we alone create our own prisons and limitations. Fear distracts us from love, which is courageous and wise because it knows it cannot be measured.

You’re not depressed! You’re distracted from all the wonders taking place around you, from children being born to harvests, from revolutions to concerts, from football tournaments to interplanetary voyages! You’re not depressed because of something that happened to you in the past. But rather, you are distracted from everything, which is the here and now…

1 comment:

  1. This is the best translation of this wonderful essay. Thank you for that.