One night after three long months of depression, I had trouble sleeping. Once again I asked myself why it was taking me so long to get better and why I was such a slow learner. Once again I wondered if I would ever live a normal life. When sleep finally began to overtake me, I had a dream. In the dream, I was walking around the base of a large mountain of dirt. As I walked, I sensed a guide, a tall man dressed in a white robe near my side. He gestured to various persons who were each moving dirt from their individual mounds near the base of the mountain, onto the mountain itself. “What are they doing?” I asked.
“Each person has his own mound to move before his life is over,” he explained. Upon closer observation I could see that some had spoons to move their mounds, some shovels and others funny looking scoops. Some were aided by wheel barrows, others by buckets and still others by only shovels. Some piles were made up of regular dirt, others of sand and others of clay. Some piles were just a few steps from the mountain and others were several yards away.
“Where is the justice?” I asked as I surveyed the scene before me. The guide didn’t respond to my thought at first, but I soon observed that the people who spent their time leaning on their shovels while comparing their lot with others didn’t get much done. They often, however, succeeded in drawing others into their complaint sessions.
The individuals who were succeeding in their task were the ones who wasted no time comparing or complaining. They concentrated on the task at hand, thankful for what they had, trusting that their task was tailor-made for them.
When I awoke, I realized the folly of my own wasted effort in comparing myself with others and with the way I was before my depression. The real trick now would be persuading my heart and soul to believe what my head now understood.
Excerpt from My Journey from Darkness to Light by Patricia Potts