One of the greatest defences again the wild dogs of depression is to hold on to and strengthen your self-esteem. Self-esteem a form of self-respect, and both phrases mean exactly what they say: we hold ourselves in high-esteem and we respect ourselves.
This can be tough when life doesn't seem to be working. However, there is a powerful way to maintain your self-respect and to esteem yourself: hold strong to your values and principles.
I love Eurovision. I know, I've probably lost a lot of you with that one statement, but for me, Eurovision is a fun, joyous occasion where we can, "Dare to Dream." Whilst it is a competition, it is also a massive collaboration with input from an audience of 200 million people. To me, it is force for good and for unification.
The biggest highpoint for me (and there were so many of them) was the Israeli group, The Shalva Band. In fact, I cried watching them perform the beautiful song, "A Million Dreams," from The Greatest Showman movie. The Shalva Band are made up of a group of musicians, all of whom have a disability. Their delivery was the best of the whole event – and they would, I believe, have won the competition if they had chosen to compete.
Aside from the pleasure their performance brought to millions, my joy was in their integrity. The authorities refused to adjust the rehearsals on Friday to respect the beliefs of some of the participants. Many of the Shalva Band are passionate about their faith, and they wanted to honour the Sabbath. When it came to the choice between potential victory and staying true to their principles, they chose their principles.
This reminded me of Eric Liddell's principled stance celebrated in the film, "Chariots of Fire." Eric, too, chose his principles over the potential to seek and enjoy victory. My purpose here is not to comment on the beliefs of either Eric Liddell or The Shalva Band. My purpose is to celebrate their integrity, their unwavering commitment to what they esteem.
When we hold fast to our principles, we maintain and nurture our self-respect and self-esteem. Others may not agree with us – they may even see us as foolish – but they will often respect our strength.
You and I can resist aspects of depression by being firm in what we are prepared to stand up for. This strengthens our identity and sense of self-worth. For this reason I thought I would throw this open to comments because I would love to know what principles are, for you, non-negotiable.
A Moodscope member.