Why Anxiety & Depression Are the Catalysts for Wisdom

Will you do me a favor and come along with me on a small journey? Can you imagine a world different from your own?

Close your eyes and imagine a beautiful garden. This garden is the inner landscape of ourselves breathed into existence in the external place where we walk about. In other words, we are standing barefoot in the rows and mounds of our lives, just as a farmer would stand on his fertile land. Suddenly our wounds and traumas are rocks in the soil, cracks parched dry, thirsty for soothing rain. The erratic thoughts, the worries that zoom through our minds without warning, are tall weeds, growing stronger and reaching farther across the earth as we feed them with fear. Love and courage bloom as hearty vegetables, offering sustainable nutrients to our lives. Joy and miracles are the roses, honey suckle, and purple iris, painting your garden with beauty. And between the kale plants and the peonies are tiny sprouts: new seeds growing steadily into plants, the signs of wisdom coming into existence.

In this world, the garden does not magically appear without effort. Instead, it needs nourishment, tilling, weeding and work to get it into a state of balance. The psyche (the human soul, mind, or spirit) is the farmer of this lovely, imperfect garden. The psyche needs a handful of different tools to work the soil. Two, in particular, are very powerful at transforming nutrient-depleted dirt into rich loam, that all the veggies and flowers can flourish in. Those tools are depression and anxiety. These emotions serve to mix the soil and draw up nutrients from the depths, so the seeds you plant will grow. Depression and anxiety, though they are often feared at first, are actually the catalysts for transformation and wisdom.

Once you’ve welcomed depression and anxiety into your garden, you need only ask them why they are here, and then let them sift the soil until you hear the answer from deep inside of you; this is how you will know that the nutrients are rising to the surface, readying the soil for the planting of your wisdom seeds.

Wisdom seeds grow into the most beautiful plants you could ever imagine. Wisdom plants are powerfully medicinal and cure even the most painful of heartaches and grievances. Wisdom plants do not die and they do not need to be fed extra nutrients. They can withstand both downpour and drought, existing solely on trust and certainty in their truth. A healthy garden is full of wisdom plants, and that is why anxiety and depression are so important. Without them, we might never know the depths of ourselves or be inspired to change and try new things in life. We might never till the earth of ourselves to discover the nutrients hiding beneath the surface. And most importantly, we might never find fertile soil in which our wisdom plants can grow.

Although it may not be conventional thought, I do believe anxiety and depression are the beginning stages of wisdom; now that you know that, don’t fear them. Let them come and do their work, and ask them what they are here to reveal, or teach you.

Happy wisdom planting, gardeners!



4 thoughts on “Why Anxiety & Depression Are the Catalysts for Wisdom

  1. Richard Grimaldi & Megan Clark says:

    Hi Abby, I wrote a response to that and I can’t find it anywhere on your site. You have a lot to offer and have a wonderfully poetic writing style! Richard


    • adiskin says:

      Hi Richard, thank you so much for reading and enjoying the site. My apologies your previous response didn’t show up; maybe there was a technical problem. Or are you referring to the one that you wrote on facebook? If so, you can copy/paste that into a comment and then it will be here. Again, thanks for the support and for engaging in the site!


  2. I hope you are referring to non-clinical depression. I agree with the basic gist of this. It’s along the lines of how suffering teaches you to be so much more grateful. And gratefulness is an excellent tool for overcoming depression.
    Those of us with clinical depression do need to try and overcome depression, and maybe accepting it is a beginning, but for us, depression does not sift any soil, instead it paves the soil over, and there is much work to be done to break it up.
    You do have such a lovely way of writing. I believe many will benefit from your thoughts. I did want to point out, though, that some people reading may have a serious mood disorder, and I thought I would chime in to those people.


    • adiskin says:

      Thank you so much for addressing this, Lyrian. Your point is valid and in this post, I am referring to non-clinical depression. I probably should have made that distinction in my post. I certainly don’t intent to downplay how serious depression can be, and I agree that it does need to be addressed medically for those of us who have major chemical imbalances. Thank you again for your comment and I appreciate you presenting another perspective. Blessings to you as well!


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