I recently attended a workshop on reconciliation during which Episcopal priest and theologian Michael Battle introduced me to "Eleven Proven Techniques to Help You Become Depressed and Miserable" by Charles B. Beckert, Ph.D. I commend them to you as part of your Lenten self-examination.
1. Dwell on past mistakes and failures. This is most effective when you focus on things that cannot be changed.
2. Set unrealistic expectations for yourself and others. Expect perfection TODAY. This way you can guarantee failure.
3. Constantly compare yourself with others. To get the most out of this technique, compare your worst traits with their best.
4. Avoid all involvement and responsibility. It would be unwise to try something new and risk success and satisfaction.
5. Remain negative and problem oriented. Spend all the energy and effort you can criticizing and judging yourself and others. There are always faults to be found if you look long enough.
6. Allow yourself and others to be controlled by people and circumstances. This way you can dislike yourself for being weak and others for controlling you.
7. Internalize and personalize the problems of others. Believe that you are somehow to blame and should have the responsibility to make things right.8. Don’t forgive yourself for anything. You deserve to be unhappy. To really suffer,hold long and deep grudges against yourself as further proof of your unworthiness.
9. Seek isolation and avoid contact with those who care about you. Be cautious and reject any help offered.
10.Do everything you can to please others. Believe that your personal value depends on their acceptance of you. You might find that compromising your standards and values for someone else will help you feel even worse.
11.Base your worth as a person on external things. View things as “How you look”(appearance), “What you can do” (performance), and “What you have”(possessions), as measures of your personal value. In other words, love yourself conditionally.
NOTE: If you really want to be unhappy and miserable, do several of these at the same time. Remember, the more of these you can make a part of your life, the worse you will feel.If by chance you are not happy being depressed and miserable, turn each of these statements around and do just the opposite. You could discover miracle.