Thank you so much for your heartfelt question. I have this image of someone who feels like they are on the outside of life, looking in and not feeling up to the task of participation. Well, it is my understanding that this is indeed, one of the symptoms of depression. This is a very real condition, and so I hope that you are in some kind of treatment for that...I suggest that you consult a mental-health professional, or a spiritual counselor - someone who can listen to you and help you in a professional setting. I can only share some of my own experience with you in this reply, and also try to point you in a spiritual direction using the teachings of The Urantia Book as a guide. And, I do hope that you are reading The Urantia Book...
I sympathize with you; depression can seem like an overwhelming condition...but in my experience, it does not have to be a permanent one.
Maybe you have been reading The Urantia Book, because you mention the "vibrant, progressive universe full of cooperation and service forever." It sounds really good to hear you describe it like that. I want to tell you that you are already part of that progressive universe - you are already part of the universe family of God. And yes, you CAN be happy in it, because it is yours every bit as much as it is mine or anyone else's. God means for you to be a part of it in whatever way you can.
One of the best parts of The Urantia Book is this scene where Jesus meets a depressed young man. Have you seen it?
Click to read about The Young Man Who Was Afraid.
In this story Jesus advises the young man, and I suggest you take his advice to heart:
Jesus told him: "There is an eloquent appeal for help in your countenance of discouragement and despair. Sit down with me while I tell you of the service trails and happiness highways which lead from the sorrows of self to the joys of loving activities in the brotherhood of men and in the service of the God of heaven."
He then goes on to explain to the young man just how to rise up out of his depressive state of mind into a new place of purpose and joy. I highly recommend that you click open that link and read the entire section. Do it now...let Jesus minister to you as only he can.
You are an irreplaceable child of God, meaning that there's never been one like you and there will never be another like you in all eternity. Let that sink in for a minute.
12:7.9 The love of the Father absolutely individualizes each personality as a unique child of the Universal Father, a child without duplicate in infinity, a will creature irreplaceable in all eternity ... The love of God strikingly portrays the transcendent value of each will creature, unmistakably reveals the high value which the Universal Father has placed upon each and every one of his children from the highest creator personality of Paradise status to the lowest personality of will dignity among the savage tribes of men in the dawn of the human species on some evolutionary world of time and space.
This is so hopeful, isn't it?. And as such an irreplaceable child, you have a unique role to play in life that only you can fulfill. And the Father knows what that is, even if you don't see it right now. The Father sees the end from the beginning; we mortals are captives of time and space and we have the job of sorting it all out one day at a time. But when we join our minds and our wills to God and his holy purposes, our way becomes clearer. Even in your present state of mind, you can make decisions based on what you believe to be true, such as that vibrant universe out there. Your writing this question to us here at TruthBook tells me that you really want to make some progress towards that reality. And you can! You can love, you can serve, and you can find happiness.
So, read and re-read that section I've given you here. Let Jesus' words sink into your mind and soul; let his enthusiasm and purpose find a niche in your thinking. There's nothing wrong with being an introvert; introverts can find real joy and purpose in life, too. If you need to rest, rest! But while you rest, allow the seeds of your own enthusiasm for the progressive universe to take hold in your mind. Imagine yourself as an active participant in it; see yourself stepping out from the sidelines and into life; see yourself smiling, serving, laughing, loving, and being loved. You are the captain of your mind...choose new and better thoughts about yourself and your future starting right now. Reading The Urantia Book will help you, if your mind is open.
I hope that you have, or are, developing a relationship with God, who indwells your mind. His presence there is to help you with your thinking and to guide you into your proper place in the universal family. Try to realize that these temporary problems that we have while in this earthly life are simply opportunities for spiritual growth - and spiritual growth is the surest way to achieve inner happiness. You are not alone; cast your cares upon him and ask his help.
Developing your spiritual life will aid you tremendously in your desire to be happy and connected to life. The Urantia Book teaches:
100:4.3 But the great problem of religious living consists in the task of unifying the soul powers of the personality by the dominance of LOVE. Health, mental efficiency, and happiness arise from the unification of physical systems, mind systems, and spirit systems. Of health and sanity man understands much, but of happiness he has truly realized very little. The highest happiness is indissolubly linked with spiritual progress. Spiritual growth yields lasting joy, peace which passes all understanding.
Finally, I'd like to leave you with this superb collection of Jesus' teachings at Tyre. There's a lot to be enthused about here
Again, I thank you for writing today. I hope that this reply has been helpful. Best wishes!!!