Thursday, October 7, 2010

Have you gone Mental? (XXXVIIII)

How do we come to know ourselves? Many of us may have a handle on this but I'd wager that many who suffer from depression-anxiety do not. Who am I? Look behind occupation, social status, gender, political ideology, and the particular roles we play in life. Who am I? It is a question of being, not doing.

Let's think WITHIN the box. Who am I inside? Who am I in my soul, spirit, my inner beliefs and values, the innermost part of me? Who I am is reflected by the behavior I demonstrate. The difficulty in showing who we really are is greatly influened by what we think of the opinion of others. Many of us with mental disorders are well-guarded. We are afraid, on some level, that if people really got to know who we really are they would not like us, or accept us, or want to be in our company.

Who I am may be fragile, fearful, negative, sad, and chronically alone. Who I am may be depressed and anxious. It is who I am that defines me. Who I am is hidden inside of us. Most of us have perfected a personna or a "false face" to try to cover up who we are so we can fit in with others in our world.

Many of us dress for others, diet for others, say the right words for others; hiding our true identity. Who I am. Why am I afraid to tell you who I am? I want to appear "normal". Who am I inside is painful. It is often dreadful and terrible, at least in our own estimation.

I have tried, in this series of blogs to show who I am. What I do is not important except when it shows this. I know a man who is a wonderful person. He is a community volunteer and philanthropist. Who is he? He is generous, committed to the underprivileged in his community. He is the picture of love and grace; a person in whom the teaching of Jesus is manifested. That's who he is. His behavior demonstrates this consistently.

My conclusion? Be who you are. Don't be afraid to let others know. Be that inner self that is yearning to get out. Be honest in yourself and in the company of others. When we let others know who we are we will behave consistently with our inner self. This is not a New Age teaching. To be who we are, we need to be that person from the inside out.

How we discover who we are is in meditation and silence. We need to access our soul ... our spirits. But how? I read a page from the Hebrew or Chritian Scriptures slowly until something "jumps out at me." I usually use the teachings of Jesus, the Psalms and the Proverbs. I then write that phrase or sentence on a piece of paper or in my journal and meditate upon it by repeating it over and over in my mind. Then I enter the silence. This is one way to discover who you really are. Those who use other Scripture or spiritual literature can have the same experience. To find out who we are we need to access God ... the Other ... our Supreme Being... or as we Christans put it" The King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Great, the Mighty and the Awesome God.

It has been said that "silence is the language of God." Sit in silence holding the "who am I" question in your mind. The answer may come in that first session or it may take a week or a month, or a year. Its worth it. Be patient. It shall be revealed often little by little. Rarely is it revealed all at once. The more we meditate on Scriptures and sit in silence holding the question in our minds, the better the chance we will have of discovering who we really are inside. It is also the way to change our inner person to a more functional, more comfortable, more authentic person. Who am I? This may be an important key to mental health.

Typos and all . . . God bless you.

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