I recall a pivotal moment when I heard the expression, “Out of all the things you miss in life, do you miss your mind the most?” I’m not sure who first said that, but I would certainly give credit if I could. I only know it was years ago now and I had to stop and think about it. Do I miss my mind, and what does that really mean? If my mind is missing, does that mean I am out of my mind? So many questions, so little time, right?
More confusion came lately as I began to study for my doctorate. I was reading books faster than a speeding bullet and I am pretty sure I broke the sound barrier one night. Several books later and probably about a pound of pretzels, I found myself getting real irritated. All I kept reading about was the “self”. Old adages came back to my brain, “Be true to yourself,” Be real with yourself,” Be kind to yourself.” I could feel my eye brows taking the concerned look and then my right one going up like I had a strange question. I knew it was coming. I waited. Then there it was. “Do you really KNOW yourself? Oh dear God! Out loud I suddenly found myself saying, “Oh self, self SELF!”
Like a magnet, I found I was suddenly attracted to the mirror. I looked real deeply. Who IS this person looking back at me? For heaven’s sake I know every line crinkle and crease of the face that was looking back at me. I really tried to focus. I told myself all of the things I have done and come through. I am the one who endured this and I came through that. I am also so and so’s mother and his wife, her minister, her friend, a prayer partner. Dang, the list went on and on but I realized not one of those things really described my “SELF”.
Think about this. Take away all of the things you identify yourself with. Take away the writer, the cook, the cleaner, the worker bee, the husband or wife. You get the picture. Now that you are empty. Answer this question. Who the heck are you, and who or what is your SELF? I guess we could all use those descriptive things like being a child of God or a treasure in this universe. I’m shaking my head here because that is still not it. I never realized how much we label our “selves”. Crazy, huh? I was at a loss. Who was this self all of the books were talking about, and what does it mean to me?
I felt myself just sigh right at this moment. I never took the time to find out! I realized that I have always identified myself in the reflection, or in the relation to other things or people. Without all of those things, what is there left? I looked in the mirror again. Just me. I swear at that moment I could hear God. You know, that moment where Moses talked to Him on the mountain and He told him His name was “I AM”. I heard “I AM”! I closed my eyes and pictured God in me, and heard the whisper…”I AM”. Just as mysterious and mystical as God Himself, I could feel that “I AM”. Ever try to describe God without stating what He does or what He is in relation to us?
For a moment, I sat in the silence. This transcendent, esoteric, strangeness came over me. I sat there with just “I AM”. Whooosh! The calm and the quiet peace was so silent it was loud. Does that make sense at all? I am here because God birthed me. That was my main thought. I am here, and even more profound, because I am here the world is complete. Now that is a lofty statement, right? But its true! Think of this. You are here and so therefore the world is complete and would not be complete without you. The serenity (my new buzz word) is just so thick we can almost touch it at even the thought of who we really are and how important our “selves” really are.
Imagine a chain with a broken link. Would it be strong enough to endure all things if that link was too weak to hold the rest together? That is us. That is humanity. Without any one of us at our appointed time the chain is too weak to hold us up. We are THAT connected. Our deep self is that important to the rest of everyone else. After all these thoughts hit me I struggled just to make sure I was not on some strange sugar high or a massive pretzel carb load. Nope, I knew it right then and there it was all true. My SELF is the link in the chain that makes us all strong, along with all the other links.
Wrap your head around this. Without you, we are lost. Together we create a humanity that is the image of God because He made us in His image. There is NO separation from God or each other. So when a loved one leaves this planet they are not “lost” as we describe them. They are found! They are right here, still connected to this great soul train that God brought to life in the beginning with one deep breath. Phew. Now that is heavy lifting!
Needless to say I did finish reading all of the rest of my books for my school work. But now I have a better idea of how important our “self ” really is and all of the quirky things about us that make us a unique person. Don’t ya just love it? You will never ever be lost because you are tied to the greatest creation in all the earth. Human kind.
Loving you from here
Dr Jenine Marie Howry