Why Finding Yourself is Challenging
When people give you a compliment, have you ever responded, “I’m just me!”? While it avoids the risks involved in being put on a pedestal, it ignores all you personally bring to the relationship and to the world. Your eyes are a major sense organ and only occasionally do we include ourselves in what we see. As our mirror neurons engage in relationships, is it any wonder that we may struggle to sense the wonder of our Oneness with God when we can only “see” the same Oneness in others?
Lynnwood Chamberlain a Lutheran Minister captured a picture of a group of children during a mission trip in Ghana a few years back. He was asked by one of the children, “Who is that?” The child was pointing at themselves in the picture. He had never actually seen himself before. Fully 30% of your brain's cortex is devoted to vision leaving 8% for touch and 2% for hearing. How can you “find yourself” when the most you can see of yourself is the tip of your nose!
Finding Yourself in Your Higher Power
In our podcast together, Jerusha Clark, co-author of “Your Teenager is Not Crazy” emphasized the role of parenting in helping a child to enjoy their unique relationship with God. She and her husband, Pastor Jeremy Clark, emphasized the role of neuronal growth and integration as defining elements of the process. How you communicate verbally and non-verbally to your child act as primary inputs to their mirror neurons guiding the actual neurological formation of their sense of self.
In another podcast, Cheri Huber, author of “There is Nothing Wrong with You: Going beyond Self-hate” addressed the tenuousness of how we think and feel about ourselves. She has been a student and teacher of Zen Buddhism for over 35 years. She has found that we can increase the quality of the input we receive about ourselves by recording ourselves talking about anything that is bothering us, or anything at all. Then, she asks that we listen to the recording as an “all compassionate mentor”. This not only allows the opportunity for greater input about yourself but also incorporates the idea of an internal all-loving relationship. This can fit very well with any faith that includes an all-loving God.
There are many relationships that can serve as mirrors for you as you work towards finding yourself. Friends and family members can serve as primary mirrors as long as they serve as “Oneness relationships” i.e. we are able to hear the relationship with God in them commenting upon the relationship with God in you. This is a healthy way to choose and guide all relationships in your life as they encourage a deeper sense of self and greater neurological growth and resilience in both people. Relationships like this are also guided toward efforts the serve the greater good.
Prayer and meditation are also time honored ways to spend time with your personal relationship with God (or higher power of your choice). Dr. Ronald Siegel, a neurobiologist and psychotherapist, discussed during our podcast the “mountain meditation” as a way to experience your sense of self while life is happening around you. Another meditation called “guarding your doors meditation” can help you to explore what you sense, that you sense and what you do with what you sense in the moment.
Benefits of Exploring Who You Are
There are many ways to explore “who you are”. The endpoint is to allow you to engage fully and deeply appreciate each moment of your life. You may have found watching yourself on a video feels odd, maybe even embarrassing. Think about this for a moment - this is how you look and sound to everyone else, all the time. The only reason it feels odd is that you aren’t generally aware of it. Might knowing more about your nonverbals (93% of all communication) help you to know yourself better? Professional actors and athletes use this to become aware of and increase their skills every day.
Take this challenge. The next time you are struggling with something, video record yourself talking about how you think and feel. Then, take a deep breath, let it out slowly and watch the recording. Look into your eyes and listen with deep compassion as you experience first-hand you and God dancing, together.
Welcome to the Oneness Approach to your faith!
To learn more ways to gain greater confidence in yourself and discover your greatest personal strengths, sign up risk free for the Grow in Oneness course today!