Recently, it was my pleasure to be a special guest on the John Murtha Show - a Christian radio show based in Ohio. John was interested in how our sense of self is related to our relationship with our Spiritual Source and how it can help us to deal with some real challenges, such as depression, addiction and raising kids in an online world.
Depression and Sense of Self
As it turns out, the Bible's advice to worship God with your whole heart, soul and mind is good advice indeed. You see, with depression, the cells responsible for imprinting have low activity and don't function well. This prevents us from having appropriate sense of self and sense of others. The body tries to correct this but is unable, which causes intense feelings and unaligned thoughts.
However, when we connect with something outside ourselves, something we believe to be real, it has a tremendously good effect on our sense of self. For example, when we allow God into our hearts, when we recognize that what we are, above all, is a child of God, it constitutes our subconscious sense of self, helping us realize we are a valuable person with a set of strengths given to us from a divine source. Instead of defining ourselves by our feelings and actions, we begin to see who we really are. This is the first step towards finding joy in life once again.
Addiction and Sense of Self
Another issue many people face today is addiction. Addiction can cause feelings of worthlessness and countless other problems. John asked what kind of protocol can help people who are struggling? The answer is, we need to restore our connection with our Spiritual Source and tap into some resilience building resources. The challenge is disconnect between the conscious and subconscious mind, so how do we fix that? One thing that can help immensely is to remember who we really are. Each of us should take time to remember even just one person who loved us, one person who saw our strengths. We can ask ourselves, who has loved me in God? As John brought out, Jeremiah 31:34 tells us that God chooses to remember sins no more, which reminds us, someone loves us regardless of what we've done. Again, we can begin to see past our actions to who we are deep down - we can begin to see our strengths.
This will help us to take the judgmentalness out of our thoughts on addiction and instead ask ourselves, what strength do I have that I am misusing? How can I use this strength for good? This is a powerful way to succeed in overcoming addiction.
Raising Children to Use Strengths Wisely
It is easy to see that in today's world, TV, the internet and social media have gone crazy. We form less and less warm, deep relationships because this is not really possible over the internet. Kids are spending too much time on screens and less time with real people, so how can we teach them to become responsible, successful adults?
The key is to help your children recognize their strengths early on. As early as possible, teach your kids that they are a child of God and can make good decisions in Him. Help your children to form real relationships with others so as to continuously build their strongest self.
For example, say your teenager is interested in dating. How can you help them to go beyond the superficial relationships that are so common today? Teach your children that they can have a satisfying, long-lasting marriage. Show them that a quality relationship depends much on the quality of person they are willing to become. Give them examples of successful, loving couples and help them see how they can use their own personal strengths to contribute to a happy relationships. Honor their strengths always and remember, the earlier you begin this conversation the easier it is to absorb.
Regardless of the kind of challenge we face, John and I discussed how they are often the result of our own misuse of God-given strengths. Fortunately, those strengths are still strengths and we can learn to use our gifts well.
Listen in to our conversation for more insights into how a good relationship with our Spiritual Source can improve our sense of self and help us to always use strengths wisely.