“It is not the desert island nor the stony wilderness that cuts you from the people you love. It is the wilderness in the mind, the desert wastes in the heart through which one wanders lost and a stranger. When one is a stranger to oneself then one is a estranged from others too. If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea …
What Anne means when she says “one is a stranger to oneself,” or “one is out of touch with oneself,” is that when we allow others to influence the decisions we make–when we allow others to manipulate our character, we are no longer our unique, authentic self, but are a hodgepodge of selves, including those of others. I know individuals in harmful relationships in which they allow the other person to control them, and throughout it all, remain in denial. When we say that we are out of touch with our self, we are generally stating that we do not have the ability to communicate effectively with our inner self–our wants and needs, our beliefs and convictions.
One of the worst side effects of being out of touch with oneself is the loss of integrity. To be a person of integrity we must be aware of what is important to us and we must act according to our high moral and ethical standards. But if we do not know what those are, then we obviously will not be able to do so.
So how is one to go about “getting in touch” with oneself? The first step for me would be taking some time in reflection of my wants and needs, my beliefs and convictions. I should consider what is important to me, and what I expect from life–from others, and from myself. After forming a base understanding who I am, I can then choose to be that person in all my dealings in life so that I might touch the lives of those around me in deep and meaningful ways.
The only way I can affect the lives of those around me in a positive way, is if I am comfortable with myself. I must take the time and make the effort to slow down and get in touch with my own needs, and then ensure they are met. Then, and only then, will I be able to help others effectively.
Reflect for a minute on who you are and on what are your needs.
Questions to consider:
Why do so many people neglect themselves while trying to help others?
What are some ways that you could get in touch with yourself?
When was the last time that you took time for reflecting upon your own needs and how to fulfill them?
For further thought:
“You are a child of the universe, “fearfully and wonderfully made.” In the history of creation, there has never been anyone like you. Accept this reality about yourself–that you are a special, unique human being who has a place on this earth that no one else can fill. Acknowledge yourself as a glorious expression of your loving Creator. This healthy self-love will form the foundation of a joyful and satisfying life. Then, as you love and accept yourself, your inner light will shine outward to bless and heal your fellow human beings.” ~ Douglas Bloch