Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Who is "Myself"?

Has anyone ever said to you, "I am just not myself."? I have had someone say that to me recently, in fact, the same person has said this to me several times over the past couple of years. There was a woman who I worked with some time ago and she would use the phrase, "My world is just not lining up today." Another friend of mine and I were discussing how we feel when we don't feel like ourselves and realized that we are very much alike in that we almost always feel like ourselves, but occasionally there are days where we are simply a little down, things are not quite right, there is just something that has effected the way we "usually" feel. It would be alarming to myself and also to this friend of mine to feel "not myself" for more than a day or two. So, as is usual to myself when something catches my attention like this, I have pondered it, tossed it around in my head and my heart, even thinking about what God thinks about us not being ourselves. What exactly is "feeling like myself"?

Some years ago, I found myself dealing with mild depression. As a matter of fact, this has happened two times in my lifetime. Both of those times, I did not feel like myself. But, I knew it was not OK for me to not be myself for only so long before I sought help. I was afraid if I was not myself for long enough, I might become the person that I was not, the one who was not "myself". That was really scary to me, especially since I didn't really like her.

One of my favorite songs is a song by Brandon Heath titled, "I'm Not Who I Was". It is a song about not being yourself and then becoming someone better. His particular problem in this song is anger toward someone who hurt him and how he found his way to forgiveness and becoming a new and healthy him. I love it. There is something good about not being yourself and then becoming someone better.

I have watched people experience things that would cause many people to not be themselves. My mom is one of those people. She was involved in a horrible motorcycle accident a couple of years ago, losing the love of her life and also the use of her right leg. There were a few months following the wreck that I would say she was not herself, but she is now. No excuses coming from her. She continues to strive toward healing and wholeness, in spite of her losses, and I admire her. But then I have a friend who has experienced a different type of loss...the loss of hopes and dreams of something that she wanted, something that she feels out of control in, and she also has not been herself. But her season seems to go on and on, having no end. From the outside looking in, it looks like a choice. What makes some people move out of their circumstances and be "themselves" and some don't? Some people simply turn into people they do not want to be.

It seems to be a spiritual thing. Captivity. Bondage. The people who stay "not themselves" are being held captive by circumstances. They are hindered from living the abundant life that God has planned for them. I don't want to let that happen to me. I don't want to see it happen to others. I wish there was some way that we could see ourselves when we have been not ourselves for so long, we are in danger of losing who we are. I have watched it happen to a few people in my life. They say they are not themselves, but they are themselves. They have just become who they don't want to be. Sad.

I don't have the answer to this pondering in my mind. I do know that it doesn't have to be. My God can make all things new. He is stronger than all circumstances, he loves more than I hurt, His grace is bigger than all disappointment and He is always there with all I need.

Don't let "Not Yourself" become "Who I Am." It's easy to do and not worth it.

Just being myself,


Mary Ann said...

Sweet things to say about me. You know what? I've always seemed like myself even when I seemed different to everyone else. A blessing of some kind.
Love, Mom

Lizerd said...

I know that I am sometimes different to everyone else...and yes, I usually still like myself then. It is when I am different to myself, and not in a way that I am enjoying (like PMS) that is no fun. So, if my behavior remained stuck, as in PMS, and it becomes chronic, that's when I have become a permanent of not myself.

Mary Ann said...

Well, I didn't say I always liked myself. Just that I didn't feel like I had turned into somebody else. It was just me but in a very bad funk. It might all be the same thing.

Love, Mom

Lizerd said...

Ok, that makes sense. Yes, actually you were yourself...just in a very bad funk. No, it is not the same thing.