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TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Intimacy, Masks and Depression

“Humanity’s inherent nature is to be curious, gentle, intimate, vulnerable, affectionate, nurturing... and to fully and safely express all emotions. When will we stop training people to be otherwise?”
― GORDON CLAY
We were never designed to resist ourselves. We were designed, by God in the beginning, to maintain a healthy integrity with ourselves. But our sinful natures have made it impossible for us to achieve our design. We endeavour and strive for a healthy integrity with ourselves, only to fall short regularly. This is discouraging; it can be depressing.
As a result, we each walk around with a multiplicity of masks; each designed to paint a pleasant reality when reality can’t be borne on the soul – when reality is just far too harsh to cope with; when it’s too scary we can’t handle the truth.
It is these masking behaviours we ‘wear’ as we go about our lives – anger, workaholism, avoidance behaviours, frequent changes of job/church/relationship, physical illness, pouting/brooding/silence, etc – that take us further away from that crucial intimacy we need with ourselves. How are we ever to know God if we never know ourselves?
God has designed us, again, to be at home with the truth about ourselves, to accept same and blossom from the core, observable reality. And this truth about ourselves is not as bad as we often make it out to be. Sure, we are sinners and we cannot help but make errors and mistakes and have slips through life. We will disappoint people. We will disappoint ourselves. But there is a simple fact we need to take into account that will ward away many risk factors regarding depression.
We need to accept ourselves as we are – as being good enough.
Having accepted ourselves as we are, we neither avoid ourselves nor are we angry with ourselves. Having accepted ourselves as we are, we don’t pretend to be someone we are not. We don’t hide away from our essential identity.
When we feature as people who have a simple acceptance of ourselves we are much less prone to depression because we have enough integrity of intimacy, so neither is life a threat nor are we a threat to ourselves.
Our challenge, if we want a vibrant and healthy spirituality, to go with a renewed sense of emotional stability, is to work on attitudes about ourselves and our situations: we accept who we are in the given circumstances that are thrust toward us in our daily living.
***
We were never designed to resist intimacy with ourselves. We were designed, by God from the beginning, to maintain a healthy integrity with ourselves. Stripping away the masks we move on into an intimacy with ourselves that can address our depressive thoughts. Life is about acceptance – of us, as individuals, and of our circumstances. When we reach acceptance, life makes sense.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

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