Individuality is found when self is lost, sounds contradictory? Let me explain: There was a dark time in my life, in which I was confronted with a series of surmounting problems, serious career challenges and the urgent need to understand, who I was, what my purpose in life was, where I belonged. It was a low point, so low that I was contemplating suicide for a long period of time. My search was first wild, desperate, leading me in many directions, some wrong ones. When I look back I see myself almost never laughing, days would pass before something reached my waiting thought to make me even shyly smile, I even remember that it felt to look at a different person when looking into the mirror. That wasn't me, I thought, but who was I? It took time to gradually find a way out of this helplessness.
It dawned on me that there is for each individual a deep secret, its reason for existing, its specific purpose in life. This secret is revealed only to the individual – and this secret is revealed in unselfishness. Individuality is found when you let go of self. What seems to sound like a contradiction is not really one. Because behind our individuality lies an eternal, spiritual, absolute Principle, which the Bible calls Love. And man is connected to this Love, eternally. This bond has not to be created or sustained – this bond between God and man is the truth of being for eternity.
Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health: "Man's spiritual individuality is never wrong. It is the likeness of man's Maker." And the heading of the paragraph from which this quote is taken is "Man linked with Spirit". (p. 491). It was a relief beyond words to gradually understand that I don't have to become some one, that I am indeed, like we all, the likeness of God, a spiritual image. To get to know myself from the perspective of spiritual goodness – to start feeling a new (actually old, eternal) me. It depends on God. Individuality didn't and doesn't depend on education or processes, although the ways to this understanding might include them. True listening is yielding to true enfoldment – it is the quietness and the pure thought that show us ways to realize ourselves, who we really are.
My life became much happier and at times I would find myself even humming while doing something around the house. Over the years talents and a definite life purpose have unfolded, along with the willingness to follow and to be what I am meant to be.
Why I write this article for you now has to do with an episode of Star Trek: The next generation. In this episode, called "The bonding", the ship counsellor Diana Troi, discusses with Capt. Picard the best way to help a person overcome grief, and in this caring exchange of thoughts the counsellor makes this compelling remark: "But over the years I've discovered it's in joy that the uniqueness of each individual is revealed."
That is quite an observation and connected to my, and I believe everyone else's experience. When we are joyful and confident about past, present and future, when we are hopeful and happy, then, on only then, your individuality, the uniqueness of our being, is revealed. The real you. Joy being a catalyst for the core of things, of a character, of sacred motives and fondest hopes.
In Psalms we read: "Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy…", (16:11) and this "Thou" is God, Love. Since we are connected to Love with an unbreakable link and are meant to be Love's expression, we are where Love is, in Love's presence. And so it is no secret that the individuality of man is best expressed where joy is, even the fullness of joy.
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.