The Man In The Mirror

So much of what is in the world around us seems to be one thing until we open our eyes and look a little deeper. Once the veneer is removed and the spotlight is off, the real condition of things is unveiled, and a much different picture often emerges. For instance, we are led to believe that fame and money are the things that can really make our lives happy and meaningful. If that is the case, then movie stars should be the happiest and most fulfilled people on earth. However, the recent suicides of world famous, academy award winning actors Heath Ledger and Robin Williams proclaim a very clear and different message.

My wife and I watched an interview being done with Mr. Williams some time ago. His candor, humor and personality were off the charts. He was a master at his craft and he kept the interviewer and the audience in a state of wonder and laughter. His view of life was so different and he could interpret it in such a way that he kept everyone in awe. Yet when the conversation moved in the direction of who he was as a person, the vacant, questioning look that came to his eyes and swept over his face was sad, if not heartbreaking. There was a dark side to him that few knew about.

What we discovered was that he did not know who the real Robin Williams was. He lived his life through the person in the script he was hired to portray. Thus his acting ability was so powerful because in front of the camera he actually became his character, or perhaps I should say His character became him. His life was being scripted by screenwriters, and he lived it well during the filming of each movie. Yet when the filming was over, and he left this fantasy world of Hollywood, he also left his identity as well.

The truth he exposed in that interview was hard to believe but tragically true. He said he had no clear concept of who he was, no defined personality of his own. When he opened his eyes the morning after a shoot was over, he looked in the mirror and did not know who he was! In spite of all his brilliance on the big screen, and his flawless comedic ability in front of a camera, he was never certain about his real value as a human being or who he was as a man.

I minored in counseling/psychology when I got my masters degree in Biology. One of the disciplines I studied was a style of counseling called “reality therapy”, by Dr. William Glasser. The main premise of Glasser’s method is that it’s impossible for anyone to be emotionally healthy until they know themselves. Every person must eventually open their eyes and face the reality of who they are. More importantly, they must take personal responsibility for the life they have and embrace the consequences for the way they have lived. Until that happens, people are clueless dreamers, sleepwalkers who hurt themselves and everyone they meet along the way. As strange as it sounds, this is exactly how much of the world lives and it is what finally caused Williams to hang himself. He did not know who he was, he felt alone in the world and therefore concluded he had no reason to live.

Now comes the big question: are your eyes open, I mean really open to the truth of who you are? What do you see when you wake up and look in the mirror each morning? Do you see a failure who is emotionally isolated from others, or someone who is interconnected by meaningful relationships that hold promise for the future? Is there hope for improvement or the feeling of being a helpless victim who is locked in a cycle that never changes? Do you have joy in the journey or does life feel meaningless and directionless? Your honest answer to those questions can bring a life-changing revolution. Why? Because how you see yourself makes all the difference in how you live your life!

Know thy self! In other words, open your eyes to the truth of who you are, and face the reality of the life you have. Then ask yourself this question; is this what I was created to do? If the answer is no then you have to open your heart to the reality of the life you should have. Allow the desire of the life you want to provide direction and compel you to change so you can begin moving in that direction. Remember, desire literally means “of the father”, and that’s powerful. The life you desire is the one God the Father made you to fulfill. In case you missed it, nothing else on earth will bring you satisfaction.

The bottom line is simple, when His desire becomes ours, that reality grips our life with purpose and great things will happen! Unless we find our identity and our purpose for being here, life really has no meaning. However, once we uncover these amazing truths they bring with them the vision, focus and satisfaction we need to fulfill our destiny. It all begins when we open our eyes and take a hard, honest look at the one staring back at us in the mirror. When we like what we see then our life has finally begun.

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