As the fog lifts, I can think clearly again. I've gone through seasons recently where I felt as though my mind was in a fog. I had thoughts and feelings but they were numb. I buried them deep inside, not having the energy to entertain them or work through them. You would think that as a counselor I should know better and deal with my thoughts and emotions in a healthier way. Even though God has given me the gift, skill, and training in counseling, I am not disqualified from being human and feeling the weight of life on my shoulders.
So, what does this fog look like? Unless you've experienced it, it's hard to understand or empathize with. For me, it feels like emptiness. Like feeling alone in a crowd. Like there is something missing when I should be satisfied. It causes me to ignore all of the beneficial resources in my life, like writing, reading God's Word for my benefit, and having deep conversations. It draws me into an ever constant desire to sleep. Once the opportunity for sleep comes, it is disrupted by constant dreams that try to process the unattended thoughts of the day. If feels like an ongoing cycle that will never end.
Why is this happening? Is it me? Did I do something to provoke it? Is it because I am spending less time with God? No, it's not. I'm serving God and people everyday. We communicate and I read His Word and pray. This is not exclusively a heathen problem. It's not a problem that arises out of an issue of sin in my life. It's a fight, a battle.
Our hearts, souls, minds, and bodies long for closeness and understanding. We seek out relationship, even if we deny we need it. The problem, for me, arises when I don't attend to the relationship with myself. I know that sounds odd, a relationship with yourself? Think about it. We were created to be relational. We relate with everything in our environment, whether positive or negative. Why shouldn't we intentionally try to relate to ourselves? One verse from the Bible that gives me evidence of this is "Love your neighbor as yourself", Mark 12:31. Now, how are we supposed to love our neighbor if we don't love ourselves? How can we love ourselves if we don't know or relate to ourselves.
Relating to myself means knowing what I like and don't, taking care of, not only physical, but emotional and spiritual needs, and allowing myself to think, believe, and dream, not only do. I find myself in this fog when my life gets out of balance. When other people get more of my time, attention, energy, and effort than I do. This is not a selfish concept. Yes, the Bible talks about putting others first, but this is not to the detirment of yourself. Look at the life of Jesus. Did he abuse himself, neglecting his own physical, emotional, and spiritual needs? No, it's exactly the opposite. He stole away time to be with God and renew his mind and spirit. He cared for his own needs as well as the disciples'. Whenever they ate, he ate. He had the perfect balance for his life. He knew who he was and respected himself. He denied his flesh, the part of his nature as man that was trying to overtake his nature as God. We are called to do the same, not to deny our healthy needs and desires that were placed within us by God.
I'm not immune to the fog, or to sin, but I am aware of it. When I allow the Holy Spirit to have His way in my thinking, knowing, and believing, that's when I'm free and can clearly see. Now I will press forward with the intent of knowing me, the one God created in His own image. Because I know that in knowing and loving me, I can know and love others better. As I learn about the me that God created and intended for me to be, I learn more about Him, the one I am designed after. I hope you will choose to do the same.