Recently it seems like every other commercial on T.V. is for some sort of DNA testing service or ancestry discovery. For a few dollars you can discover if you are Italian or Icelandic or whether have a lineage of lederhosen. The trend seems to hold several practical purposes like discovering if your genetic code carries any indicators of health hazards that may hinder you or tapping your family tree for treasure. What I see is an invitation to know yourself better.
Knowing your inner self can be as valuable to your mental health as knowing your genetic code can be to your physical health. Your soul holds the key to your identity, not your chromosomes.
Consider the two following ideas of self-reflection.
First, you should know yourself better than anyone. Others may have insight into what makes you tick; some of us are even trained to hear and see you well. You may have tendencies like those of your parents (think habits and behaviors). You may even be a product of a “stereotypical” upbringing (think socio-economic and religious parameters). In light of the fact that there may be some things about you that are “typical”, ask yourself this question, “does anyone know me better than I know myself?” If your answer is yes, then I beg you to look at yourself more deeply.
Who are YOU? What type of fruit does YOUR branch on the family tree bear? What do YOU love? What makes YOU happy, sad, frustrated, excited, angry, emotional? Which holiday means the most to YOU? What cause makes YOUR heart beat faster and YOUR wallet jump out of your pocket? Do you understand why YOU get uncomfortable with certain world events or why certain political topics make YOU want to stick a pencil in your eye? What’s YOUR favorite movie and why; song, food, place? Would you rather be with people tonight over drinks or a meal or by yourself with a glass of your favorite red, a candle, and a book; or, is it one sometimes and sometimes the other? It matters how well you know YOURSELF.
Second, there may be a barrier between you and a deeper understanding of your soul’s DNA. Your soul’s DNA can’t be swabbed and mailed into a lab, but unlike your physical genetic code, it can be discovered without advanced science. However, sometimes we are afraid to know ourselves. Sometimes shame and unworthiness paralyze us from self-examination. Sometimes we are told who we are by people who hold power over us, like an abusive parent or overbearing spouse; and we believe it. Sometimes we are too busy, or we have numbed our inner being with a substance or behavior in an effort to not address it. Sometimes, our survival mechanisms made us who we are, and it’s not working anymore. In cases of abuse, shame, guilt, and survival, start simple and go slow on your self-awareness journey; but start, and go; your mental health depends on it.
I deeply enjoy being a soul DNA tester. As a counselor I am privileged to help individuals examine themselves. I get to dig deep and shine a light on people’s identities. You may be realizing that you don’t know yourself as well as you would like, or that your deeper identity is right beyond that barrier. If so, I want to encourage you to use the commercials that are trying to sell genetic testing or ancestry records as a reminder to examine your inner self. Its valuable to know your heritage, but priceless to know your soul.
Get in touch with New Hope Counseling today if you are interested in getting to know yourself better through counseling.