I recall that when I was a teenager, I had to write essays to debate an issue. This week, I found myself in that position debating with my close friend.
My friend told me that I was having hallucinations of the Holy Spirit. Also, that I was not singled out by God to communicate with the Holy Spirit. I, implicitly, pleaded to her that I needed to feel special and unique. And, I needed her support in particular. I exclaimed that the Holy Spirit was my only connection to God. Without the Holy Spirit or that little voice, I cannot write to my readers. She remained that I was having hallucinations and she was right because of her knowledge and of how well-read she was. For many days now, I have been depressed and discouraged, that I am not capable of helping any other person. But my friend still stands firm on her ground.
Today, on Christmas Eve, I realized many things about this debate.
- My friend holds the majority view of people with mental illness. Mine is the minority view. Although the view is the minority, it is a viewpoint that cannot be disregarded.
My daughter, in her literature class, is asked for her viewpoint and to begin a sentence with these words – what struck me. . .(about what was read)? However, there was one rule. If any other student answered the same viewpoint, both students had to redo their what struck you question.
I share this analogy because it shows how important it is to think of a viewpoint that is unique to me. My daughter was taught more in-depth into the literature she read. She continued her education thinking more in-depth. On purpose, this style of teaching impacts her future viewpoints in life.
Looking at subjects differently helped me to start my blogging. It also shapes my experiences in interacting with people in life. Yes, although it is a minority view, it gives me support that I am unique and I matter.
- My friend also needs to feel important – that her readiness to take on this life with her well-developed knowledge, is always right when she debated. She is well educated in the majority view. She is so inept at getting her point across that she was unaware of the disappointment in me growing. But, this debate is not about feelings (although I have a mental illness). Over the days of depression and discouragement, I turned to realign my thoughts.
After many years, I have learned that in a debate about my Catholic viewpoint, I have to remember that I need to center myself in Christ. That is, whatever viewpoints between my friends and me, we do not take our eyes off of Christ. What do I mean by that?
I mean the one of unity. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has their own take on Catholicism and this is how Bishop Barron puts it that though people have a peculiar and distinctive take on things, a style, a way, they all flow finally from Jesus of Nazareth. I think that means to remain centered in Christ. I choose to put my emphasis on the debate with my friend in that we are both trying to put forth our journey to knowing God.
- In this debate of days, I realized that more so than ever, I wanted to know and understand God. I wanted to believe in the Holy Spirit sent forth to communicate with me, although now in a different way. In a way that is not so naive, but more mature, that I do not boast that the Holy Spirit speaks to me. In actual fact, as I write, I find peace and clarity, far from depression.
- After days of depression, I find that I am relatively happier. And, I am ready to receive Jesus on Christmas day. Happy Birthday, Jesus.