Finding Out Who You Are

I woke from a dream a few weeks ago where I was attending an advanced acting class being coached by my high school English teacher and theater director.  He had invited me to join the class, which had already been meeting for some time.

I arrived to the class as it was ready to begin. The drama coach said to find a partner to sit near, then he selected a young man as my partner, who was hiding under some clothes to avoid being picked.  I said to the young man, “Acting is not scary.”  Then both he and I in unison added:

“Acting is about finding out who you are.”

I woke then, and I thought about that statement off and on all week  Really all of life is about finding out who you are, isn’t it?  Trying on this and that persona, this and that archetypal part of self in different scenarios, building and aiming to express a core sense of self as best you can, day by day.  And all of the episodes that comprise the scenes, chapters and major acts f your life story, your MyStory, unfold distinctive facets, different dramatic Masks, of your Self in different contexts as you interface with various partners, other personae enacting and finding out about themselves in their own MyStories, too.

So, living—experiencing a lifetime (or many, perhaps)—is set upon a stage where you can find out who You are, what You are made of, in a process of transformational unfoldment.

There is, therefore, a strong sense of purpose at least potentially driving any lifetime.  Gradually in learning who we are we also come to recognize who or what we really are not, or do not wish to be. 

A life well lived is forged in drama, crowned in the comedy of glimpsing the very essence, the divine Soul that we are, and seeing this also in others.

So it can be helpful to reflect on what we are finding out about who we and others are as life unfolds. Journalling, expressing artfully or even contemplating about the lessons in your MyStory can reveal the deeper mystery of your—of all of Our—greater Soul journey.

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Journaling Prompt:

Who Are You? What have you been finding out about your Self in differing scenarios, different chapters of your MyStory?

Health Matters: Finding the Good Dentist

This past full month (and ongoing), I have been revisiting a lower rung of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: dental issues! It is difficult to blog about events while in the midst of them, but since I haven’t been blogging since the troubles began, I can at least briefly review how dentistry has been a significant theme in my own MyStory. 

When I was four, I fell from a booster seat at the family’s dining room table and knocked out my four front teeth. They did not grow back in until I was nine, and in those days bridges were not yet used, so when those adult teeth did come in, they were gnarled.  In my early teens my parents took me for braces; they extracted five teeth because of how jumbled the teeth were and how small my mouth is. The braces experience was a tough one for me. I threw tantrums trying to refuse to go; the pain from tightening the braces was hard to bear. When the braces were finally removed, I honestly tossed the retainer after a few months because I just wanted to be done with it all. So, now as an adult my teeth still have some positioning issues, and I have had a lot of dental work throughout my life.  I had some very good dentists in Colorado the year or two before retiring in 2018, and they took care of refilling most earlier fillings, plus I needed a crown and an implant.

But recently my dental issues have been flaring again. After a dentist used props to hold my jaws open to replace two metal upper teeth fillings, I ended up with pain radiating throughout my mouth for the next three weeks; plus I realized the lower premolar implant tooth was loose, further contributing to the nerve pain. My new dentists here put off a revisit and I no longer felt trusting of their care. Then my dear sister who has had similar issues referred me to her dentist; from here on I will call him the Good Dentist.  I have long been concerned about the dental problems that could come with aging, and I feel grateful that my sister and Divine providence have led me to the Good Dentist’s  care.

But this has not been fun yet. Two days ago he removed the too shallow implant which had worn down all the surrounding bone and the gum was infected. Then he packed new bone matter into the opening and sutured gum around that. Youch, yes. And around 3 months from now he wants to replace the implant with a better, deeper one.

Meanwhile through all of this I have needed to be on pain meds, which have their own risks that I have been testing for. I hope to be done with all but Tylenol by tomorrow, plus must finish the second round of antibiotics.

Yuck, right? Now you know where I have been this past month.

So, to try to extract (bad pun) some MyStory meaningful lessons or messages from this lifelong theme, let me see:  Dentistry has revealed various aspects of human character through the years, both of myself and of dentists and their assistants. I have learned the best of these professionals are not only well trained; they are caring and gentle in their treatments. They are good listeners and good communicators. Others tend to be more focused on the matters at hand—the teeth condition—rather than the whole person or the therapeutic relationship. I think this pertains to issues of control for me: I do not want to submit to a less than caring doctor.

Now the Good Dentist, whom I feel guided to along with his good assistants, has already earned my trust and cooperation. Though yes, I am coping with a painful recovery process from the extraction surgery this week, I feel his care and am grateful for his truly visionary considerations of how best to proceed. After one of the early visits while I was still in lots of pain, he put his hand on my head and said:

“I am sending you good energy; we will make you all better.”

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So I am left with gratitude and acceptance, glad to have found a path forward with my dental issues that is likely to be as positive as possible.

How about you? How have health matters Mattered in your own MyStory adventure?