My own reality show by Charlie Wear

Charlie Wear

Charlie Wear

I am in the middle of an existential crisis, maybe a nervous breakdown, although I have been calling it a nervous “breakthrough.” Over forty-five years of bottling up anger and pain can do that to you, I guess. The crisis started on December 2 when I awoke in the middle of the night with the idea that I should write a book based on the John Wimber saying, “I want to grow up before I grow old.”
I don’t remember Wimber unpacking that saying very much. I think he was talking about the signposts of a mature Christian life, peace in marital relationships, honesty and integrity in financial dealings, that kind of thing.
And so I began to wake up in the middle of the night and write. I have written myself right into a number of changes on every front of my life. I have changed my work situation. I am starting a couple of new business ventures. I am starting a church. Naturally all of this self-realization has spilled over into my family life and my wife and I are trying to figure out how to survive what has turned into a roaring crisis.
In the midst of these changes I think I may have gotten some insight into a universal condition that I was experiencing and struggling to resolve.
Many of us don’t know who we are. We got here honestly, for sure. Our parents, teachers, churches and society at large have conspired to repress our true identities. There are after all, social conventions of behavior, proper career choices, and processes that lead us to maturity. Church teaches us what to believe and how to be good boys and girls. School teaches us what we need to know and how we need to learn it. Mom and dad raise us to be respectful and respectable. When we interact with our peers they let us know when we have strayed beyond the social norms. When we start to form relationships with members of the opposite sex, these relationships are clouded by all we have learned up to that point. And our hearts get broken, and this teaches us even more lessons.
Ultimately many of us come to the point where we have hidden our true selves in so many ways that we don’t really know how to answer the question, “Who am I?” There is a nagging fear that is underlying our condition, “If you really knew the real me, you would reject me and have nothing to do with me.” And so every day is a new episode in the reality show we call “Real Life.” What role are we playing today? Is the camera crew standing by? This will probably be some good stuff. Okay….Action!
If we don’t know who we are, we can’t stand up for ourselves. If we don’t know who we are, we can’t possibly know how to be happy. If we don’t know who we are we can’t possibly understand where we fit in the cosmic scheme.
And so, I am working on finding the answer to the first question that is the foundation of growing up: Who am I? Let me ask you, “Who are you?”

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