Existential therapy urges us to come to some kind of awareness of our own existence – not a description of our roles (a child of God, a parent, a friend, Mormon, Exmormon) or behaviors (go to school/work/church), but awareness that there is SOMEBODY in there. We know all about the house (the roles or behaviors) but don’t always really know who lives there. It’s a scary place to be. What happens if you stare into the abyss too long?
WHO are you?
In a Mormon Stories interview, Carol Lynn Pearson said something that really struck me. She said she was out of all her closets.
The question I have: WHO is in the closet? Do you even want to know? Along with this, WHAT is in there?
I would love to be out of all my closets. I would love to be like Nat Kelly or Holly Welker and seemingly be out. What does it mean to be out though? What’s REALLY in your closet? What’s really looking back at you when you stare into the abyss? Goodness? A Dark Passenger?
Many people claim to be open and honest and “out” as they communicate with anger, bitterness, or even just sarcasm or insensitivity. I always get a kick out of these people. They claim to be perfectly genuine and “real” yet they hide themselves. Especially online – it is SO easy to hide here, out in the open.
I would LOVE to be “out” of all my closets – at church, for example. If I only knew what was in there. The little I do know, I freely share.
One thing I believe that is in all of our closets is a Being that is good. Compassionate. Caring. Longing for connection. Willing to listen. Patient. Tolerant of ambiguity.
Sometimes we also have parts in our closets that are afraid, ashamed, lonely, abandoned, or hurt. We protect these parts and keep the door closed under a barrage of wit, sarcasm, political views, anger, religion, or an avatar.
Before we can come out, we need to know what’s in there.
What is in your closet?
“The essential question is not, ‘What is the meaning of life?’ It is ‘Who is asking the question?’” -Victor Frankl