I recently was listening to a news person quote Marten Luther King Jr. as the one making this quote. Since I'm always looking for quotes to add to my blogs, I looked it up and saw it was actually Mahatma Gandhi who said it,
"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself
in the service of others."
We gather information all our lives from the environment around us. That information then influences our perspectives, world views, and even can define who we think we are. So often we think ourselves to be something we truly are not. For instance, I had been told I was "stupid" by teachers, parents, and others when I was young. It wasn't until I received a 4.0 GPA while attending university that I realized I was not stupid, but had undiagnosed ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). Recently, there has been an increase of mislabeling, false accusations, and down-right lies made about and to other people. It saddens me that we have stooped to a level of attack that brings into question a person's character which has nothing to do with the topic of discussion. I see this happening with couples and families seeking help in therapy, and I see this happening across the world.
One of my focuses in therapy is to help the person identify: 1. who they think they are, and 2. who they want to be. Usually, they start by saying who they are based on the negative perspectives of others that they have embraced. Then they try to define who they want to be as the opposite of who they think they are.
Authors Henry Cloud and John Townsend wrote a book called, "Safe People" and it breaks down the characteristics of unsafe behaviors that can make people unsafe to be around. They also wrote the book, "Boundaries," and together they create an instruction manual for understanding who in your life is unsafe and how you can protect yourself and remain safe whenever you are around them. Sometimes, just getting away from them is the only thing you can do.