Ontology is important for all counselors to understand and prescribe to because ontology is the study of being real, and the art of being real, is known as congruence (a key trait in any successful counselor). Congruence not only demonstrates a person’s inner harmony, but also encompasses their willingness to be authentic and genuine.
Everyone has asked themselves the main ontological questions in life:
- Who am I?
- What is the purpose of life?
- Why are we here?
- What does life mean?
- How can I live a more meaningful life?
We tend to answer these questions by employing the same internal sources used to formulate our identities: our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and opinions. However, when it comes to defining who we are and establishing our identity, we can do so in either a positive or negative way which can prove detrimental. If we believe we are stupid, feel we’re fat, or think we’re bad vehemently enough, it comes ingrained in our belief system as “truth”. However, the opinions we have of ourselves, and what we feel believe, and think are all irrelevant in light of truth.
We all need a unique reference point in life, to focus our vision for our futures. Until we know who we are, we’ll spend our lives clutching at straws, trying everything we can to feel the degree of contentment and peace we’re desperate to experience. We all need to formulate a vision of our future self for whom we can ultimately take responsibility for. Without it, we’ll become dis-empowered victims of what we will see as a tragic and bad world, rather than empowered individuals who are playing their part in making this world a better place.
HOW HAVE YOU COME TO DEFINE YOURSELF?
Everyone, at some point in life, must make a decision on which they are willing to be. Every day, we have the opportunity to form opinions, and make decisions about what we believe about ourselves, and how we feel and think. Our authentic identity stems from the decisions and choices that we make on a day to day basis, therefore meaning that we are always just one decision away from becoming more like the person we are willing to become.
Every day we are given the opportunity to review our lives, evaluate the truths we perceive, and ask ourselves if we’re being true to who we are. Who you are willing to become in life is your responsibility, and you have the freedom and power in life to say to yourself: I don’t like myself; who would I like to be instead?
To form a solid identity, we must commit to the process of looking within. In other words, internalize ourselves. We can’t turn to books, blogs or other people to find out who we truly are. We must constantly ask ourselves: am I content with who I’m being? Can I become more? We are always just one decision away from fulfilling the future vision we have of ourselves; all you need is to arm yourself with life-giving visions.
Getting to the core of who you are is like getting to the heart of an apple. The apple will never be the best and highest expression of itself (in its current form) because there’s a tree inside of each apple in the shape of a seed. This seed needs to be released, and it needs to be transformed.
Do you want to explore yourself to the core? There are four exercises. Each exercise will push you not only to confront your instinctive thoughts, feelings, beliefs and opinions about yourself, but challenge you to identify and remove your life taking visions and adopt and strengthen new and existing life-giving visions.
To be Continued…