I was going through another tough time. Although I had finally come to understand that the fundamentalist and judgmental image of God instilled in me during my upbringing was the cause of a great deal of my suffering, I seemed to be powerless to rid my psyche of this harmful deity. As a consequence, my depression, fueled by very low self-esteem, continued. In an effort to lift my spirits, I decided to accompany my wife, our younger daughter and our daughter’s friend on a weekend getaway south of the border. During the drive down, I dared to mentally confront my oppressive god-image, angrily expressing my disdain for its continued presence within me. I called it every nasty name in the book. This seemed to make me feel a bit better. However, that night I lay awake in our hotel room, unable to sleep. The next day, after breakfast, we toured several stalls displaying beautiful local art for sale. I made an effort to maintain an optimistic outlook, and decided to focus on appreciating the artwork. Suddenly, my mind was filled with an amazing depth of spiritual knowledge. I saw the incredibly intricate interconnections between the various events of my life. I saw how my own thoughts and actions had created my personal reality. I knew that I had more power than I had ever dreamed possible, and I knew that I was divine. My depression lifted immediately, and I felt incredibly calm, with a deep sense of self-acceptance and love. It was a beautiful and extremely comforting feeling. However, my grasp of this intricate web of knowledge was very fleeting and disappeared almost as soon as it had come. At the time, this did not bother in the least, because I knew that I had seen the truth of my real identity which could never be taken from me. I later tried to understand how I had seen this truth, but the thought patterns I had experienced were far too intricate for reconstruction and the effort to do so caused me further mental anguish. Finally, I came to simply accept the experience as a gift, which has been of immeasurable help to my healing.
Robert Keith's work focuses on the healing of mental illness, particularly where such illness has been fostered by fundamentalist religion. He and his wife have raised four children. As a family, they were always open about Robert’s own struggles and their individual spiritual journeys. Robert is now semi-retired but continues to offer spiritual counseling.