Have you ever thought about who you are? How would you answer that? Would you say that you are a mother, lawyer, friend, business owner, etc.? While that may be true, that isn’t who you are. Who you are has a much deeper meaning. How do you feel when you are alone? What makes you happy or sad? What would you do with a week all to yourself? These are the questions that really start to reveal who we are. Today it is so easy for us to develop a sense of false self. We lose our true selves and become something that we think we should be. We push down those real emotions that make us well us. We are not defined by our false selves, but for some of us that is all we know. So, now is the time to get going and develop our authentic selves. If we know ourselves, then we can truly know God. He knows who we are, but it is really counter productive if we do not know who we are.
First of all we have to get out of false self thinking. We are not what we do. How many times have you met someone new and immediately ask, “what do you do?” When we see friends that we haven’t seen in a long time the first question is always, “what do you do now?” Then we refer to each other as, “she’s the teacher.” “He’s in insurance.” “She’s a doctor.” As if our worth is measured in what we do. Of course what we do has an impact on who we are, but as I said before, it does not define us. This way of thinking forces us to find our worth outside of what God thinks our worth is.
We are also not what others think we are. With social media being the main way we communicate these days, it is easy to create a false self and image. We can choose what view of ourselves we want to project to everyone. We can in a sense become a different person or family. When I see posts of perfect families or constant gushing of how much a couple loves each other my radar immediately goes off. This is the art of trying to convince the world that you are something that you are not. It is a form of escapism. Instead of actually facing the real issues at hand and focusing on bettering ourselves in reality, we form this alternate reality that gives the illusion of perfection. This is hard to live up to and ultimately can be delusional. How are we to come clean with the Lord when we are lying to everyone else and ourselves. I know that we don’t always want to spill our guts on social media, but sometimes it is so refreshing to just be real!
We are also not what we have. Finding our worth in possessions is a slippery slope. We can never be happy if we are never content with what we have. There will always be something newer and bigger out there, but do you need it to be happy? Do you need it to be you? Certainly not. We need to find comfort in where we are. and be grateful for the Lord’s blessing. If I wear a Burberry jacket or Walmart fleece I will still be me. We need to be comfortable in our skin and situation for God to come in and use us for His Will.
Being your authentic self can be intimidating and hard. Jesus was met with a lot of challenge being His true self. Things were not easy and He disappointed a lot of people that expected Him to just be someone He was not. He kept to His true self by living faithfully and knowing He was secure in God’s love. We can do the same.
Pay attention to your inner voice and take some time for silence. Our busy life distracts us a lot of the time from really listening to our inner self. We need to spend time with our own feelings and realize what our hearts desire is, and how we feel about different things. We need to stop and listen to ourselves and in the silence we will be able to hear what God is putting on our hearts as well.
We need to find really good friends. These are people that we can trust and be our true selves around. There is no judgment with real friends, and they allow us to explore parts of our self that we may not otherwise speak about. I always say quality over quantity when it comes to close friends. I really only have about three friends that I don’t have to filter what I say around and can talk about pretty much anything without fear of betrayal or judgment. If we keep our true feelings inside all the time it can lead to depression and loss of self. We need friends to be sounding boards for our outward expressions of internal emotions.
Challenge yourself by doing something that you never thought you could. Move out of your comfort zone. I guarantee you will discover who you are very quickly. When I went to El Salvador by myself for a Compassion International conference I had a lot of “me” time. Without the comfort of my husband and children, my language, and my own country, I was a fish out of water. It was challenging, but I loved every minute of it. I learned a lot about what I could do by myself and what I was capable of. I gained an independence that was priceless in and of itself. You could volunteer for an organization that you are passionate about, but don’t know anyone else involved. Join a Bible Study group with people that you aren’t familiar with. Do anything you want to, but push yourself to experience it by yourself. You will grow in ways that you hadn’t realized were possible. There will be parts of yourself revealed that you may never of known you had.
Lastly, but the most important part is to PRAY!!! Pray for God to give you the courage to drop the mask and be who He has meant for you to be. You will be surprised at the path He will take you down when you remove the film around yourself and let the real you out. He will introduce you to new people, situations, and opportunities that will continue to develop you. In the course of all of this you will not only be happier in your own skin, but you will grow in your relationship with the Lord. This will transform your outlook on life and give you better perspective on relationships. Remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and YOU are enough!!!
Love and Blessings to you!!!
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalms 139:14