Monday, January 27, 2014

The Power of Being You

The process of coming into our own is often painful and it can take us down a lonely path where we may not really understand where we fit in. Often times we have to isolate our self from people even people we love to discover what’s inside of us. We need that space to understand what is important to us, and what makes us unique. I am a firm believer in being authentic and staying true to who we are no matter the cost. This means not compromising our values to fit into a certain mold or changing who we are in order to be accepted by people. We have to be the same persons we are on the outside as we are behind closed doors. There is no shame when we are being ourselves, because we act in ways that are consistent with our values and our beliefs, and this gives us complete freedom. Not everyone is going to like us when we are being authentic but the right people will appreciate us. Life itself is a journey, a journey to find God and develop a relationship with him, a journey that leads us in discovering our purpose and life path, a journey to meet people who will impact our lives in an incredible way or teach us some valuable lessons, and a journey that leads to self- discovery. Life is a constant struggle when we try to live like somebody else or when we live a double life. I know it can be pretty scary to be rejected when you choose to remain true to who you are because not many people will be able to connect with you, and you may be unpopular, but it is definitely worth it.
I have come to accept that the way I think, and my ability to look beyond the surface to find the deeper meaning in things and in life makes me a little different from others. I don’t apologize for the way I am wired, God made me the way I am on purpose. I don’t have to do what everyone else is doing, I don’t have to move at the pace everyone is moving, and I surely don’t have to be “liked” by everyone. Freedom comes with knowing we have nothing to prove to people because God fully approves us. Our confidence comes from knowing we are loved and accepted by God unconditionally. A confident man/woman doesn’t need the approval of others to feel validated or worthy, because they feel secure within themselves. Being authentic is not about adding more to ourselves, it is about removing whatever is not true.

I have learned not to judge a book by its cover, there is so much more to a person than what they present on the outside. Often times we have to get to really know someone before we make our conclusions/judgments about them. Social media is not enough to get to know what a person is like, there are many people who are hiding behind that to paint a picture- perfect life, or an image of being better, successful, or educated than they actually are. Nobody’s life is perfect, no matter how they paint it to you, people will only reveal what they want you to know about them. Other times the images and pictures we see on the outside may be far from reality, they may be putting up a front for their followers. You don’t have to constantly show people that you have a good life, a great marriage, or a successful business for us to believe it, that’s only drawing too much attention to yourself which is unnecessary. The less you show the more people wonder lol.
There were times where I compared myself to people whom I admired and people I believed had everything going for them, only to find out later how much it took to be them and the struggles they were hiding inside. So many people are hiding behind a mask, and giving people a false impression that their life is perfect when really they are struggling so much. These people are afraid to be vulnerable in front of others because they don’t want to be perceived as weak.   Sometimes the person you are comparing yourself to maybe secretly comparing themselves to you, or even comparing themselves with someone else. Who we are is enough, we have everything we need to become the persons we were created to be. Embrace who you are fully and find your own path. There is nothing that hurts more than living a lie, we may lie to everyone else but we cannot lie to our self. The truth hurts but it also heals.

One of the biggest struggle I faced with just letting people get to know the real me was my fear of rejection. The very act of putting myself out there, and allowing people to connect with me in a deeper way through the things I write or share is a big risk. It takes a lot of courage to be honest about things and people, and not pretend about the way I really feel about things. Stepping out was really hard for me initially, and to some extent still is because not everyone is used to this courageous and out-spoken side of me. I didn’t know how people were going to react so I played it safe for a while, until God began to push me outside my comfort zone and that forced me to be real with people.

The more I mature in my walk with God the more courageous and fearless I become in speaking about things that are of value to me, and sharing the wisdom he has given me about things with the people I come cross. I did not fully understand the purpose he had for my life, until I began to accept that I was loved by him and my identity is found in him and him alone. I needed to learn how to love myself, how to speak positively into my life and to accept the things about me that I couldn’t change. This is part of the reason I write a lot about understanding who we are, being authentic, and dealing with roots in our life, because that is an area I struggled so much in. A lot of people are searching for their identity and what they are called to do, but can’t seem to get there, and I believe God has gifted me in that area to help those people connect with who they really are inside, and  also experience inner healing. If that is you we are not connected by accident.