“There is a universal tendency to want to be someone else.” (Parker Palmer, “Let Your Life Speak”)
I’ve wanted it. To be like someone else.
Or, at the very least, I’ve looked over there, at someone else’s life, and thought – that looks kinda easy – or kinda nice.
I wouldn’t mind that life – or, that house – or, that income – or that gifting.
One place it happens to me is as I sit in church and listen to the sweet sound of an amazing soloist.
I think – wouldn’t it be nice to have a voice like that?
If you know me, or if you’ve sat by me in church, you’d know – that I have trouble hitting the right notes, or following the change in tone from one note to the next.
I’m the one who sings quiet during loud chorus’s of “Happy Birthday to You..”, while I focus on the sweet voices of those people nearest me.
From my seat on the pews, the gifting of a sweet singing voice looks kinda lovely.
It’s a gifting that you’d know clearly what your gift was and others would know what your gift was and be blessed by it.
Because, if you’re like me, you may not fully understand your gifts.
Finding my gifts requires a closer look – a deeper search to identify them.
And, sometimes, when they (my gifts) poke their head out – they may not have the feel good effect like that sweet soloist’s song. That’s been my experience.
Part of who I am and the unique makings of me includes a deep resonance with truth. That’s one of the reasons God’s Word moves me – sometimes to tears – it speaks to me, loudly.
It touches chords at my core. I must respond. It’s why I write.
It’s my way to respond to God’s voice and Word to me – to ‘sing’ of God’s grace to me.
It’s the one song I can find the right notes to!
How do you find your authentic self in your today life – your here and now?
You start by listening.
Listening to your deep self – your soul.
Listen to your heart cries – what moves you, what makes your heart ache, what makes your heart fill with joy?
These are the places your true self can be found. In the quiet. In the deep places that sometimes lie hidden inside you.
I think many of us have been led astray and have, somehow, lost ourselves.
We’ve listened to the voices of those around us, perhaps telling us what the voice of reason would say – the voice of ‘you should‘:
- you should make a good income
- you should look a certain way – maintain a certain weight or size, look ‘good’
- your children should behave a certain way and must ‘succeed’
These voices from inside our heads often replay messages of guilt or shame – in order to train, or maintain us, in a certain way of life.
Oddly, you and I listen.
Sometimes, you and I do more than listen – sometimes, you and I follow those voices – the ‘you shoulds‘ become the ‘I do’s‘ in our daily life.
You can squash the inner voice of your authentic self through following the voices and rules of guilt, shame, and ‘you shoulds’.
You can squash your gifts, as you seek to be a person you want to be like, or the person you think you should be. Even it if is not who you are.
You can end up being a mold of ‘should be’s’ or ‘wanna-be’s’ – a carbon copy of someone else.
You and I are made one of a kind.
No accidents. No copies. Made by God. Made for God.
No small thing.
May you find your original God designed authentic self.
The true heart God specially formed and created in you.
May you give yourself grace for the places you’ve rejected your true self or not listened to tiny truths at the heart of you.
Pour grace on your soul. Cover yourself with forgiveness. Offer yourself another chance – a closer listen. Ask God for wisdom to understand His purposes for your heart. Give thanks for what you hear.
May you give your family and those you love freedom from expectations, or false hopes you may have placed on them.
May you offer words of life and blessing to yourself and those in your midst.
May you receive with gratefulness what God reveals to you about your heart and your giftings – the authentic you.
“For you formed my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
**Lord, we give thanks to You. You are the giver of life and former of our hearts, help us to receive all that You have given us with joy.