a mid-morning reflection on self

Who am I, other than one deeply loved by God?

When I define myself, I limit myself.

I keep looking to myself to be one thing.

I try to fit inside a mold I’ve crafted for myself out of stigmas, societal norms, and personality quizzes.

I’ve decided that I’m fat, and fat girls don’t wear stripes or dresses or pretty swimsuits.

I’ve decided that I’m introverted, and introverts don’t spend summers away from home with strangers.

I’ve decided that I’m gentle, and gentle people can’t stand up for themselves and they can’t be funny.

I’ve decided this, and I’ve decided that.  And while I thought I was defining myself, I was actually limiting myself.  While I thought I was broadening my horizons, I was actually shrinking myself down to a well-written paragraph that looks good on paper but sounds awkward and heavy when you read it out loud.

Yesterday, I saw a purse in a store that I really, really liked.  I stopped walking and admired it.  I thought about buying it.  It was classy, it was lovely, it was functional.  But I walked away from it, convincing myself that “It just wasn’t me.”

But how could that be true?  If I had liked it so much, how could it not have been “me?”

I realize–it wasn’t that the purse didn’t fit me, it was that it didn’t fit the haphazard and sloppy compilation of who it is I think I am.

I’m quiet and down-to-earth, while the purse was a little bit flirty and fun.

We say things like, “It’s just how God wired me.”  But we have incorrect ideas as to what that looks like.  Do we believe God created a perfect, scientific formula and downloaded it into our brains, and now, voila, we know exactly who we are and what we should like and what we should do?

It’s true–God’s design of us is intentional.  We are not all the same.  We are all unique, and God has created us each with a different temperament, personality, and gifts.

But what if these differences and unique character traits are simply meant to make life more enjoyable and interesting, rather than actually become the things that define us?

God made me introverted, and he works well through my introverted qualities.  I get to see life differently through this lens.  It makes me different, gives me a different sense about things.  But what happens when I use it to define who I am instead of using it to simply enjoy my own uniqueness?

What would happen if we all came to see ourselves only as ones deeply loved by God, and all the things we like, all the things we’re good at, all the things we do, are simply an outpouring out of that fact and that definition?

I have a much bigger capacity for life and the experience of it when I stop defining myself by what I look like, by what I’m good at, and how much money I make.  I let so much more experiences into my life when I am not defining myself by the clothes I wear or what I choose to do for a living.

I am more open, I am more authentic, I am more of my truest self when I realize this:

Who am I, other than one deeply loved by God?

2 thoughts on “a mid-morning reflection on self

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