Have you ever had someone say to you, "Just be yourself"?
Did you think to yourself, "Okay, but what does that mean, exactly?"
Who are you? Deep down, when no one is looking, at your very core? What about you is real?
Real is who we were before we were told something different. Before our pushy parents got in the way. Before we got the idea that we were supposed to be like other girls or tougher guys, because that’s who everyone liked, or that’s who got dates.
If we weren’t naturally pretty, we tried to stand out as the smart one or the funny one, or the athletic one.. Too tall? We slumped our shoulders. Bad teeth? We never spoke or smiled.
Our "selves" have been altered by our birth order, our community, our socio-economic status, our hurts, our shame..the list goes on and on.
Many obstacles get in the way of us just being us. And so here we are, masked by these expectations and misconceptions and defenses that we use as an excuse for ourselves.
Have you ever thought that if people knew certain things about you, that you would be rejected? have you ever found yourself pasting on a smile when you really wanted to scream with rage?
I'm not saying that there is not a time and a place for certain emotions to bubbloe over. But, if we have relationships based on us living this not-so-genuine condition, what are those relationships worth? Can they be considered authentic relationships? Can you ever get anything out of them than surface pleasantries?
What if we take our masked selves to God? Even though He knows us through and through and loves us anyway, can we say we have a true relationship with God if we aren't coming clean with our whole, true selves?
Where do you get your self-worth? Does it come from the roles you play? Your job?
Give this question some thought. Go on a safari -- a safari into your heart -- and see if you can find your worth stemming from something bigger and deeper than external "stuff." Then name and claim your true self and your true value. It's a good step toward living your best life.