I’m Not Who I Was…

BC769A07-EDD6-4A25-A736-000EFDEB4E8A“I’m not who I was.” This is a verse from a song I like a lot. It hit me the other day though, that I like it for all the wrong reasons. I identified with it so well because I’m still wanting to prove to others that I’m different now, and by extension worthy of them. I’m not saying that’s what the song is about, but it’s how my mind interpreted it subconsciously. After I realized this, a new thought about the song came to me. So I thought I’d share.
You see I’m not who I once was. After a battle for almost a year with physical and mental issues, I have changed. I had to in order to truly heal. Not that who I was before was a bad person. In fact the opposite. I was liked and loved by many. I did volunteer work, was polite to others even strangers, I was there for friends and family. I worked 2 jobs put myself through school to become an early childhood teacher. And more. But, there were things brewing inside of me that I never let show. In fact I did a lot of the things I did to hide those inside demons. See, most of us lie about who we are. Not to harm others but because we are afraid to show them the real us. So I smiled and laughed a lot to hide my real pain. I said yes to others constantly so I could earn their approval. I strived in college to get all A’s to show my worth. I lived behind a mask of perfection to hide just how not together I was. It was tiring to say the least. Trying to hide who you are all the time is exhausting. It’s a charade no one can keep up with.
After my body and mind broke, I had to take a long look at myself. Why did I break? What can I do to make sure that doesn’t happen again. I decided to go to God and a trusted friend who is trained to help others, to help me on this journey. I had to first see all the fake masks I’d been wearing for so long. To see the reasons and ulterior motives behind my actions. That’s not easy to do, but so important to true healing. I found that I say yes to be loved. I try to be the life of the party to hide how truly disappointed with life I am. I volunteer to hide the sins I was afraid others might find. And to try to get in good with God despite those sins. I had to do everything on my own, having it turn out perfect, to show my worthiness to others. And so on. Turns out there wasn’t a lot that was genuine about me. Yes I was a “good” person but in all the wrong ways and for the wrong reasons. Again not to harm others but to finally feel like I belonged.
After a lot of work I’m learning to change. Learning that it’s okay not to be perfect, I’m still worthy. Learning to say yes out of a true desire to help others. And to say no trusting others will still like or love me. Learning to let others help me or do tasks I’d normally insist on doing. Remembering that there is enough room in this world for all of us to shine. Learning that laughter is truly the best medicine, but sometimes it’s just suppressing symptoms. To really pay attention to what I’m feeling underneath. And understand that matters to others too. That I don’t have to always be laughing.
So I’m not who I once was. Well I am, except now I’m that person for all the right reasons. I’m honest now in my approach to life. No longer hiding who I am. Hiding behind someone even I can’t recognize. There is so much freedom here. Who or what are you hiding behind? What are you so afraid others might see? The enemy wants you to believe that you can’t come back from behind whatever it is your hiding behind. A career, a position in your church, a relationship, your always picture perfect kids, your big home and nice cars, whatever it is for you. Satan wants you to believe that those things are the only reason people love you or are friends with you. I’ll tell you this, my friends and family stuck by me at my absolute worst. They saw me at my darkest and still love me today. And if someone doesn’t do that, then they are not meant for us. It hurts when someone leaves yes, but in the long run it’s what is best for us. I pray starting today, if you need to, you will get real with yourself, with God, and eventually with others. One of the best feelings in the world is being loved for who you truly are. People can’t do that if you never let them see that. As always I’m praying for you. ❤️

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