You have just come across the most enchanting child.
This child is innocent, playful, curious and filled with joy. You are invited to join this child for a wondrous journey of exploration.
You clasp hands, feeling honored that this pure and bright little person trusts you and wants your companionship.
As you walk through a tall and misty forest you notice sounds and smells that you have forgotten to appreciate. The breeze is gently rustling through branches, birds are cavorting overhead and the earth smells fresh and musky at the same time. You breathe deeply. You are completely present and in the moment. Calm washes over you.
The child bends down and grabs a fallen feather, bright blue, glossy black and white. A small hand pulls you down to share this new found treasure. Your eyes meet.
Your gaze locks with this precious little one and you see your own eyes staring back at you.
This. Can’t. Be. You.
But it is.
Hot tears gather in your eyes. Your throat gets tight making it hard to swallow past the lump. Your chest painfully constricts. A tear escapes.
When did everything change? When did this innocence leave? When did you decide to put on masks to fit in? When did you squelch your dreams to meet other’s expectations? When did you adopt hard coping mechanisms to self protect?
When did you lose the Joyous Freedom of being the True You?
Do you know?
Somewhere along the path of life it seems we decide that there is a better way to be ourselves. Or circumstances dictate we retreat. We decide the True Me needs to hide, be protected, change, disappear, be quiet/louder/better… etc. But what if this is a Lie?
What if it is the True You that is the answer you have been longing for?
God only made one You.
One in 7.5 billion people.
This expression of YOU is unique and glorious because it is YOU!
So much of what we are called to do in our life time comes out of knowing our True self. Everyone seems to want to know their purpose. Everyone deeply wants to know they are okay.
“When you get your, ‘Who am I?’, question right, all of your, ‘What should I do?’ questions tend to take care of themselves.” -Richard Rohr, Falling Upward
When you ask the question, “Who am I?”, what is your answer?
Do you hear the voices of others, describing what you do in their lives? Do you hear tapes from your past, labeling you? Does your inner critic trump the loving voice of your spirit or of God?
Do you know what you truly like? Do you know what your love languages are? Do you know what you are good at? Do you know what your life’s purpose is? Do you know why your relationships work or don’t work? Do you know how others perceive you? Are you comfortable with yourself? Do you know what your strengths are? Do you know what your personality types are? Do you know if you are introverted or extroverted? Do you know your coping mechanisms? Do you know your conflict resolution style? Do you know how incredibly amazing YOU are?
If no one has ever encouraged you to go on this adventure, let me!
That cherished child we visited has gifts and talents and desires that are crying out to be set free and shared.
What if we take this on as an assignment?
There are SO many places to start. Taking the time for self exploration may be one of the most important things we ever do, whether alone; reading, praying, journaling or in in groups; intensives, retreats, counseling.
There are a load of free on line assessments to get you started. Some of my favorites are:
- Love Languages
- The 4 Tendencies
Look at the results. Buy the books. Sit with them. Journal about them. Do the assessments with a trusted friend. Pray about them. Ask your safe loved ones how they experience you. Be open to the answers you hear and the answers y0u discover.
Some clues for me that something is important for my soul include: physical responses like deeper breathing, shoulders relaxing or heart beating faster, sweaty palms. Sometimes, colors or words or smells stand out in a unique way. Other times a theme will start recurring in my life (I will see it everywhere!), like a certain phrase or Bible verse.
Pay attention Dear Heart, God is always talking to us – through our bodies, through nature, through our experiences and through others.
This getting to the True You is a lifetime process. There are seasons and situations that cause us to dig deeper and others where we are more reflective or engaged in different areas of our life. They are both to be expected and embraced.
Just don’t ever quit becoming the TRUE YOU.
Photo Credit: danielle-cohen.com