I’m still reading the book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. I just finished reading a chapter titled, “Know Yourself That You May Know God-Becoming Your Authentic Self.” I shared a few weeks ago about my anxiety over this book, but I am loving it and learning some interesting things.
The author Peter Scazzero says,
The vast majority of us go to our graves without knowing who we are. We unconsciously live someone else’s life or at least someone else’s expectations for us. This does violence to ourselves, our relationship with God, and ultimately to others.
The word ‘violence’ sounds harsh, but if that’s the case, I look forward to getting to know my true self.
He writes mostly about recognizing feelings. He says we can’t respond thoughtfully to our own feelings if we don’t know what they are and “when we deny our pain, losses, and feelings year after year, we become less and less human. We transform slowly into empty shells with smiley faces painted on them.”
In my early thirties, a counselor told me I needed to step into my pain. I couldn’t understand what she meant by that. I realize now it’s because it was buried down deep. At the time, I didn’t even recognize my battle with depression. It took time to discover, and by the grace of God, I made it through some dark times.
Scazzero says our lack of self-knowledge is the greatest obstacle in knowing God and so we end up wearing a mask. It’s not always easy to face my feelings, especially anger and sadness, but the more I do, the easier it gets. It helps so that I can bring it to God. He is the one who gets me through.
The book also breaks down the areas in our lives we lose our identity.
- Performance-I am what I do.
- Possessions-I am what I have.
- Popularity-I am what others think.
I struggle with #3 the most and #1 and sometimes #2. I got work to do. How about you?
Where do you lose your true self the most?
Living your God-given life involves remaining faithful to your true self.
This is Day 24 of a 31-day series on writing naked. You can find the series in its entirety HERE.
This does not involve the removal of actual clothing. So please! keep them on!