When someone asks who you are, how do you respond? Do you tell them your business title, or what you do for a living? Or maybe you go into a list of interests that you have and things that you like to do. It’s a question that leaves room for reflection, but demands an answer if we are ever going to be able to know the answer and then say who we are.
Here is what I know about myself. I am a woman, a writer, an artist, a singer, and a mother, among the many selections of hats available for me to put on in any given day. I know what it is to be abused, rejected, abandoned, alone, depressed, angry, hostile, hopeless, and afraid. I also know that if I wouldn’t have ever been proactive in finding the answer to the question, that I might still be all of those things, and even have the reasons to justify remaining like that.
In order to face yourself and answer that mysterious question, you need to look within your heart to find the things about you that have been wrong. Things like wrong choices, wrong reactions, wrong thinking, and wrong expectations are all a part of the process to discovering who you are because until you can answer these things with honesty to yourself and realize where you have been wrong, you will never be able to truly find the answer you are looking for.
Quite simply, I believe that we each see ourselves according to the attributes that we have, and if asked about those certain attributes, we can go on to describe each of them with passion. We all tend to be proud of what we can do, or with what we have accomplished within our lives. I believe we develop our attributes within the various seasons that we encounter in our lives. Who I was as a child will have changed when I become an adult, and who I was as a single person will dramatically change when I get married. In the process though, we are still developing and cultivating new attributes that work to define who we are. But the underlying fact is that we are who we are no matter what season of our lives we are in. The question is do we know it or not?
As we learn and grow, learn to trust, love, and hold fast to loyalty, it is my belief that the change that happens from the inside out is indescribable. It is in those changes that we are allowed to see through our hearts eyes, and begin to define the answer to that question Who am I?
At some point within our lives, we will have the opportunity to see into the true depths of our heart and look at who we really are on the inside. Laying aside all of the hats, titles, positions, blame, past and mistakes, we will have no choice but to face ourselves head on if we ever want to discover who we are! We may be able to introduce ourselves in the pride and extravagance of who we have convinced ourselves that we are, but deep within us there is a certain nagging of the remnants of what lies buried alive within the inner depths of our soul.
Maybe it is the past murmuring of someone telling us that we will never be good enough, or making cracks at our weight, color, or abilities. It could be something as simple as what it did to us not to be given the hugs and the kisses as a child that torment our perceptions as an adult. All the while we still strive to escape those words and visions. Maybe someone abused you, or cheated on you and now you struggle to find your identity within that devastating loss. Do you still strive to be all that you have dreamed of since you were little, or do you accept a facade in the name of reality? Do you still believe, or are you guarded on every side of your heart determined that you will never be hurt like that again?
Tucked away inside of our hearts cry, is still that voice within us announcing who we really are, with the innocence of that child likeness that still believes that anything is possible, and is not guarded by the pains that have mounted against our hearts for nearly as long as we can remember. Can you hear it? That breathtaking sound of what we would hear if we were free to say who we really are! That still small voice deep within us crying out for someone to know and understand who we are without having to put on a hat for each and every circumstance we encounter throughout our lives. Are you desperate to know who you are even if nobody else ever believed in you?
The answer to this question is only found within one word. That word is Faith! See I can’t possibly tell you who I am if I don’t believe or have faith, or everything I tell you about myself will be based on a past mentality that is jaded, clouded and unable to see from the “now” vantage point. I probably won’t ever see who I am if I am still caught up in needing to be validated by everybody else’s opinion. Who I am should always be relayed in faith. You must believe and have the understanding that you were created for such a time as this, and though sometimes we think that we are not where we would like to be, thank God that we are not where we used to be!
There is so much more within me that is longing to flow out. Longing to discover each and every last talent, ability, and gift that the Lord has generously instilled within each of us! We may all be different from each other, and all have been given different abilities and talents, but the one way that we are all the same is that we all have a dream, and we all have the ability to believe and have faith! Whether we choose to embrace our faith and dreams is entirely up to us. There is nobody that we can blame for why we are where we are, and there is no way that we can stand to say that another person is at fault for our unbelief.
We each were blessed with the ability to see through the eyes of faith! God said so. If you think back, we did it as little children, and somewhere along the way our vision became clouded. It is only possible to know the answer to the question when you choose to have faith and believe, for it is only in faith that you can see yourself from a clear perspective and not with the tainted view from the past that your natural eyes look to see. If you want to see the negative, it will always be there to see, but if you want to see the good in things through the eyes of faith then you will have to do that on purpose or the chances that it will happen at all are slim to none. When you don’t remain in faith you can only see the remnants of the past and the distortions that try to make you believe that you don’t know who you are!
Whether we are male or female, black or white, abused or adored, liked or disliked, will we trust enough in our heart to reach into those depths that have been hidden for what seem to be an eternity, and see who we are in this moment, at this time, and be honest with ourselves about who we really are? It may seem painful to look inside of your heart and search for who you are, but I would rather wade through the pain to get beyond the walls of my heart that have worked to imprison me for so long, than to stay in my comfort zone and never really know who I am!
I personally have determined to live free and to know beyond a shadow of a doubt who God created me to be when he put me on this earth. I don’t want to go through my life knowing inside that there was more for me to learn, do, accomplish, and teach, but never really holding a fierce determination to be concise about that all encompassing question. Who Am I?
If I haven’t taken the time to get to know who is in the very innermost parts of my heart and soul, then how will any label or title that I give to someone about myself ever do my introduction justice? There is a confidence that exudes itself from the inner parts of our heart when we know who we are! There is nothing, and no one who can take that away from you no matter what situation you are in, regardless of your place in life, or lack of accomplishments, once you have a true understanding of who you are!
Until you know who you are you will not develop and insist upon proper boundaries in your life that will ultimately determine your failures or successes. Likewise, you will not be able to value yourself or make sound choices and decisions until you yourself know who you are deep within. It is only then, after you have learned who you really are that you will begin to see through the eyes of wisdom and discernment. Nothing will stand in the way of your faith and belief, and you will go forward with the bold determination that you will never stop reaching for your dreams.
You will determine that even if it takes you until you take your last breath, you will keep growing and moving forward never to retreat, be stagnate, depressed, or faithless again.
Having said that, I can tell you with absolute certainty that if you think you know who you are already, but deep down you might still be unclear and not know for sure, that if you will do the things that I mentioned in the previous paragraph, and will decide never to settle for less than your dream…you will find who you are and what you are made of! You can’t make a decision like that and remain the same as you are now for very long. You will either change and become the person that God designed you to be, or you will give up and go back to a lifestyle of habit and comfortability.
I challenge you to face yourself and everything that you are. That means even facing the things that you don’t share with anyone else, or the things that only you and God know to be true. Let all that is broken and hidden deep within your soul be brought to the light in God’s love, and I promise that if you only just believe, you will find the answer to the question was always right there for you to see. You just needed to look in the right place. Let your heart be your guide, and never settle for anything other than the truth. Then you will be able to say with absolute certainty, “This is who I am”!