Do you have that small niggling feeling down in your chest?
You know, the feeling of that small voice trying to push its way to the top? The one that you have forcibly quieted or even allowed others to quiet? It’s muted because you have shoved it so far down that it feels like a faint dream of years-gone-by. The odd time you do think about it, it kind of just surfaces to the top like a small air bubble that is gone as soon as it arrived.
I think that we have all, at one point in our lives, felt this way. Like we are only being partly ourselves, showing bits and pieces when permissible. We hide the rest of ourselves away in some dark corner of our being and like an old box of forgotten treasure we leave it to get dusty. Perhaps this is your life right now; perhaps you know it and perhaps you don’t.
Here’s what I can tell you: that was me most of my recent years (at times it still is), and while part of me knew I wasn’t being the me I was created to be, there was a much larger part of me that was in committed denial.
You may be wondering how this fits into this series Missing Piece(s)? Because this series is intended to help you to identify the pieces that you are missing in your life. The pieces that will help you with the process of honing in on your passions, giftings, and talents. And in order to that we need to be able to access our whole selves, not just the parts that we feel confident people will accept. So now that we have taken the time to rest and reflect (see last week’s post), we now have the time and awareness to dig a little deeper.
We need to be able to access our whole selves, but most of us are hiding parts of ourselves away. There are hundreds of differing reasons as to why someone shoves away a part of themselves, then locks it up and throws away the key. However, in my experience, more often than not the reason is rejection, and to defend ourselves from the pain of rejection we hide the part of us that was snubbed. We begin nipping and tucking our personality to appear more pleasing to others so that we may avoid scrutiny. Sometimes we even add certain characteristics that are not actually “us”, but people seem to really like it so we just go with it.
When we nip and tuck we are cutting off pieces of ourselves that make us whole and unique. We cannot function at our best without our whole self in working condition. Not only that but we cannot make an impact in a powerful “us” way if we are trying on different personality traits like clothes. Who cares if not everyone likes you. You were not created to walk to earth solely for the purpose of gaining the approval of everyone. You were created to be exactly who you are, even if that’s scary.
The parts of us that have been hurt or rejected are important parts of us, even if their purpose is just for us to learn something. I truly do believe that these parts that we so desperately want to keep tucked away are, if we allow them to be, our greatest strengths most times. The hurt, rejected, and shamed parts of us help us not only see the world differently, but they also help us empathize, relate, and care about the world around us in unique and important ways that others might not ever be able to.
Sometimes the things that we have tucked away are because of big or little things, either way we need to identify them and bring them back up. Don’t underestimate the importance of the big or the small things you have tucked away.
For me I ended up tucking a lot of things away because of a wide range of things, from the more normal things like peers making fun of me to break-ups, to some harder more deep-wounding things. Some things I even tucked away because at times I have had a “if I’m not the best at it, why even try?” mentality.
Once we have identified what we have tucked away or how we have adopted traits that aren’t really us, then we can start figuring out how we start to access these tucked away things. We can start to look at how we remove the facades we have allowed ourselves to adopt.
How do we access our authentic-self?
Well, unfortunately there is no one size fits all. We are all unique people with unique personalities and situations, so we all need unique ways of decluttering and healing into our healthy selves.
One thing that is going to be true though, is that the process is going to be very uncomfortable. It is not going to be easy breaking out of the mold that you have settled into! It’s going to be a lot of breaking old habits and forming new ones, and that means you are going to have to put yourself out there!
Try the new, hard, scary things.
Do that thing that you have wanted to do for SO long, but have always found an excuse not to do.
Practical tip: say yes! Last week I touched on the importance of saying no. Going hand in hand with that it is equally important to learn when to say yes, confusing right?
It’s important to just go for it sometimes. Stop overthinking it. Stop thinking of all the ways it could go wrong. Stop convincing yourself that it would be a silly waste of time.
Say yes, do it.
Pray, get trusted council, and go for it.
I think that we can put too much pressure on ourselves to get it right immediately and only try things we are positive we will excel at. However, when we try new things and expose ourselves to new skillsets and experiences, we can have a better understanding on what we are passionate for, what we like, what our talents are, and who we are.
Let’s stop ignoring that small niggling feeling, I have a hunch that it will lead to a breakthrough. And hopefully, in the process of breaking out of the box you will not only discover your passions, talents, giftings, and authentic-self; but you will also learn how to best use them.
God made ALL of you. He made the little quirks and all the “weird” things that make you so unique. Embrace them and allow Him to guide you through the process of honing in on yourself and your passions and talents, and let Him guide you in how you use them.
Bible verses for thought:
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13
P.S. I don’t think there will be a blog next week as it is Easter (TBD).
Stay tuned for part 3.