Much of my healing journey has been about acknowledging my emotions instead of shoving them ever deeper into my subconscious mind. This has been the most difficult aspect of my healing by far. To face my emotions is to face the naked truth of myself. It is to strip away the facades that I have created in order to be presentable to others. It is the lie of the deceiver that starts very young: you have to change who you are in order to be loved. In fact, God loves me and sees me as I truly am and He is the only one I should be concerned with pleasing.
I have always been a pleaser: the good little girl who played quietly and stayed out of the way of adults, or the entertaining story teller when others wanted to be entertained, the quintessential teacher’s pet, the one who got along with anyone and everyone, the peace-keeper. It is true that is the personality that God gave me, but it is also true that He didn’t intend it to keep me from living out His Holy will; an excuse from becoming the woman He created me to be. I have always searched for outside affirmation for my words and actions. The slightest judgment or criticism set me awhirl of distress and my joy was quickly lost. As I started to recognize the gifts within myself to intuitively make decisions, I recognized that my intuitions were “right”, while others’ opinions of what decision should be made were often “wrong.” At first, this new experience of recognizing truth within myself was manifested as a feeling of pride–my ego–saying, “See, I was right!” I quickly realized that this satisfaction was misplaced; that the “right” I recognized was God’s truth manifested within me.
So much of our human disagreements and division are grounded in this very same experience of the human ego vs. Truth. Because we feel so strongly about this issue or that one, we come to trust that instinct within us that we must be right. The error comes about when we do not center our truth or filter it through God, through the Holy Spirit. We either distrust the Holy Spirit whispering within us and search for human affirmation, or we trust our own ego so much that we overpower and block the Holy Spirit from directing us. To find love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (the fruits of the Holy Spirit) we must be willing to put our own ego aside AND listen intently for the whispers of direction.
I know that I am not saying anything new. I have heard it all before many, many times myself. But, for some reason my journey to fully grasp this concept has taken me 46 years. It is always simple, but rarely easy. May the Holy Spirit dwell within each of us, may we let our egos submit to His Holiness, and may we have the grace and courage to follow where He leads us.
Enjoy one of my favorite new songs. “…sometimes I gotta stop and remember that you’re God and I am not…”