I wrote this in response to someone asking me my take on how a person “finds oneself.”
In my personal experience and from observing the lives of close family and friends around me there is an echo that every human being is chasing their whole lives…ever seeking to find the source of that echo. They hear the echo all over the place, bouncing off rocks, people, experiences, hinted at in songs, poetry, folk legends, ancient transcripts, in the mountains, valleys and jungles. They chase the haunting sounds and whispers of truth, each time arriving at a new location thinking that THIS rock must be the one where it came from… but it is just another shadow, another echo of the original source. Some people come to conclude that the great truth they were missing all along was that the echo came from them and they are the original source of the beautiful mystery. (How terribly disappointing!)
My journey in finding my true identity has had everything to do with realizing that I am not the source of the beautiful echo. There is a greater source that is as mysterious as He is eternal, more complete and perfect and wholesome and full of Love than I could ever have dreamed. I could spend my whole life chasing the echos all the while denying that there is even any one true source, and insisting that every person alive is the source. Yet if I am completely honest with myself, I cannot deny that the beautiful echo I keep hearing has a distinct identity behind it, a very original and personal tone…. it simply cannot be anyone and everyone. It has to be a person. The source of this echo wants me to follow the clues in the songs to the Originator, the Author.
My identity is only found in Him. As a human being, left to my own devices and ways, I am as fickle and changing as anyone. I am self-serving, self-focussed, independent, isolated, prideful, fearful, uncertain, and my moral code would change as circumstances and my feelings demanded. I only started to learn who I really was when I embarked on a journey of relationship with the Source of all the beautiful echos of eternity that are whispering around us constantly…which we sometimes tune into if we are listening and seeking. Who I am is found in the Source of all life and His Spirit is in me… the fruit of that is a new identity which consists of selflessness, a humble heart, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, long-suffering, and self control.
Here is the beauty of it. If I am ever struggling with who I am I always have these consistent, solid, unchanging truths to return to. I no longer have to be like a roller coaster going up and down or a boat without an anchor tossed throughout the sea by the wind and waves. A boat cannot be anchored to itself, or it will continue to be tossed about by the storms (of life) without mercy. Only when the boat concedes to the existence of something bigger than itself (the land at the bottom of the sea) and chooses to drop it’s anchor and secure itself to that land… only then will it be secure, unmoving and at peace.
In conclusion, being true to myself actually starts with me asking the Source of that echo and all life “who do you say that I am?” … and then letting that truth sink deep into my spirit and soul. It means renouncing all the lies of who the world might say that I am (or have to be) or all the other voices throwing in their opinions and words that bring death and disillusion. It is not about finding all the answers within myself. I am so finite and limited in my knowledge and experiences. It is a continual process of throwing my hands up in surrender, laying down my pride, and admitting that I actually don’t have all the answers…. but I am in relationship with the One who does and my contentment with life directly correlates with how much I am trusting Him as I follow Him.
I am not in control and I am totally at peace with that. We live in a world full of wonder and beautiful mysteries and truths to be discovered and my goal is to never lose the wonder and faith that children have before they become tainted by life and letdowns. There is a very sweet age of childhood before children learn what it is to be embarrassed or self-conscious. They are just themselves and they make no apologies for their authenticity. That is my goal and desire. To live authentically, trusting and full of hope, believing the best in people and walking out the destiny I have been given that is so much bigger than just one person, so much bigger than me. It’s not about me. That’s actually a huge relief. It takes the pressure off of feeling the need to perform or prove myself. It is all about the Source of that beautiful echo, and my purpose lies in letting my life, words, and actions point others to the Source of the beautiful echo that haunts and beckons every soul every to walk the earth.
I found myself when I found Him.