How real do you allow yourself to be with, well, yourself? How well do you know yourself?
Too often we are afraid of what we’ll find when we truly get to know ourselves. We’re afraid of the weakness and fear, the doubt and worry, the anger and hurt. So we hide it behind a mask which we display to everyone else. But behind that mask, we often have a deeper mask that even we can’t see behind.
Taking the time to really sit with ourselves, to journal about our feelings, to talk with someone else about the reality of our reality, takes more courage than most of us have. And so we decide that it is not just hard, but bad to truly delve our own depths. We call it “naval gazing” or label it as too New Age. And then we sit content with learning about the bible, and working on committees at church, and serving others all the while oblivious to our own internal workings.
It has always interested me that at the same time as we proclaim loudly that we are “filled with the Holy Spirit”, that we have “Jesus in our hearts” and that God lives within us, most of us pray to a God who is “out there”. Because if God lives within us, the the journey to God must involved a journey inward. We can’t get to God in a truly authentic manner without acknowledging all that is going on inside of us. And that’s how God designed it!
God isn’t madly in love with the mask we portray to others. He isn’t head-over-heals in love with the me I pretend to be, even to myself. God loves the real you. God knows the real you, even better than you do. And God wants us to bring the real us into our relationship with Him.
This Lent, what if you spend 15 minutes each day journaling about your emotions, truly allowing your own inner mask down for a few minutes and looking with courage and faith at the True You inside. This is the You that God loves, and this is the You that God wants to redeem, grow, and help to flourish.