I’m not sure what the turning point was–or even if there was a turning point. It may have just been a gradual adjustment, a growing into rather than a “Ta Da!” moment of becoming.
Satisfaction with myself eluded me for most of my life. I was a master comparer. In Elementary school the comparison of my athletic abilities to the more agile, swift, and fit began. Middle school left me fixated on my nose and when I might possibly be able to change it. Along the way to whatever form of maturity I now live, longing to have legs like my mom or hair like a friend or confidence in my musical abilities like my friends or a metabolism that didn’t resemble a rock’s dogged me.
It wasn’t that I was ignorant of truth. I’d seen the plaques–“God don’t make no junk” and “Please Be Patient. God isn’t finished with me yet.” I even believed them. Well, mostly.
I’m not sure if it’s being female and, therefore, a natural at comparing myself to others. I’m not sure if it was being an American in the late 20th century where self-improvement is part of the air. I’m not sure if it’s just being a dirty, rotten sinner saved by grace. Comparisons and striving (at least emotionally) to be other than I was was a normal part of life.
Somewhere along the line it changed. I accepted my oh-so-slow metabolism. I decided I wouldn’t recognize myself (and wondered who I would be to everyone else) if my nose no longer looked like my nose. I embraced the fact that I’ll be riddled with nervousness if I have to play my flute in public. I know I’ll never win prizes for athleticism.
I’ve also come to understand and enjoy that I need time to myself. I need to write. I’m good at what I do more often than I’m not. Loving people well doesn’t place restrictions on clothing sizes, math skills or anything else that I can obsess over.
More than any of that, I’m in the process of accepting truth. Truth that God (the one who created me AND everything anyone can discover in the natural world) calls me his own. He chooses me. Before he created the earth’s foundations, he chose me. He didn’t choose some idealized version of me. He chose me, the flawed version.
There’s freedom in that truth. Freedom to not fight what is. Freedom to be a steward of what I have and who I am and not squander those while trying to be someone else. Are there places I’d like to see myself change and grow? Of course. However, they don’t control me; I choose to act or not act on them.
Believing truth allows me to accept others with their imperfections and struggles. The same truth that applies to me applies to you. It applies to everyone we meet.
Because of TRUTH, I can be who I was created to be. I can be just me.
How have you become more yourself as you’ve walked into maturity?
She’s back! I’m back to Jamming on Thursdays with Bonnie over at Faith Barista. If you’re a blogger, consider joining the jam next week and adding your own riff on the topic she brews up. If you’re a reader, see what others had to say.