Authenticity In Real Life

Armed with some clarity on the who I am (child of God and follower of Jesus Christ), where I come from (created by God), and finally why I am here (nurture and help others), it becomes a little easier to sort through the visual mess in order to find things that are truly me. I no longer feel the need to create a persona, personal style or identity because that was given to me upon conception – when God formed me in my mother’s womb. Oh, certainly life experiences and changing times will influence some of my taste and activities; who I am never changes. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, and as His creation, so am I.

I’m just an old soul in a modern body.

It is impossible to look at oneself and truly understand how we are viewed by the world. I certainly have one perception of myself and find that it in no way matches up with what others see.

One of the things I have come to learn, is that I am an old soul. From a very young age I felt more comfortable with adults – much older adults – than I did with most kids my age. My circle of friends, while not large, was very close. There were five of us: a Cheryl with a C, Sheryl with an S, 2 Ednas and 1 Kay. Junior high was our time. Four of the five were in band together and Kay became the politician. She was a successful student council member, possibly president, I can’t remember. We all still live in Texas, and how fun would it be to have a junior high school reunion? But, of course, I digress. Back to my old soul.

I have fond memories of junior high school. I don’t remember caring or agonizing over what other kids thought of me. I probably did, but I don’t recall worrying about looking or acting like someone else. I wanted to be liked and accepted, but I didn’t try to change to fit in. At the end of sixth grade, as we all prepared for the big world of junior high, we got to pick electives. Without hesitation, I chose band. The shape of my mouth determined that I would play the flute. My mom told me she didn’t mind paying for the flute but I had to follow through and play it. And play it I did. For the first time I discovered the rewards of devoting myself to an activity to the point of excellence. For three years I was first or second chair flute in the band, and also did quite well in local junior high flute competitions.

I had my tribe – one Edna also played the flute, the other played saxophone and Cheryl played the oboe and the bassoon. To this day the bassoon is one of my favorite woodwind instruments. The band was also where I met my first boyfriend.

Add band to the fact that I had fabulous hair, wasn’t skinny nor fat, was in the Junior Honor Society – I had the world by the tail. I was Alice (Being Alice).

Signs? What signs? Did I miss a sign?

So how did I go from junior high rock star to confused adult? Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around – confused teenager then confident adult? Oh yeah, I don’t do anything like everyone else. Or do I?

I have come to learn that no one has everything figured out; some folks are better at faking it and still others are blessed with figuring some of it out early in life. We are all on individual paths for our unique purpose. In all honesty I never thought very deeply about all of this cosmic stuff for most of my life. But when I did…Katy, bar the door! My propensity for overthinking escaped like fiery breath from a dragon’s mouth.

Thanks to the book series God Winks, I became like a blind hog in a meat market. Everything around me was a God wink. I was chasing so many things that I thought I was supposed to do. Notice all the “I“s in the previous sentence. That’s a sure indicator of a problem. At this time I was living in a “kink in the hose” phase so there wasn’t a lot of God flowing my direction. I was chasing after things that I thought were messages from God. News alert – you won’t recognize God’s subtle messages unless you are close enough to Him to really see and hear. The big whack upside the head kind of messages are the ones generally reserved for when we are really obstinate.

I took a wrong turn at Albuquerque.

Quoting from one of my favorite characters in the world, Bugs Bunny, I thought I had taken a wrong turn in what I was doing. Seems doing was not the problem. That is not where I took the wrong turn.

I remained dry. I had allowed the conduit to my purpose and power to be virtually cut off.

I can look back in hindsight and see that even during the dry periods God used my purpose to accomplish His plans. I didn’t realize He was doing it. I couldn’t see it because I was cut off; therefore, I did not reap any of the blessings of being lined up with God’s purpose, but it didn’t stop Him from working through me.

Isolated from my power source I was on my own. I felt lost, and that is the most frightening place of all. In a world that is filled with so much that is wrong, sick, and just pure evil, I had let go of my life line.

Have you ever felt that alone? It is terrifying, and so very lonely. The good news is that God is not like people. He will not chastise you for not doing something sooner, he is just happy you came to Him at all. That is the unconditional love of the One who created you.

The scenic route is the only way to go.

I am finally discovering that “the who” I am is still the same person. I’m still that nurturing grandma with a crochet hook in her hand. And though I have beat myself up for the wrong turns I thought I had made in life, I now see that I was on God’s scenic highway. No matter the path, God used my “who” to care and help others.

Have you discovered your “who” yet? Don’t stress about it, but pay attention. Be mindful of the things that move you in ways you are unable to explain. Write them down. Keep track of the things and people you are drawn to. Write it down.Spend time in quiet meditation. Learn what the voices of negativity and fear sound like in your head. Once you know them you can work on eliminating them and replacing them with the truth.

Above all unkink that hose to let God’s love and guidance pour in. Never known God like that? It really isn’t hard. He is waiting. Just ask Him. Then look around your life for the believer He has placed in your midst to help you on your journey.

It is a process, and one I don’t think we are supposed to finish on earth. So, go easy on yourself and enjoy the view.

Next week I am going to share my journey towards authenticity as it relates to social media, home, dress, and interpersonal relationships. It will be a fun week. But until tomorrow….

Keep looking up, embrace today, and go have some fun!

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