After ministering to a close friend of mine recently, my friend’s eyes were finally opened and this person came to the realization of how many years the enemy had stolen from his life!
Often times we take responsibility for the actions, feelings and strongholds of others. When we take that responsibility (that wasn’t even ours to begin with), we begin to hide behind a façade of stoicism. It becomes commonplace to say everything is OK when everything, in fact, is NOT OK! We learn how to hide our true feelings, our desires and our interests. We even begin to take on the personality of the one (or many) who wronged us!
The foundation of living a happy life is living a life where you are actually happy you are YOU! In other words, do you approve of YOU?
I have had so many people (and I’m no exception) tell me they feel GUILTY for being who they are. For being GUILTY about the breaks (good fortune) they’ve had in their lives. For feeling GUILTY about what they like doing when something else is expected of them. Some people, in fact, feel GUILTY for even breathing and living! It’s usually because of some dogmatic (given to or marked by the forceful expression of strongly held opinions) version given to them by others that they were wrong, or not accepted, or they had abusive parents, or how we felt was wrong, etc., etc.
Whatever the reason, I believe many people feel like they have to fight for the right to be heard or even to just exist! Well, I have good news for YOU!
IT’S OKAY FOR YOU TO BE YOU!
YOU ARE LOVED, ADORED, CHERISHED and ACCEPTED for who you are by God. There is nothing you have to prove. There is nothing you have to “DO” to be accepted. There is nothing you have to become to be enough. There is nothing you have to do to be loved. YOU ARE ENOUGH!
No matter what you were told growing up, no matter what a fundamentalist may have told you, no matter what someone who was living their life based in fear may have led you to believe, there is NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU!
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I was compared to my older brothers and sisters. Here are a few of the statements made to me, followed by my silent response:
Statement made: “Why can’t you do it as good as so and so?”
My silent response: “Because I’m me and like to do things my way.”
Statement made: “So and so doesn’t do it like this. Their way is better.”
My silent response: “If their way is so good, then why didn’t you ask them to do it?“
Statement made: “Why would you even want to do that? Your idea is stupid!”
My silent response: “Gee, I thought my idea was pretty good! If you don’t like it, must be stupid!”
Statement made: “I’m mad at that person so you can’t be nice to them or talk to them anymore. You’re supposed to stick with family.”
My silent response: “They didn’t do anything to me. I think that person is really nice. I don’t believe you. I know how you really are! Why do I have to act that way to them? Now they’ll think I’m just as mean as you are and I’m a nice person.”
Statement made: “Don’t talk to that person. They insulted me.”
My silent response: “They didn’t insult me and I think they’re a nice person. You must have done something to them but you are too prideful to admit it and be wrong!“
Statement made: “You can’t be friends with that person because they are beneath you.”
My silent response: “How can they be beneath me? I actually think they are a better person than I am and I can learn a lot from them!”
And the list goes on and on and on and on and on! EVERY statement made with judgment which made me feel guilty about being ME!
You know, guilt is an interesting topic. I looked up the definition of guilt and what I found was VERY interesting!
One of the definitions of guilt that I found was: “Admission of wrong doing.”
That’s interesting! Admission of wrong doing. The first thing I thought was . . . OK . . . wrong doing, but wrong doing according to WHOM?
Who feels guilty when you feel guilty? Whose rules are you living by? Whose standards are you living by? Whose lifestyle choices are you living by?
All these questions need to be answered to determine why the heck you feel guilty in the first place.
You may find out that you feel guilty because you are living your mother’s life, or your father’s life, or your sister/brother’s life, or your preacher’s life. Very rarely do we feel guilty for being ourselves when we are our authentic selves (that is, unless there is major sin in your life and you need to repent . . . but then, that’s another story)!
We feel wrong because we have adopted a belief system from someone else that tells us how we “should” or “should not” be, instead of listening to the beat of our own drum!
You have PERMISSION TO BE YOU RIGHT NOW! Remember, you are (as my friend Shirley Bridwell so aptly points out) a DESIGNER ORIGINAL!
You can express yourself. You can BE yourself. You can ACKNOWLEDGE yourself.
You don’t need to prove or earn your right to exist. You, your dreams, your passions, your hearts desires are VALID, OK, and ORDAINED by God Himself to be expressed through YOU!
Psalm 139 tells us:
1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 . . . you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
Know that God has a vested interest in YOU! He has your back! Believe it in the deepest part of your heart and soul! Accept this, and then ACT accordingly. No more apologies for being the LOVING version of YOU!
Start enjoying who YOU are and who God made YOU to be!
YOU are enough!