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I was listening to a podcast a couple of days ago and I heard this statement “if you knew the real me, you wouldn’t love me.” It was being shared by a woman who believes that this is truly one of a woman’s greatest fear.
How hard we work every day to hide our true selves. We stifle a true reaction or refuse to share our opinion of something all because we are afraid of what someone may think of us.
Even our personal history is only shared once it goes through our own internal filtering process. Making sure that we only divulge what we want people to know. The stuff that won’t make us look too bad or cause someone to think less of us.
We come up with an image of ourselves that we feel safe to reveal and allow others to see. An image that we think is pretty, acceptable, and likable without showing too much of our self or our weakness. One that is, in our eyes, a lot more appealing, interesting and may even make others a little envious of our lives.
Sad to say, but as a woman, I definitely can identify with this. I have often felt too vulnerable and have even failed to be myself with friends, family, God, and even me. I have tried to ‘dress up’ the truth so that I can be that version that I deem acceptable and appropriate.
Keeping up appearances as ‘the real you’
This was a cycle that I had lived with all my life. Because of feeling like the girl in school who didn’t really fit in, was too shy, overweight or just different, I would look to come up with an entertaining story so that, if for just one minute, I would appear as a witty and funny girl. Someone who was cool and fun to be around.
But, time after time, the voice I hear in my head repeating ‘if they knew the real you, they would not like you at all‘ would creep up and I would try all over again to become that likable girl.
This type of thinking can have you living in fear, keep you from deep friendships, and have you living a very shallow life. Sadly, this is how I lived most of my life until God stepped in.
God’s Word tells us who we really are
He first addressed this type of thinking I had with a scripture passage that I had heard so many times. I heard it, read it, but never really listened to it.
Matthew Chapter 3
16 After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened (for him), and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove (and) coming upon him.
17 And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
As we are told from the time we are able to understand, even before, is that when we receive baptism, we are now part of God’s family. We are His beloved sons and daughters. And we have a specific and God-ordained purpose for our little, seemingly hidden, life.
And in that passage, Jesus is being baptized and it is then revealed that He is the Beloved Son. Once he knew who he was, he was led out to begin his journey to fulfill His purpose.
This happens to us. Once we are baptized, the knowledge of who we are is slowly, carefully and lovingly planted in our hearts. Then, if we truly believe and surrender, we are led where we are meant to go.
At baptism, I became a daughter of God. It wasn’t until I consciously recognized and believed this that I could truly feel loved in any real way. God loved me, knew me & had a specific reason for creating me.
This was the beginning of my journey to loving and accepting the real me.
The Real You ~ The Next Healing Step
I have spoken about my conversion to the Catholic Church before. And in my conversion, God opened my life to many gifts.
One such gift was the gift of Confession or Reconciliation. It was here in this sacrament of Confession that Jesus started to free me of this hidden question that I had struggled with for so long.
Did Jesus really know me?
Of course, he did and does – He’s God. But, how could I really know? As a human being, that God obviously made, how could I know in my heart and mind that he knew the ‘not so good’ me, the secret me, and loved me still?
Yes, God had revealed His love for me through daily family life, obstacles I was able to overcome, and through supernatural experiences. But, the revelation of his really knowing me came through a powerful Confession experience.
In Confession, you share with Jesus your sins, You come face to face with a priest, In persona Christi, in the person of Christ. Here you are able to see the priest, speak your sins and hear your voice confessing them.
I cannot even effectively describe how very holy and intimate this experience is. Through tears, hearing your own words revealing the deep things you are not proud of, and how you have hurt your relationship with God and others is very humbling. Then, the response from the priest that your sins are forgiven is just something everyone needs to experience.
This ability to hear my soft, shaky voice hesitantly speak my sins helped give me head knowledge that God must truly know me. He just heard, from my own mouth, the deepest part of my sinfulness and still forgave and loved me regardless. This was an experience like none I had ever had before. It was like a loving embrace from God himself.
When It Comes Together
After this revelation of who I truly was and that He did know everything about me, it wasn’t long before I realized that I had been allowing myself to be led and manipulated by a lie. A lie that satan himself tricks everyone with.
If I am a beloved daughter created by God himself, then I am good. The real me is the ‘good’ in me. What God creates is good. Very good! This is simply and clearly the Truth.
When we are worried about someone finding our who we are or seeing the real us, we are thinking about all the wrong we do or have done, the bad habits we have, the things we have failed at and want to keep hidden.
The problem is, that is not the real us. The real us is good. All God has created is good and he is pleased with it. He loves us. He loves our personality, our quirkiness, our weakness and he especially loves it when we call on him to help us. Isn’t that awesome?
God knows us. He knows the real you. Our challenge is to come to that very realization that we are created and we are good. The bad in us is not the real us. The bad in us is the fallen nature that we need to on to tame, correct and ask forgiveness for.
When this truth was revealed to me, I was no longer afraid of someone seeing or knowing the real me. The real me is good, weird sometimes, very quirky, and the real me is truly loved.
With the deep knowledge and realization, that the God who made the universe, who created everything in it and still thought it necessary to create you and me, we can’t help but see our lives differently from a different perspective.
The one who really knows us, the one whom we hurt the deepest, loves us the most and wants us to be known by others.