Recently, I have been praying a lot about how God created each person (myself included) to be completely unique – unlike any other. We have a particular way of loving Him that no one else does, and He loves us in a particular way that is unique to us. We can be our most authentic, that is our truest, selves when we know and own who God created us to be and share that true self with both Him and others. To me, it seems that life is easier when you are authentic. You are comfortable in your own skin and you don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not – you’re just you.
There are so many walls and disguises we can hide behind, it takes time and practice to get to know yourself and step into living in authenticity. Sometimes in the quest for authenticity, you will find things about yourself that you don’t like. That’s okay and normal. As St. Augustine once said, “God created you without you, but He will not save you without you.” The Lord is allowing you to see these places where you’ve gotten off track so you can work with Him in the process of your personal conversion, and become that unique ‘you’ He created. It is a daily battle, but rest in the knowledge the Lord is fighting alongside you and for you in the struggle for authenticity, not against you.
Once you come to a deeper knowledge and acceptance of the beautiful ‘you’ God created, there are still things that can get in the way of authenticity. A big roadblock to authenticity is fear. It is so easy to get caught in thoughts of “If I said what I really think or acted how I really feel, then what will she think of me? I might be rejected or thought less of or left out or…etc.” The list can be endless. But what if being authentic and expressing the real truth could lead to something better? Maybe a deeper relationship, healing of old wounds, or a shared understanding where there once was conflict. I’m not saying it’s not scary, but I have found that, more often than not, there is good on the other side of showing up as you are in authenticity.
By Sister Joseph Francesca, O.C.D.
Image credit: Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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