Discovering Your True Self – Chapter 1

Discovering Your True Self: A Guide for the Journey

Chapter 1
The True Self

The goal of our journey is to discover and live out of our true self.
    Who or what is our true self? Our true self is who God created us to be when God knit us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13—14). It is who God originally fashioned us to be. It is who we are as God’s handiwork, as God’s creation.
    Our true self is our unique self. It is who we are that no one else can be. It consists of our gifts and abilities along with our interests and passions. It includes dimensions of our personality but it is larger than our personality. It includes our strengths and our so-called weaknesses. The true self is tied to the internal aspects of our lives, the realm of attitudes and spirit, principles and truth. It is who we are deep inside. It is our authentic self.
    Our true self never had the opportunity to develop, much less flourish. It was imprisoned in a dungeon by anxiety (as we will see in PART ONE). It was hidden away, far from the sight of others, to protect it from the assault of shame. It was displaced by a constructed, ego-based self that conformed to what others said we should be if we wanted to be accepted and loved. This constructed, ego-based self is a false self or pseudo-self. It is a pretend self.
    Thus, the true self has to be discovered and reclaimed. The person God created us to be when we were knit together in our mother’s womb has to be released from the dungeon in which is it imprisoned. It has to be set free from the anxiety and shame that keep it locked away. 
    Our true self is set free to emerge from its hiding place as we grow emotionally-relationally-spiritually. It blossoms as the soul, the Divine Spark implanted in each of us, is awakened and develops. It is set free as we learn to live beyond the unconscious, sabotaging power of anxiety and fear.
    As the true self develops, we live out of an internal sense of personal power and value. We are self-aware and self-responsible. We know how to connect authentically with others and, thus, do not engage in transactional, merit-based relationships. Comparing and competing are no longer a part of our makeup. We know how to use personal power to be safe. We surrender any effort to control others while trusting God with those things over which we have no control.
    As we grow into and live out of our true self, we learn to live with joy and peace and delight. We use power, first, to manage ourselves and, then, on behalf of others. Living out of the true self, we use our gifts and abilities to make a difference in the lives of others. We live with egoless self-confidence, relating out of a spirit of confident humility. We are confident in who we are and what we have to offer, yet humble as we recognize all we are and have to offer is the result of God’s work in our life (that is, not our achievement through self-effort and will power). We experience a deep sense of purpose and meaning. We live with openness to all of life and to every person. We experience deep, life-enriching relationships. We live with balance, giving and receiving, doing and being. We live free from the crippling, sabotaging power of anxiety and fear.
    Discovering and releasing who God created us to be is the work of the Spirit of God in our lives. It is the Spirit leading us toward the emotional-relational-spiritual maturity.
    Thus, there are two dimensions to our true self, both the handiwork of God. The first is who God created us to be when God knit us together in our mother’s womb. It is our unique self, the person no one else can ever be. The second dimension is who God is recreating us to be as the Spirit nurtures us toward emotional-relational-spiritual maturity. It is who we are as we mature spiritually.
    Discovering our true self involves a journey … a spiritual journey … a journey of transformation … a journey of emotional-relational-spiritual growth … a Spirit-led journey. Discovering Your True Self is the essence of life’s journey.