In a well-written novel or drama series, we learn about the characters’ personalities as they’re slowly revealed to us. As we go more “in-depth” with them, we observe how they walk through life and begin to understand what makes them tick—what causes them to act the way they do. Their “characters” are being developed right before our eyes.
Sometimes your persona—the role you play for the public (sometimes the role you play for everyone including yourself)—isn’t a good representation of your true character. You may be hiding a less-than-ideal childhood, or insulating yourself from past pain by becoming “small” or “invisible”. You might even play a role for so long that you become someone your core spirit doesn’t even recognize.
Choosing to give a painful past back to God, allows that installment of the series to be filed away as part of your history. It doesn’t minimize your experiences, or demand that you become “okay” with them. But, until you manage to “put the past in the past”, the tape keeps running, and the pain keeps flowing. You become tired and sad and feel abandoned and unheard. Of course, it takes courage, and a sense of self-worth, to confront others, to “stick up for yourself”, to believe in your significance, but in order to be your best self, you have to believe there is a best self.
There are times when we just plain forget that we have value; that we need to lift ourselves up; that we don’t have to be another person’s scapegoat or punching bag; that we don’t have to play the understudy—the person who’s “always there” for everyone else, but never receives support in return.
In our fear and insecurity, we often believe we’re destined to stand in front of a line of “arrows” with sharp metal tips pointed at us. We’re not. Flying “arrows” may never cease completely but we may be able to replace them with ones with rubber tips that bounce off us, instead of mortally wound us.
Until all else falls away and there’s just God and you—
you in your raw, unedited beauty,
you in the truth of the yearning spirit waiting to burst forth,
you in the cavern of your long-forgotten dreams that are calling to you;
begging to be remembered; pleading to be set free—
the pureness of your soul will yearn to be fed.
When all else falls away and there’s just God and you,
that’s where your character development will take place,
that’s where the clanging gongs will be silenced,
that’s where your truth will be forged,
that’s where you will be your best self,
that’s where you will become real.