Who are you when no one is watching? Who do you become when the windows are shut and you’re all by yourself? Who do you become when you no longer to have to be in character for the people around you? This question tormented me for a very long time especially during my university days. When I would go out in public, I had to be in character. I had to fit the description people had of me. I never knew that the way people described me would be a prison until they did it. I entered university with a default “superiority complex” (for lack of a better word) because of the people I associated myself with when the truth was I felt inferior most of the time. The relationships I had formed with them demanded that I act a certain way. And accepting that demand put me in a box knee deep that it became hard for me to be anything else.
When I would get back to my room, where no one was watching me, I would cry. I felt trapped. I had allowed people to tell me who I was. I had allowed myself adopt the characteristics of the role I was supposed to be playing. It was during my third year that I realized that the only reason that I accepted what role anyone placed on me was because I didn’t know who I was and I had no standard with which I measured myself against. I realized that if I didn’t stand for something, I would fall for anything. I knew I had to develop standards and these standards will have to be strong, lasting, and dependable and always bring me the best results. Growing as a believer later on (after several failed attempts to do it on my own); I knew I needed God to be my standard. I needed Him to save me from me; from trying to do things my own way and sabotaging myself.
I chose God because I saw who I became because of Him. I was more prudent, understanding, humble and wise. Worshipping Him made me diligent. It strengthened my core and gave me peace and balance. Also understanding His Character and Spirit, I knew I had to carry myself a certain way. My faith increased because like Peter, I needed to be committed to walk on water where it demanded. Most importantly I became unashamed. I didn’t need to hide because I knew who I was and so that cancelled me crying behind closed doors; my conscience was clear. It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen all at once but it did.
Whatever life you have to live that causes you to hate yourself when you look in the mirror isn’t worth it. Whatever version of yourself you have to downplay or totally eradicate to seem more “likeable” or “acceptable” is trash (mind you, this is me still advising myself lol). Personally, I think one of the best ways to get ahead of this is to believe in something either about you or about your circumstances so much that you’re proud of the outcome or effect that may arise out of that belief. I know I am wonderfully and fearfully made. I know that God loves me even on my worst days. I know as a child of God I am entitled to peace and joy even in the midst of trouble. I know I can depend on God and I know His word is true. Now because I know this, all my decisions would be based on this and because of how much I believe it to be true, I can go to bed at night rest assured that all things are working for my good even when it doesn’t look like it. And on days I don’t feel so confident I remind myself of what I believe to be true. What do you believe in? What factors do you consider in your daily life? How are you protecting your mind and your integrity? You deserve to explore all of you, to take center stage in your story and be present in your own life.