Painfully Aware

I was going to write about my garden, or a race report about my half-marathon yesterday, or about some lemon deserts that I’ve been crushin’ lately. But I read something today and it hit me like a 2×4 to the face!

It hurt.

It made my head hurt.

I became painfully aware that I am exactly the person who is described below.

It is so easy to play the world’s game which is the power game, the game which depends on setting myself apart from others, distinguishing myself, seeking the limelight and looking for the applause.

I find that it is only too easy to become compulsive in my continual need for affirmation, for more and more affirmation, as I anxiously ask Who am I? Am I the person who is liked? Admired? Praised? Seen as successful?

My whole attitude towards myself becomes determined by the way in which others see me. I compare myself with others, and I try to emphasize what is different and distinctive about me. The three temptations which Christ faced in the wilderness are equally my temptations: to be pertinent. To be spectacular. To be powerful.

Am I able, like Christ to put them down?

Am I prepared to shed all these outer shells of false ambition, of pride?

Am I ready to admit that the mask is a disguise put on to cover up the insecure self? And the armor a shield to protect the vulnerable self? Am I ready to receive a new self, based not on what I can achieve, but on what I am willing to receive?

~Esther de Waal

Yuck. Is this really the person I am when I am honest with myself and put aside my pride?

Yep. Ugh. I was afraid of that.

As soon as I read this passage from Esther de Waal, I opened up photo booth on my computer and snapped a photo just as I was. I figured it was appropriate to document exactly how I was as I read it. Each day I see the Lord peeling back another layer of the “old me” – the ugly parts – and making me new. It’s awkward and beautiful all at the same time.

What disguises do you hide behind? What keeps you from putting the masks down? Anyone else have “realizations” that feel like a 2×4 to the face?

4 thoughts on “Painfully Aware

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