“When you know yourself, you are empowered. When you accept yourself, you are invincible.” – Tina Lifford
I have a question for you. Who are you? No, really — who ARE you? When asked that question, it is believed that most people would answer with the basics: name, age, date of birth, hometown, and current residence. However, I want you to look deeper within. Take a moment and really think about it.
Several months ago, I was having a conversation with a woman friend of mine about a goal of mine that I had, which she offered to assist in seeing me materialize. During our conversation, she asked me that very question.
“Who are you?”
Of course, there was the temptation to answer her question with basic information, like my name and so forth. Yet I knew that she was searching for more specific answers. After my initial hesitation due to the shock of being asked the question in the first place and needing a moment to gather my thoughts, I began discussing with her the issues I had faced growing up. Having been born with the defect known as Spina bifida, I have gone through a number of physical, psychological, and spiritual changes. I mentioned the numerous surgeries I’d had and the affects not being “normal” had on my self-esteem.
For much of my life, I put my value in other people’s hands. I had no sense of my own worth. Therefore, I allowed people to define me FOR me. Their definitions, especially during my childhood, were not so positive. Kids thought I was weird. I was made fun of because of my limp. I walked slow. I still do. Other issues they could not begin to understand would arise, and they made me feel awful about it. That took a severe toll on me. Yet, I made it through all of it. I came out on top in so many ways.
At the end of my explanation, I summed myself up by using words like ‘victorious’, ‘blessed’, ‘beautiful’, and ‘conqueror’. The thing is, prior to this conversation between myself and my friend, I had not seen myself in that light. I had always felt sorry for myself. I never thought I was beautiful. I felt like God was punishing me for something I did not know I had done. Maybe I was being punished for something one of my parents did. Whatever the case may be, I did not feel as if I deserved the life I had lived prior to this conversation.
I had to realize that the key to knowing who I really am was to accept myself fully. I had to get to the point where I could look in the mirror and not find fault. I had to accept what was and dig really deep and find the beauty in myself. There is no one on this planet like me. That, in itself, I had to see as a blessing and a beautiful thing. Every scar on my body is there for a reason and a purpose. They are proof of strength and perseverance. Being flawed is not a bad thing, and I had to accept that. Accepting yourself fully may be the key for you as well.
I know what kind of woman I am. I know the goodness that resides in my heart. I am a wonderful daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. I love people. I have God-given talent that I am blessed to put to good use each and every day. That talent, in turn, is used to bless other people. These are MY blessings and no one can take them away from me. I am truly unique.
There are people who struggle to see themselves as God made and sees them because they are too focused on how other people see them. There is no happiness in that life and way of thinking. You have to know that you know that God took His blessed time creating every nook and cranny on your body and each nook and cranny serve a purpose. At the end of the day, it really does not matter what people think of you – at least it shouldn’t. Who does God say you are?
Who ARE you?