Monday, January 19, 2015

Making Peace With Who We're Not

When I was a girl I wanted to be on a soap opera.  I wanted to live in the make believe town of Oakdale or Springfield and hobnob with Lisa Hughes and John Dixon or Phillip and Alan Spaulding.  I thought that would be fun to go to work everyday and wear cute clothes and have my hair and makeup done.

I honed my, ahem, "acting skills" in a couple high school plays and musicals but alas, stardom, or at least acting on Guiding Light or As the World Turns was not meant to be.

I also for a long time thought my ideal weight was 105 lbs and that if I were just that weight I would be a happier, more at peace person.

I've even caught myself thinking that if I could just be less A.D.D. and more even keeled other opportunities may be lurking that I would be good at.  What those would be, I don't know, but surely my deficits, my weight and my lack of acting skills were partially at fault for being who I'm not and having to settle for what I am.

There are certain things about us that will never be able to be changed.  Our ethnicity for one.  Our body type.  Our personality quirks.  Those are the things that make us unique and special and set us apart as an individual.  When we add into the mix our life's struggles or accomplishments or defeats, our unchanging virtues can be used against us rather than be used as a stepping stone to rise above the hard stuff and be made stronger.

I can never be a black person.  I can never be Hispanic.  I can never be Indian or Asian either.  I can only forever be a white person.  It was not my choice or plan to be made the color I am.  That doesn't mean because I am white that I am better or worse than anyone who isn't.  I can't change the color of my skin anymore than Martin Luther King Jr. could have changed the color of his.

I can't change how my brain works or how my brain has interpreted my life experiences anymore than you can change how your brain works and how your brain has interpreted your life experiences.  I can't change where I was born or the family whom I was born into and neither can anyone else make those changes.

Sooner or later we have to accept the fact that we are who we are, and what makes us who we are is built on the foundation of the very things we cannot change.  But just because we are made a certain way in certain circumstances does not mean we have to stay bound to them.  Where we start is not the place we have to stay.

The only thing I can change, with the Creator's help, is my acceptance of who I am, of who He designed me to be.

We have to find peace with who God made us to be - color, quirks and all.

I've lived the majority of my life wishing I was something I'm not - skinnier, smarter, less scatter brained - but wishing hasn't given me any of those results.  Instead wishing has given me anxiety and hopelessness and fear and bitterness.  And I've wasted a lot of time looking at the things I can't change as a negative instead of the blessing they really are.

It's time we look at ourselves and our neighbors the same way.  We are who we are because God designed us that way.  Celebrate the things that can't be changed and build on that beautiful foundation.  Whatever can or needs to be changed, He'll change in His time.  It's time to stop pointing out why you think you need to be different than what you were designed to be and just BE you.

Here's hoping you find peace with who you're not so that you can finally be the Be you were created to be all along.  That's where I'm headed, come on along.


I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:15-16

Things to think about
1.  What unchangeable things about you would you change if you could?
2.  If those things could be changed, how would your life be better or worse?
3.  In what areas do you need to accept that you are NOT so that you can be who you ARE?

for further reminders go here

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