first chapter of my book TbW. Its a christian book inspired by personal events on identity
|THE BATTLE WITHIN
Romans 3:23(NIV) "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"
We are all born with a self within us that manifests in our day to day lives; be it in action, in our feelings or merely in our thoughts. We have some things we would to do if we are to find ourselves in the presence of no one else except for ourselves. At some point you would wish to live a day being yourself free from judgement, to live a day that wouldn't be accounted for. A day of just being yourself. It is not always that the self wants to do the wrong thing, no; at times you would wish the world could appreciate the good person that you feel you are and allow you to do more good each day of your life.
Many at times, It is in the midst of this confusion that we face so much confusion within us in trying to know who we are yet we already do just that we are not sure if who we are is the best person to be. It is within our mind that the battle of the self is fought and it is through our actions that the result of the battle is known. Some may have unsolved conflicts within whereby one may know who they are but cannot come to terms with themselves and accept the person that they are. This is common among the human race yet we all at some point strive to be the best that we can be even at the cost of who we are. The battle of personality is one such destructing especially to the individual who is trying to know who they really are. It's such a sad experience that is only felt within and only comes out coated with perfection yet in actual fact one may not have solved the personality battle but just because you have to live the day; you will have to put up a self that satisfy the day.
We are all born with something within us, be it a talent or a weakness but one thing I know is it is unique to you. It is uniquely your own quality by virtue of being born within you. You are born with emotions, desires, drives and dreams of your own. At some point you would wonder if the next person would understand you and above all accept you if you chose to be you. One may fear if a loved one would still love them back even they really display their true emotions, they said out their dreams and their desires. One thing I'm sure of despite all this is the next person has the same fears about themselves. They fear if they wouldn't be left alone if at some point they really expressed feelings as they are therefore they suppress them just as you are. The more you adjust the self, the more you are unsure of what your real self is. The adjustments become so far from you are and so constant that you forget the original position you started at in the first place.
This constant drive towards perfection at some point fuels up a battle within our hearts and sends echoes to our heart. It is so common that at some point in your own presence, alone with your thoughts; you find yourself asking yourself WHO AM I? The question is rarely given the true answer as it is the self that will be asking itself who it is. In this kind of an exam whereby the examiner is the writer and the marker and the evaluator the probability of getting the right answer may be minus 1. Not because you don't know who you are, but because you try to define who you are by the environment that you are in and the circumstances that surround you.
Even the most blessed and gifted in the Holy bible at some point found themselves regretting certain actions that they would have partaken in their self. Psalms 51(GNB) "...wash away all my evil and make me clean from my sin". In this Psalm King David regrets his act of taking Uriah's wife Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:2-4). The king had seen this beautiful woman bathing and admired her so much that he sent his men to inquire who she was. The fact that she was a married woman did not stop King David from instructing his men to bring her to him not only that but to sleep with her. The king did this in his position as David the king not the servant of the Lord, the chosen one. He was himself without restriction from circumstances or laws that guided the people of his day. He decided to be himself.
The King's act can be a reminder to you and me that we do have a self within us that we may adjust to fit the environment or some circumstances but my question is; does adjusting yourself actually remove the person that you are? If we are to continuously work on a self that is adjusted without actually knowing who we are there is a danger that at some point where the we will get to an environment that allows us to express the inner self we will do things that may shock the doer himself. It's not that you would be too good to do that; no, but you will just be excising who you are deep within you. One thing that is worth observing from the Psalm of David is that he does not say "make me clean from the sin that I committed" no; but he says "make me clean from MY sin". This then tells us that the sin was within the king; "for all have sinned and all fall short of the Glory of God".
I remember one day when i was in my school during a guidance and counseling session, the coordinator gave us an exercise to simply write who we are on paper. I could not carry out this exercise perfectly because i was seated next to my friend whom i feared would peep into my work and see what i would be writing. I simply got a piece of paper and listed the good qualities about myself and at the far end of the sheet of paper I listed a few bad qualities that I was sure she already she about me. After the session I looked at the paper and I was sure that whatever I had written down was not true about myself of course some qualities were correct but I left out my real self. This simple act just made me realise how much in our daily lives we try by all means not to show the next person our true feelings; our true emotions yet in some circumstances they just surface and we call it a mistake. It is utterly impossible to escape from who we really are.
Psalms 51:6(GNB) "Sincerity and truth is what you require;"
In this first chapter I would want you before further reading to engage in exercises that we would all wish for at some point in our lives. Exercises whereby you are going to live your real self on paper grab a pencil I would want to believe that this is your personal copy of this text. If it is not then grab a notebook and follow the steps that are below this text.
Create an atmosphere that is conducive for meditation
Separate yourself from everyone
Let go off all your cares and worries for this special moment
Take a deep breath
Be at peace with yourself
Preparing your mind for the session
Meditation on Psalms 51 and specifically vs 6 for this first session... "Sincerity and truth is what you require;"
Prayer for the grace of being honest and being true to yourself.
Prayer for courage to face yourself and your fears
Embark on a self tour and discover what is within you
You are to answer the question "WHO AM I"
In answering this question write down who you are be it in point from or essay form; simply the best way to know yourself
Do not withhold what's within you in fear of misplacing the paper you are writing on
Allow yourself to be in your own world it is a once in a lifetime opportunity
Let yourself know who you are it's the greatest joy ever
The exercise above was definitely not an easy one to engage in. The difficulty of the process getting to face your inner self represents the people that we are. We have some part of us we wish we had an explanation for. One that we wouldn't want to share with anyone even ourselves. One we choose to know in our hearts rather than putting it down into reality. We have our fears when it comes to facing the person that we really are. If you are one of those who have failed the first exercise its not wrong and won't stop you from continuing with this adventure. Instead note it down as a weakness that I hope by the end of this text you will revisit and finish up your first exercise.
John 3:17(GNB) "For God did not send His Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior"
There is one very interesting aspect our relationship with ourselves and with the environment that surrounds us compared to how God views us. Christ did not come to condemn us for we are but simply to love us and save us from the person that most of us have failed to put even on paper in your own presence. I'm moved to share once more about the woman who was caught in adultery (John 8:4) and brought to Christ for approval of her condemnation for the sin she had committed. Jesus simply says "if anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her" (John 8:7NIV). There was none that was found without sin even the Pharisees the observers of the law. Jesus then asks the woman if anyone has condemned her and she says "no one sir". With that he says "neither do I condemn you" (John 8:11). This shows us the nature of the ruler the Prince that has been given to us by the Lord. One who knows you as you are; more than you know yourself and still loves you amazingly.
May you find it easier to face who you are and accept the person who you are without fear of condemnation by the next person. None is without sin therefore none holds the right to condemn yourself. Accepting yourself and allowing yourself to know who you are will only help you to realise the extent of grace that you need as an individual. In as much as it may not be easy to face ourselves, it is important that when you get the opportunity to eventually face yourself without being driven by circumstances you do so as a road towards positive change.
A great thinker one said "what one does not know does not exist". My question today about the person that you are that you have failed to let yourself know about fully is "does it actually terminate its existence?" No it is still in existence yet it is by choice that you do not know it. The beauty of knowing who we are lies within the peace that comes with the knowledge of it. If you won't accept who you are there is a danger of not being able to forgive oneself whenever you make hat you may term a mistake yet it is simply an outcome of the person that you would have chosen to suppress deep within you. It is when you face your true self that you identify where there is need for change and where there is need for praise.
Once more in this chapter you shall engage in an exercise guided by question you will answer in truth
Proverbs 28:13(NIV) "He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy"
When God looks at you he sees an ultimate winner, a person who is destined for success. The proverb above simply gives you a clue towards that success you need to enjoy as an individual. The success that you need in that battle of the self that you engage in on a day to day life. Once more I hope it is becoming easier to face who we are that in the first session. Engage in the exercise that is to follow with you success in mind. A wise man once wrote "begin with the end in mind". What you need is success in that battle that is within you of understanding the person that you are.