Ask anyone: they’ll tell you that public speaking is a person’s greatest fear. Yet according to a recent article by Steve Nash flying, heights, the dark, intimacy, failure, rejection, spiders, and commitment top the list. Add to that the fear of being alone, losing a loved one (especially a child), terrorism, getting sick, the economy, and dying and it would appear that mankind is struggling with daily anxiety. While it is true that people worry about many of the above, there is a much deeper area of trepidation plaguing the vast majority of humanity: that is, facing the hard truth about who we really are. People prefer to live in denial rather than acknowledge the unflattering facts about themselves. Instead of admitting that we are overweight, we call ourselves “plus size”; we’re not rude – just bluntly honest; not arrogant – confident. Sugar coat it all you want but we all know that sugar can lead to tooth decay and diabetes.
Why are we so afraid to be candid and frank with ourselves? We certainly don’t have an issue when pointing out the flaws of others. Ah yes, but the truth about them doesn’t hurt nor are we expected to undertake the challenge of correcting said imperfections.
I do not subscribe to the cliché that ignorance is bliss. Truth is empowering. Living in denial is detrimental to our well being. If a friend alerts you to a suspicious looking mole on your back and you choose to ignore it, the growth may be malignant, thus costing you your life. So it is with personal issues: denial is toxic to our relationships, health, overall enjoyment of life, career success and more.
I cannot know what my entire physical being looks like without the help of a full length mirror reflecting back to me my own image. If I want to look my best, I must employ the assistance of a looking glass. If I am unhappy with my likeness, I don’t blame the mirror or curse it’s maliciousness. On the contrary: I am grateful for now I can correct what I do not like. So it is with other’s observations and comments about us. As unflattering and painful as they may be we can train ourselves to listen objectively and consider any relevancy to their statements. If in fact we are unable to ascertain any truth in what they’re saying, we may simply allow their comments to fall by the wayside. However, if their observations are legitimate, we now have an opportunity to correct any flaws, strengthen any weaknesses, or be at peace with that which we cannot or choose not to change. In any event, the incident can prove to be a great blessing for it inspires personal growth.
However, one cannot embark on such a disconcerting endeavor unless they fully understand who they really are. We are not our behaviors and attitudes. We are sacred children of the Most High God who loves us beyond what our human minds can comprehend. I must separate my outward actions with my intrinsic worth. I am not my behaviors. I can love my Sacred self while disliking the way I act. I can love my Sacred self while working on improving my bad attitude. I can courageously face the truth about my inappropriate actions knowing they do not define me nor do they diminish my value.
Only when I learn to see myself through the Father’s eyes and love myself as He loves me can I relinquish any fear of self-realization. And in doing so, I can embrace my flaws and imperfections, resting peacefully in the awareness that I am unconditionally loved for who I really am.
Faith Defeats Fear.
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