The Editor Writes – February
It is fair to say that the phrase ‘Living an authentic life’ did the rounds in mainstream and alternative media last year, but, cliché or not, it got me thinking – who is the real me, and am I comfortable showing it to others?
To be fully known
Our theme for February is ‘Known’, which, according to the Cambridge English Dictionary, means ‘something or someone that is familiar or understood by people.’ Growing up at an all-girls school, I was programmed to be naturally competitive and always put my best self forward, but, while there is nothing wrong with wanting to make a good impression, sometimes it means that I am overly concerned with how I present myself to others and don’t share my true self.
A few years ago, the thought of what it means to be fully known really got me thinking. As I grow in my relationship with God, understanding more of His character through the Bible and through chatting to Him in prayer, I have realised that He truly knows every aspect of me – and it’s the most liberating discovery. There is a verse in the Bible that says: ‘I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations’ (Jeremiah 1:5). It gives me comfort and strength to know that God listens when I pray, has amazing plans for my (and everyone’s) life, and, despite knowing every fear, failure, mistake, strength and triumph, loves me as His precious daughter.
To be truly loved
For me, ‘To be fully known, yet truly loved,’ is the most beautiful concept. I love meeting elderly couples who have been together for decades. Despite robust discussions (/fights), times when they couldn’t stand each other and knowing the faults that no one outside their home sees, they still love each other and are committed to one another.
The love of a human is one thing, but the more I understand it, Christianity is the greatest love story of all: the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus Christ paid by giving his life for us is the greatest display of love in history. It’s easy to love someone or something that is great and that benefits you, but sacrificial love, for those who reject you, despise you and fail you, is mindblowing. For me, my personal relationship with Jesus makes me feel safe and protected in knowing that I am fully loved and accepted, but also inspires me to do better and strive to live the life He has called me to.
Living an authentic life
Having this revelation, even as an introvert, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to open up myself more in different groups and communities I am involved in; to lose the fear of judgement and to present not just my best foot forward, but my true self.