Friday, June 5, 2009

Finding Yourself

I have heard the words "finding yourself" spoken at various times in my life by people that I find very intelligent. It is an interesting concept, isn't it? Going out into the world and "finding yourself." Of course, to find yourself, you by default are admitting that you are lost in the first place. Or perhaps not lost...just "undiscovered."

The first person that I recall using these words had just gone through a divorce, and needed some space to figure out how to deal with life since this was apparently an unplanned path. I can see that, I suppose. Often in life, we find that we have Plan A that serves us well for awhile. We wrongly assume that it will continue to serve us well forever. But much like the people that come and go in our lives, the businesses that we love that open and close, the color of lipstick that suits us perfectly and then disappears, the scent (in my case...Jungle grandmother's favorite) that is no longer available or the dreams that we outgrow...things change...and we end up on Plan C or H or Z.

I would love it if the people that have gone on ahead were still here. I would also love it if I didn't feel the weeks whizzing by and the months morphing into years and then decades faster than I thought possible.

But sometimes you have to figure out where to go and what to do after the kudzu takes over the path you were walking or a bridge is washed out along the way. It is quite disconcerting, isn't it? And while I suppose life goes on in spite of what we thought was supposed to of the options is to "find yourself."

The problem is...sometimes people are counting on you...and you have to take a backseat to your own needs. And when you don't, you end up changing the path of everyone else around you...even if you were more concerned with finding yourself than in making sure that everyone around you didn't get lost in the process.

Another person I know was trying to find herself because she had absolutely no clue who she was and what she wanted anymore. All she knew is that people were counting on her, life was incredibly busy, and she was unfulfilled. Finding herself meant talking to a counselor, cutting herself some slack, and figuring out what made her smile. It took awhile, but she made it through.

I think that my biggest problem with reality TV is that it gives the false impression that you can "find yourself" through another person ("The Bachelor/Bachelorette"), through fame ("American Idol") or through winning a trophy ("Dancing With the Stars.") I just can't watch the counterfeit emotions, the stories manufactured about the people, and the edited banter. It seriously drives me nuts.

The truth is...we have to have something to build on or hold on to that is unchanging. Truth is not relative to what you want it to be...truth is truth. And in my experience, God is truth. So, finding ourselves is not really an option until we find out who we are in Christ. That can take five minutes or fifty years. Each of our paths is unique.

So, here's to finding yourself...where you fit in...your purpose...who you are meant to encounter...and how you should live and play the hand you are dealt. Because when all is said and done...being "found" by Him is certainly far more fulfilling than doing the job yourself. Later!

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