Being One’s True Self
It is often written about in Bible plans, that it is important to be one’s true authentic self, which means talking about what is going on in your mind, expressing your feelings, confessing failures or other sins, admitting to doubts, and acknowledging your weaknesses. The world is all about idle chit-chat and keep conversation that is comfortable for you, and spending time with someone else when convenient for that person.
But deep conversations can become uncomfortable and outright gut-wrenching at times. And authentic friendships and other forms of authentic relationships are often inconvenient because emergencies arise, crises happen, and when someone needs you, it is not always going to be at a time that is convenient for you. You could be sleeping or at work, but if a family member, friend, or someone else in your life needs you then you need to be willing to stop what you are doing and be there for them, because someday the roles may be reversed and you may find yourself needing that person or someone else and they may be already busy doing something (or sleeping), but when you need help in a crisis then you expect the person you contact/go to, to drop everything and help. But if you are unwilling to help someone in need when they need you, why should they or anyone else drop what they are doing when it is you who needs them or someone else? The person you call on, if you are blessed beyond what you deserve, will come to your aid at once when you call them to, so why wait for that scenario to happen to you before you even consider why it is important to be there for the person who is calling on you in their time of need?
Yet this is what has been happening to me all too often. I used to have grear friends always there for me and let me be there for them, trusted me to be there for them through the good, the bad, the worst, and everything in-between.
And then one day after a few tragedies have occurred, they suddenly lock away their hearts and no longer trust me to be there for them and are unwilling to be there for me. I have no idea why the tragedies in our lives made them retreat, or how to get them back. I pray day and night for them to unlock their hearts and give them first to Jesus and for them, and me (I have trouble with the following as well) to have the blocks removed from our hearts preventing us receiving God’s love and forgiveness and for Him to mend our broken hearts and souls, crushed spirits, damaged minds and psyches and heal our bodies from all brokenness, all sickness, all disease, and all pain, injuries and wounds – known and unknown – and make our hearts able to receive and accept God’s love, forgiveness, and acceptance of us and to accept and receive the healing He promises us.
Not much has changed for some of them, and nothing appears have for 1 person in particular and it is frustrating because I expressed how I feel to him and my needs from him even on a friendship level, but received nothing in return. And with the stuff going on in thr world right now, I reached out (again) but this time to ask how he and his family are doing and make sure they are safe and getting all their physical needs met. And I’ve been praying without ceasing for him to open his heart to Jesus and also to me and to respond and for our relationship to be mended at whatever level God wants it to be. And I have been spending this extra free time I have lately to be in God’s Word more and meditate on the verses that “jump out” at me and make prayers out of them, in addition to the prayers I already pray for everyone all around the world in addition to those I care about. I also speak God’s promises out loud (softly), for others as well as for myself.
But it is not just older/longtime friendships that are disappearing, or where the person is abandoning me and not telling me why. Church family and other “Christians” I met online through a Christian support group I created about 3 and a half years ago who were helping me run the group and support and guide me in private too for a period of time but then ditched me withour a word. So whether someone has known me for more than 26 years or for 6 months, the 1 thing these relationships appear to have in common is that once they know me, they get sick of me being my genuine authentic self and trusting them with what is going on in my mind, heart, and life and no longer trusting me for reasons unknown, with what is going on inside their minds, hearts, or lives. So I am left with the bite of info I knew from before they acted that way, or what they posted online, and wondering what I did wrong to make them not want to be around me and to not trust me anymore.
I am human, I make mistakes. I’m not perfect, but I never claimed to ne or acted like I was. I make mistakes, I have feelings, I have a hard time handling stressful situations/circumstances, and need someone I can trust to help me even just by listening and being there, and who trusts me to be there and listen without judgment because I am not Jesus that I have the right to judge anyone else.
And that has been an issue in some of these relationships where I got abandoned! The other person mistook my caring about them and my concern for their hearts, souls, and wellbeing for judgment and refused to consider they were wrong and misunderstood me and were not interested in making amends because they were more interested in being right so they could justify in their minds their horrible behavior towards me. But the problem is they were completely wrong but no one likes hearing they are wrong and few admit it. I do. When I am wrong, I say it. I admit it completely and ask for forgiveness be it from God, the other person, or Both.
So where does that leave me? I apoligize even when I am not wrong because the friendship means more to me than being right, but that rarely ever matters to the other person so I keep being left alone, miserable, confused, hurt, and wondering why God keeps letting people abandon me when I do the best I can to be faithful and loyal to God and to these abandoners and everyone else too.
So let’s finally get to the point of this post. God calls us to be our true, authentic selves with Him and with others, especially in our close relationships! So why is it that the more myself I try to be, the lonelier I get as people continue to abandon me despite how kind, caring, loyal, faithful, and supportive I was to them? Why is it so many people, even those who call themselves Christians bail at the first sign of trouble, or when feelings get too messy and too negative, when a person appears to be too needy? I am not a selfish person all about take take take! I give a whole lot more than I tend to get back in return, and when it is the other person I notice having a bad day or in some form of crisis mode, I ask what is going on, listen, and do my best to be encouraging and uplifting, and supportive of them. Yet at some point, I keep getting abandoned by these people.
I understand that feelings can get messy and negative, and can become uncomfortable since we do not like negative stuff, but you will not find a life, including your own, that is 100% sunshine, rainbows, and (hypoallergenic) puppies and there is happiness all the time! That is simply not how life works, not on this side of life, anyway. People get into disagreements, misunderstandings happen and feelings get hurt, life and relationships get messy, and people make mistakes! Everyone goes through difficult situations and needs people who will be there for them during those times and not only for the good times. More importantly, we alm need God and Jesus during these times as well as during the good times and the in-between.
We need Jesus always. And open communication that is honest, respectful, kind, conoassionate, and thoughtful is a key to healthy relationships. Love and trust are also very important keys. However, love without trust kills the love and kills the relationship eventually if the things causing the trust issues are not properly dealt with. And it will not just be the other person you are leaving all alone, but one day you will be all alone because you will have pushed everyone who ever caree about you away, including God. And what good is that for you? Relying on yourself will not get you far and will never get you solutions to the problems and difficult situations you encounter.
Some Bible verses that go along with this post are James 2:18-26 (faith without works is dead. Emphasis added by me. But that is what those verses are about), James 5:16 tells us to “confess our sins to one another and pray for each other so we can be healed. The earnest orayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.“, Galatians 6:1-2 tells us to help others who are overcome so they are not led astray and to share each other’s burdens, Romans 12:9-20 and 1 John in multiple different verses advises us that our love for others needs to be genuine and to express our love through action. The action can be as simple as being there in the other person’s life, listening, or more active like helping in whatever way you can, even if only through prayer, but in the ways God has blessed you to be able to help the friend or family member or other loved one (or sometimes a stranger or an enemy) needs your help.
And if you are being your true authentic self and allowing the people in your life to be their true authentic selves without bulking and running off when feelings and stuff gets too deep and situations- whether theirs, yours, or in both your lives – get complicated or sticky, staying is what is the true, authentic thing to do. Some days you may not be able to handle someone else’s problems because you are already overwhelmed by what is going on inside of you and in your life, and that is okay. But let the other person who is also struggling know in a gentle way and then you can each pray for each other and continue to check in regularly so you see how they are doing and let them know how you are doing so anxiety does not take over when someone begins to imagine worst case scenario like you are laying dead in a ditch or something because they are worried about you and have not heard from you in a long time but knew you were going through a rough time.
Yes, that has happened with me before with one or more of the relationships I mentioned where I was abandoned, and until I saw them post a status on Facebook, I was worried they were dead or in hospital sick or severely wounded in an accident or something. I have bad, debilitating anxiety so when I do not hear from someone for an extended period of time, my mind goes into panic mode on what is making them suddenly drop off the face of the earth (or offline and out of most people who care about them’s lives) until they are back online or a mutual friend hears from them. It comes with the territory of caring. People in your life need to know that you’re OK or what is making you not be okay so they can pray for you, and whenever it is possible, be of help even just by listening if in no other way.
So how about instead of running away from being their true authentic selves and seeing it as complaining, being too negative, or attention-seeking, you see it how it is meant to be seen: as the person trusting you, drowning and needing someone who cares to listen and be there in their life, and being their true self and not hiding anything from you? Secrets, especially things that have the potential to effect the other person, can damage the trust and endanger the relationship. That is why people like me try to be authentic and not hide things from our loved ones, especially things we think might effect you in some way. Instead of running away from autentic people being their true selves and trusting you to be able to handle it without running or abandoning them, how about you try being your true authentic self and remember truth, trust, kindness, respect, compassion and understanding, and forgiveness when necessary? Perhaps if everyone learned to accept and love themselves in healthy ways, and could be loving and accepting of everyone they care about, then we could all be free to be our true authentic selves and instead of anxiety, stress, and depression we could feel peace, comforted, loved, acceptrd, misunderstood, and everyone could get along and love would spread all around the world instead of hate, distrust, anxiety, depression and selfishness. Love and peace make the world around us a better place to live, and make our relationships healthy. Connect to Jesus first, then yourself with genuine love and proper self-care and then to others from a place of abundant love and inner peace of mind and heart.
Consider this: whenever discord, hate, mistrust, anxiety, fepressiondepression greed, and selfishness flourish, Satan wins. However, when love, trust, peace, patience, forgiveness and understanding, acceptance, kindness, compassion, respect, and open honest (and respectful) communication flourish, God’s Kingdom advances and He receives glory and honor and blesses our relationships, health, finances, and all other areas of our lives because He is pleased by the way we are conducting ourselves and living our lives. So what do you want to flourish: Satan’s schemes, which lead to destruction and death, or God’s purpose for us in all areas of our lives where peace through all circumstances results? Think about it please, and choose wisely – not according to worldly wisdom, but God’s wisdom.
I am not sitting hear judging anyone who abandoned me or anyone else. I do understand what it is like to be overwhelmed and not be able to handle anything going on with you, much less someone else’s problems. But that is when you gently let the person know you are sorry but at this time you cannot handle anything and you pray for them and give them the chance to pray for you, instead of just disappearing for long periods of time or completely abandoning them with no notice or reason why. Trust them to understand and give you the space you need, and check in with them regularly so they know you’re alive and still in their life and want to be. Trust them to respond in love and understanding.
Thank you to all who took time to read this, and for those who will actually take time to think about and reflect in what I had to say about being your true self always, and allowing everyone in your life to be their true authentic selves without running or abandoning them when they need you. God bless!