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The Authentic You

“Our deepest calling is to grow into our own authentic selfhood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be.” Parker Palmer, from Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation.

The advertisements. TV shows. Music lyrics. Magazine pictures. Even friends.

A cacophony of messages coming from so many places. Each message trying to tell you who you should be, and what it takes to become that person.

You need to wear the right clothes. Buy the right lipstick. Follow the right diet. Flirt a certain way to get the guy. Flirt a certain way to keep the guy. Read the right books. Attend the right social events. Say the right things.

Good grief. That just seems like too much pressure. And yet…
If you asked yourself in the quiet of your own soul, “Am I doing this/saying this/buying this because I want to? Or because someone else thinks I should?” your answer might reveal some surprising honesty.

You may be working hard to become the person others expect you to be.

I think every single one of us has fallen into this trap at some point in our lives. I certainly have. Some of us are able to discover the disconnect and unhappiness it creates with our authentic self. And some of us ignore the discomfort and just keep working harder to be “that” person…

…whoever “that” person is.

It’s as if we become the producer of our own little reality show. Instead of “Survivor” or “The Apprentice,” our show is called, “This is Who I Want you to Think I Am.”  The audience – those we work and play and worship with – see exactly what we want them to see. What they so often don’t see is who we really are.

But here’s the truth…
God created YOU. He did not create duplicates. He created YOU with your unique personality, strengths, challenges, pimples, beauty marks, and quirky traits. He never, ever asks you to be someone else.

He has called you to live YOUR life. Not someone else’s. He created you for a purpose that no one else can fulfill. No one else can be you. If you show up trying to be anyone different than your authentic self, the world misses YOU…

…how sad that would be.

Here’s what I’ve learned…

As I continue to ask God who HE wants me to be, and how to be that person, real joy sets in. No more pretending. I show up as I am, a sinner saved by grace, who is called to be ME, living a life dedicated to My Audience of One, Jesus.

And as I live the life God called me to be, I discover where I can most truly serve. All those strengths, challenges, pimples, beauty marks, and quirky traits join together to serve the needs of others…

…that’s where we find true fulfillment.

God has called you to this time, to this place, for a specific purpose. In the history of the entire world, there has never been another “you.” And there never will be. You are significant.

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Today’s Post is shared by: Gaye Lindfors.  She is a storyteller, a woman who isn’t afraid to poke fun at her own mishaps, and an observer of life in the real world. With authenticity, passion, and humor, she helps you create a life focused on things that matter most. She is the author of God, Girlfriends, & Chocolate.  You can connect with Gaye through her website www.GayeLindfors.com

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