I am endeavoring to find my authentic self, the self God created me to be. I am trying to be in touch with the gift that is my life. I am trying to celebrate my own successes and give up any need to live by putting others down or coming out on top. I am trying to do the things God is calling me to do, rather than the things others expect of me or demand of me which are outside of my authentic vocation.
I was for the most part a compliant child. I grew up being told what I liked and who I was. Perhaps, to some extent, that is true of every child. Parents project expectations, hopes, dreams, and judgements on their children. Parents take credit for the successes of their children and are embarrassed by their failures. At least this is probably true to some extent of all parents and all children. But some parents only do that a little bit and some parents are extreme cases. I am not sure where my parents fell in that continuum but I do know that I grew up thinking and feeling that the "public" me had to conform to who I was told to be.
Other people throughout my life have told me who I was, how I compared to others, how I lacked this or that, how I should do this or that. For the most part these criticisms had nothing to do with Christian correction to live a more Godly life, but rather things that others wanted from me, wanted me to fill in the gap for them, or just wanted. I listened to these voices largely, I think, because that was what I had learned as a child. People told me who I was.
Over the years and years I sometimes resisted these judgements. Sometimes I was quite rude and strident in my protests. But, I came to the point of not really knowing who I was and not being able to hear God's voice. God felt as though He had moved far distant from me, and although I knew that wasn't true, it is what I felt.
Over the past year and a half in part because of my involvement in a 12 step program (God's work), in part because God has worked on my heart to the extent that I had to give in to Him or explode, I have begun to see clearly that I am not who people tell me that I am. I can walk freely with Christ and hear His voice because He made me and fills in for what is lacking in me. The only really important thing is getting to Heaven, the things of this earth are passing away.
I have learned that what people tell me is not all that important. I am not a label--responsible, sloppy, fat, intelligent or whatever. I will attempt to develop within me virtue, but I don't have to be the most responsible, kindest, neatest, thinnest person on the planet for God to love me or call me or want me. Regardless of what people tell me about me, I am beloved of God.