” And especially for young people, being “normal” and “cool” seems to be what self-esteem is all about. How can we risk giving that up by standing up for ourselves? How can we maintain a sense of self-worth in the eyes of the world, as well as in the eyes of God? And how do we know for sure what He wants for us?
I guess its a matter of intuition; I guess you know based on how happy you truly are. If youre excited to face every day, without any help from any sort of addiction, then I would argue youre officially happy. And if youre genuinely happy, you must be honoring your authentic self and Gods dreams for you.
This is an exhilarating prospect for me because Im just beginning to learn who I really am. But I need to be prepared for the risks and the difficulties. If I think its going to be easy I might easily lose my way. For example, I may believe that I know what I want to do with my life and what my career path should be, and this may be something that will bring me wealth and make my parents very proud. Yet once I actually embark on that career, I might realize that deep down my career choice was wrong; that its not going to help me become the best person I can be. There must be something else I am meant to do that will bring out more of the good in me and allow me to contribute more to society. This kind of realization takes place quite often among college students and recent graduates; however, how many of us actually listen to that voice inside? The thought of calling our parents and telling them we are switching career paths and most likely need more schooling can be mortifying.
What if were just being selfish? What will our friends think — that we couldnt stick it out? Peer pressure and pressures from family are profound and powerful. It takes great courage to stand up to that kind of influence just for the sake of you.
Another challenge I will surely face is in the romantic realm. I may fall in love with someone and make plans to marry them. But what if Im ignoring my true wishes? What if I dont truly feel that this person is “the one”? How do I tell them? How do I break it off? I would argue that the rate of divorce in America is so high because many people find it easier to ignore their inner voice and just hope for the best when it comes to relationships. It takes an enormous amount of courage and insight to successfully navigate our way through the complexities of romantic love.
But that is what we all must learn. That honoring your authentic self is what truly matters in life; in fact, its arguably the only thing that matters. I believe if everyone felt free to truly be themselves, then everyone would be at peace inside, and that peace would extend and multiply out into the world at large. And isnt that what we all “truly” want?.