Every woman can relate to standing in front of a cupboard full of clothes and finding nothing to wear. There are those days when no outfit feels right – everything in the cupboard seems too small, too big, too pink, too shiny, too dull, too flamboyant…
Then on other days, outfits contend for your attention and you find yourself having to choose between them. It’s a woman thing.
As I have set out to challenge deeply-ingrained habits, I have come to realise that the first step in this process is in accepting my unique identity.
Who are you?
Each day we ‘put on’ our identity. Who are you wearing today?
If we want to live out loud, then we have to be one hundred percent ourselves. I have to be okay with who I am and to be ok with who I am, I have to know who I am to begin with.
The point isn’t about changing. It’s about becoming 100 percent who God created you to be.
Who am I? In the 16 Personalities test, I rate as an INFP. This means I am an idealist, or dreamer by nature. People have called me ‘unrealistic’ and ‘naively optimistic’. Give me long enough and I’ll inspire you with a plethora of quotes. I’m the kind of person who can be in war-torn Iraq and write poems about rainbows.
That’s just how God created me.
When I worked for a magazine which focussed on fashion and beauty, I remember someone telling me, “Heather, your writing is great but when I read it, although I might become a better person, I want to give all my money to charity. It’s your job to make people want to spend money… on themselves… not donate it. Write about shoes, clothes, you know… just be more shallow.”
I learned to wax eloquent with small talk. I learned to use words like ‘stylish’ (the word at the time) and ‘fabulous’. I tapped into this ‘shallow’ side of myself and when I found myself wanting to slip in a quote by some prolific person into an article, I learned to hold myself back.
As I have sat down to blog, I have found myself feeling very uncertain about how to proceed. The doubts about using my unique voice in blogging have come back and I have found myself treading tentatively with words.
Remembering the voice of so many critics, I asked the Lord to give me something to say.
I felt him say, ‘Just be you.’
It’s a simple truth but too often we are our own worst critics and reject ourselves and the unique contribution we make to the world. This self-rejection then translates to bad choices in relationships, health, finances, and, and, and…
God isn’t confused. He didn’t create you as a unique person and then expect you to be someone else. You are fearfully made, with a purpose in mind.
In wanting people’s approval sometimes we compromise on this but see, if people don’t like you for who you are, putting red lipstick on yourself and getting a golden tan isn’t going to make them like you more. You might end up looking a little silly or like Barbie – depending – but you will never be happy because who you are on the inside will always stay hidden from the world. The world needs you to be you.
There are things I will never be able to be.
I can’t be a supermodel.
I can’t be a tennis player.
Or a netball player.
Or a hockey player.
I am terrible at filing things. My brain just doesn’t work that way.
There is method in my creative organisation. I have lots of ideas. I dream a lot. That’s just who I am. I am me and I must be the first one to be at peace with that.
It’s the same with you. You are fearfully created, according to the Lord. That means He worked every detail of you out to a tee.
If I am going to live out loud, I must spend some time with Him who made me, to hear what He says about me –and then love and look after that person the best I can.
I am His. If you don’t like the way He created me, take up your complaint with Him. I will do the same if I have a problem with you.
Who are you?
In the silent moments, in the still of your heart, what do you love? What do you aspire to? When you come before the Lord, and He speaks to the very heart of you, what does He say?
The person you are deserves to be celebrated.
Isn’t it great that we are all different?
So back to the rainbow… the rainbow is lots of colours. If we all try to be the same colour, we will cheat each other out of the abundant life Jesus died to give us.
If you tried to be someone else, I would be missing out on knowing a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
Today, ‘put on’ you.
©Copyright Heather Djunga 2018.