Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking a lot about who I am, and how I can be me – better. After all, that’s what NEVER BETRAY is all about. The hard thing about being totally true to yourself is that sometimes it means that you no longer fit in the places where you had made yourself fit. This is where I find myself now as I tentatively stretch my limbs to occupy the space I was created for. (As I type this, I’m remembering seeing Joey stretch, and being awed by the amount of space he took up – not just physically but with his entire essence).
I’ve written about how I came to recognize my limited understanding of what it means to follow Christ, and as I continue to explore my thoughts about death, heaven, God, and living a life of purpose, the question of who I am seems to be central to the conflict within me.
I know the answer at least begins with “I am a person who loves generously and honestly.” This is something I’ve always known about myself, and it is the thing I’ve struggled with most. I’ve been hurt over and over again by friends who weren’t all in. And it made me start withholding myself. In the last few years, there have been many friendships that I have kept at arms’ length because I didn’t want to be be rejected again. I’ve avoided whole conversations rather than be the one who thinks differently.
Even in my writing, I hid behind writing others’ thoughts so as not to have to share my own and feel judged. This blog has been the first place that I have felt completely free to just be me – totally honest and naked in my emotion and thought processes concerning the loss of my brother and my rebirth from the ashes of grief.
There are probably a multitude of things in life I didn’t do for fear of failure. But my brother was never like that. If he didn’t try something, it was because he didn’t want to, never because he was afraid. In fact, he was probably more likely to try because he was afraid. And that’s a life philosophy I want to embrace. It’s time for me to be more honest, more real, more me.
For years, I have limited myself to the definitions of my past, but recently I have been inspired by this quote from George Bernard Shaw:
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
Joey was always creating in one way or another. Now it’s my turn to pick up my crayons and start coloring outside the lines.