Who are you at the deepest level? Who is the genuine you?
Do you ever ponder that? Do you know who you are? Are you settled with that? Are you at peace with who you are? Some of our required paperwork includes a questionnaire titled, “Unhealthy Beliefs”. This simple form is one of the most telling tools that we use. The reason? It reveals what you believe about yourself. And “as a man believes in his heart, so he is.”
There are many things that we believe that are not true, yet we believe them anyway. Most of us believe these lies about ourselves, so they cannot see the futility of these beliefs. For example…
My value is in what I do. I am valuable because I do good to others or because I am “successful”.
Even when I do or give my best, it is not good enough. I can never meet the standard.
There is obviously no way to win in this catch22 equation. It creates a striving that never ends. No matter how hard we try, we will never be able to please people enough, succeed enough, be good enough to meet “the standard” (that I have set within myself.) No peace.
Even God is not expecting us to perform in such a way, as His love is unconditional. These beliefs and dogmatic demands are basically self imposed, or adopted erroneously from society, or some institution or other belief system. If I must have the approval of 100% of people in my world to believe then I am acceptable, and if one person in not approving of me, I am a failure, and unacceptable. No peace.
This is a glaringly irrational belief. Yet many people believe it. Therefore, identity must come a different way. How then?
God has provided our identity. He made a way for us to find ourselves free of striving to be accepted by accepting us as we are. In my own life, there was a time that I did not believe that. That left me to find my acceptance elsewhere. And where? In what I did. How much we do, how well we do it, and how much approval I receive is a never ending cycle. No genuine peace.
This is reflective of what my friend Matt Donofrio said after finding this to be his reality: “I stopped striving to reach my potential, and started walking in my purpose.” A powerful statement indeed. When he moved into that reality he was free to be, free to become, not having to impress anyone. His life has changed dramatically for the better in every way. Peace.
This doesn’t mean that everything is always going to “work out perfectly” all the time, it does not. And that would imply that we have peace “when things work out in our favor.” It means that we can have peace when it does, and peace when it doesn’t. Lasting peace… enduring peace. The peace that passes our own understanding and abilities.
Peace. Peace in your heart and mind.