Do We Really Know Ourselves?

AFRAID TO KNOW WHAT WE KNOW

If you’re like me, you have been influenced by people in ways that caused you to question yourself along the years, but the real questioning has always been “who are you?” from your own third perspective. You’ve noticed some others tend to act fearless, sometimes like they have all the answers, and you ponder what they found that you missed. Sometimes you wonder how life would be if you could insert that specific puzzle piece into the right place in your mind.

And if you’re like me, you’ve lived long enough to grasp that no one actually has all the answers; that all the answers come from a place of belief, a sense of trust in oneself, and the personal certainty one acquires having lived through so many different forms of struggle, stress, loss, victory, and adaptation.

The conclusion I’ve come to is that the answers are always coming, that some stay while others don’t; some feel right in the moment and then years later feel more pliable—even unreliable or obsolete. But the answers aren’t the point: what we do with the answers is. If answers are all we seek, all we have to do is just contemplate, introspect, pray, meditate, journal, and spend time in that space with ourselves. The answers are already there, sometimes we’re just afraid to know what we know.

THEIR ANSWERS AREN’T ALWAYS RIGHT

When we focus on what we know, sometimes the answers we have are ones we don’t trust due to so much pressure from outside influence. Many times, the influence has amassed strength because we weren’t raised to feel as boldly or confidently in ourselves. Or perhaps we had a stronger fear of authority engrained in us so we became very trusting in the answers of the world around us, which seemed to be the book or mentor we needed but hadn’t read or met.

If that’s us, then the knowledge we missed and need to acquire is that the answers of the world aren’t always right. They aren’t always our answer, and that has to be okay. Otherwise someone else’s “yes” becomes our yes, and we have crossed a line with who we are. Or someone believes something we don’t but we come to doubt our lack of belief, and embracing a belief we don’t really agree with is dangerous to our authenticity and our truth as individuals; our veracity. Many people say, “go with your gut” and we can all subjectively fill in what the “gut” represents (i.e. soul, spirit, God, etc.). The point is that they mean to go with what feels like it resonates with us.

“ABSOLUTE NO”

I believe the reason why the thought of killing a person feels wrong isn’t just because I was taught to feel that way, but because inside, “something” declares a strong ‘NO’ to the consideration of bending my belief in killing being wrong. It’s an absolute. You can say it’s the gut, or you can say it’s the voice of God, or you can say it’s just your ‘moral conscience’ doing its job. Is there a difference? Are they all the same? I think the important part to consider is that truly knowing ourselves is the act of being in sync with the Creator of who we are—our genetic, molecular, biological makeup, trusting that the reason why we believe what we do is because the foundation for our belief was made possible, intentionally.

For those who truly believe killing is acceptable and morally correct, I believe it’s generally because they were born into a violent lifestyle where others around them killed without showing or expressing remorse. Or, they were exposed to a more hostile environment and learned to believe in that hostility as being more right than showing compassion, understanding, forgiveness, grace, mercy, or surrender (depending on the context of the situation). It’s hard to hear that “absolute no” when we are surrounded by the opposite in such a loud or threatening way, haunting us to turn in the direction of violence and hate when we would innately rather be immersed with love and safety.

CORE OF OUR BELIEFS

If the answers are inside and we know influence plays a role, do we take the time to reflect on those roles as separate from our identity? Do we close ourselves away into a quiet, safe place to introspect why our beliefs are what they are, and if who we really are reflects those same beliefs? Or, do we feel that we just don’t have the boldness to express who we really are without being criticized, ostracized, bullied, or rejected? Is it religion, or a personal characteristic? Is it the way we speak, or the quickness of our response to certain stimuli in our daily life? Is it our flawed interpretation of how others in society actually see us, based on harsh criticism from those closest to us? If we slow down and take the time to allow our mental faculties to compartmentalize the distractions and just look at the skeletons of our reasons for belief, the truth tends to stand out like a sore thumb. The real us is always there, and there are answers in alignment with the way we are created to be.

MISUNDERSTANDING THE TRUE SELF

Sometimes it looks messy and questionable because of who we’ve spent the most time around. Sometimes we don’t trust the true self because we sense it should be different, but it clearly is showing signs that don’t quite feel right in our skin. That could be a sign of personal struggle with our identity, not because our true identity is a mess, but because we’ve associated who we are with someone or something that acts truly outside of our moral makeup as a human being under the meticulous creation of a personal, loving God. Therefore, seeing the contrast becomes terrifying because we aren’t sure how we can separate what feels so right and real compared to what we’ve been seeing and experiencing all along. This is sometimes an “identity crisis,” and it’s good—imagine living within a crisis without knowing there is a crisis to face, and remaining stuck in the clouded web of doubt and self-hatred due to a misunderstanding between the truth of who we know ourselves to be in our depths, and the lies of pressure and others’ lack of truth distracting us from the veracity of our God-given character?

INEVITABLE INFLUENCES

The only way to interpret our answers is to look inside, and to ask those questions. I do believe in Jesus Christ as God. I do believe that I have a soul, and I do believe in Heaven and Hell. And I am scared of God in a reverential way—not because I think God hates me. But that’s because that’s what is already there, not because of any church facility, social norm, community influence, or peer pressure. That’s what my heart believes. And it feels right in my soul to believe it.

There are so many different people out there, so many diverse personalities, agendas, religions, and the behaviors tied with each. There are so many different ways people bring their influence into our lives, and the way others impact us is inevitable. We are going to be affected by others, and we are going to affect others. What we believe about ourselves is just the beginning, but the truest beginning is at the core level, what I believe to be the soul level. People can hurt us in every way, but they can’t kill us our soul, and it’s from our soul that the sincerest, most valuable parts of us emanate into the world as the influence we choose to be. When we don’t act from our core, we aren’t truly living, and then our lives can feel weightless, pointless, and empty. When we aren’t sure what we believe, the world looks like it’s 2D, as though it is not really real, not full of the life that we want to believe is really there—and is actually there—but which is covered by a sense of doubt and surrealism based on the influence that the belief in nothing is more real than the something in front of, within, and all around us.

RESONATING WITH THE ABSOLUTE

This is the importance of coming to find ourselves within ourselves: NO ONE can tell us who we are other than ourselves, and we must trust what is really inside to know that. The way to trust our inside is to know how it got there by knowing the Creator of our inside. This is why belief in Jesus not only makes sense to me according to logic and rationale, but also at a soul level: if I have to answer for myself, then I am telling myself that all the answers to all the mysteries come from me, but I wasn’t here before this life was; I came into this life. Which means there was something already here, and there is something I must trust is good, real, infinite, powerful, life-giving and purpose-revealing. Why? Because the need is there, the drive and passion are there. It’s in the makeup of us as human beings. We can’t fake it or pretend it’s not there. IT IS. I’d be a fool to ignore the deepest, most intrinsic part of me, telling me there is something inside that resonates with the Absolute: my soul.

FORESHADOW OF HELL

My soul didn’t have the awareness that it does now that I’m alive in this “vessel” of my body, which to me spells proof to the Being that gave all of this to me, including my ability to believe, to trust, to be in alignment with Him, full of drive and passion and the purpose He birthed in me. When I say no to that, I am already living in Hell, but it’s not the real Hell, it’s a foreshadow taking form in my belief; a preview of what it means to live without He who brought me here.

The reason Hell is scary enough without actually being there is that it’s terrifying to think we could not know who we are, why we are, or the reason for any of it. To believe there is nothing to believe is the darkest Hell I think there could be while still in our bodily lives. And that is because that is the absence of everything we believe we need to have in order to be fulfilled. We can’t live without the answers without feeling a heavy darkness weighing us down. We were created to have and to BE more… more successful, more loving, more at peace; more forgiving, moved, inspired, and more alive. We weren’t created for anything less.

IN THE SPACE WITH NO ANSWERS

Some answers, we’ll never have. That’s painful, too. But it’s not nearly as bad as being without any answers. This is where I’ve learned trust comes in. If we have the understanding and comprehension of believing we know that we have what we have based on the provision of a Being capable of creating, sustaining, prevailing, and revealing, then we already have what we need to trust in the belief that not having all the answers is not the worst, darkest, Hellish life. Sometimes having the answers we do, and not having the others becomes a beautiful twist of mystery, because it makes seeking the Being we are aligning with more special and significant. For me, that’s Jesus Christ. That’s the hope of the clouds opening in the sky to see His glory shining for all the world to see. It’s not just something the Bible talks about, it’s literally in my soul: the hope for His return. The hope for my belief in Him to not be some ridiculous myth, but to be more real than anything in this life. (Colossians 2:3)

A REASON FOR THE UNKNOWNS

The answers are there. And there are more! They’re always coming, always being released into our surroundings through people, sounds, images, and influences. God is always there, even if the way He is seems incredibly questionable, or even downright offensive! But I believe even in the offensive, there is character in God, there is a reason for it that we couldn’t fathom if our life depended on it. There is a reason that the reason is so mysteriously obscure. There is a reason God knows what we cannot, or at least not yet. And there is something beautiful to that blur of hiddenness, like a sense of provision: God showing us what we need and holding back what He knows we’ll need later and not now. Again, trust. Do we need to reflect on that for a minute?

Whatever you believe, is that what you believe? Is it real to you? The answers are there, and sometimes they’re just a matter of seeking. They’re only hidden for as long as they need to be. They aren’t hidden to make matters worse, but to show us what we need to see in the confines of what we’re prepared for in this moment to move forward. (1 Corinthians 12:8, Matthew 7:7-8)

THOUGHTS?

What do you believe? With everything there is to consider, it’s impossible to be alive without having crossed these thoughts. We might be ignoring or avoiding, but we cannot miss this. It’s always right in front of us. We are mortal and temporal in our bodies, but we are made with an infinite source and we are going to be alive somewhere for eternity. Life here is short, but it’s not meaningless. What are we doing with that knowledge? What do we need to do? (Proverbs 1:7, 2:10, 18:15)

Feel free to comment below, and God bless you!

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