The work of being "you" can get unnecessarily complicated. My friend, Adele Calhoun, is spot-on when she encourages us to be free from others' expectations and discover the "you" that God created. Read her thoughts ...
By Adele Calhoun
Ever find it confusing to be you? Culture constantly messages "Be a rock star." "Make a difference." "Live your passion." "Be all you can be." Be a young, stunning, fit, accomplished, socially conscious, bilingual, who runs marathons and out-cooks Rachel Ray.
This cultural story line of the "successful over-optioned" woman can make it hard to embrace our own story line and own our "true you." When we stop the auto-pilot self doubt floods in with a litany of questions: Why am I so stuck? Who am I if I am not doing justice or making a name for myself? Why am I here? Do I have friends who have my back? What about using my voice?
Celebrating the goodness of our created being is not inevitable. But seriously, the inability to do so means everyone loses. For years I have worked with talented and amazing women who lose track of who they are. They become what everyone else needs: what kids need, what a partner needs, what a boss needs, and what culture dictates. But ask them. "What do you need and want?" they may answer, "I don't know anymore."
Pressures to perform and conform stifle our voices, our callings. Passions and dreams that could make a difference in one life or thousands get muted. The contributions we could make escape little choice by little choice. Time with God, time to listen to our deepest desires and God's deep call get ambushed in the relentless pursuit of perfect bodies, homes and soirees and energy spent there causes us to miss a grander scheme of loving people, and loving ourselves.
Don't let your "true you" story to go missing. Stop for just a moment and take in the magnitude of this. You were meant to be here, today, at this time in history. Your life, breath and every fiber of your being (whether you love the size, shape or cellulite you come with or not) was meant to be. God's strategy for bringing love and healing to this world involves you being truly you.
We all have a responsibility to God, ourselves and the world to get this right. Living our "true you" is a small act of resistance - only free people can resist. Only free people aren't ruled by FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Only free people can say, "People Magazine and Architectural Digest aren't going to tell me I am not enough. I have a voice, a purpose, a bigger reason for living than being famous and having a beautiful house."
Our friends, family and this world need us awake to the story God is writing in our one unrepeatable journey. Open a conversation with your friends about how to shoulder your desires, giftedness, choices and purpose so you can reclaim your one-of-a-kind beautiful life. Lean into the story where God designs you to be a force for good in this world. Practice savoring how God creates you limited, good and enough!
Adele Calhoun is co-minister of Redeemer Community Church in Needham, MA. Her passion is for people to move beyond religion to a connection with Jesus that unites both their head and their heart in service and love of others. She is the author of Invitations from God and The Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us and the co-author of True You (with Tracey Bianchi). She regularly speaks at retreats and conferences on these topics.