Last spring, I started to read more. When you’re in high school and college, I think you tend to fall off the reading bandwagon, for a couple of reasons. First, you’re being assigned a ton of reading — who wants to read any more? Second, you become incredibly busy. Something has to get pushed to the back burner, and unfortunately, for me, that thing was reading.
In April I was introduced to the oeuvre of Emily P. Freeman, one of my favorite authors. From there, it snowballed, and I kept reading more books in the genre of spiritual memoir. Somewhere in these books, I started reading little bits about the same concept, over and over again. I can’t remember where I saw it first, but once I had read about it, it kept showing up.
This is the concept: We are not different pieces of a person. Though we like to talk about the various aspects of selfhood — soul, mind, body — we are not divided up into different fragments. We are one whole person, and what happens in one part of our person affects the rest of it.
I am coming to see my own fragmented view of myself more often. Sometimes I feel like I have School Sara and Real Sara. School Sara is productive and Type A and determined. She is confident and productive. But I look in the mirror and know that in my soul, I don't feel like that person. Sometimes I'd rather daydream than plan, rather doze than prepare. And when I am in the midst of preparation, the preparation doesn't always feel like me.
I'm learning to recognize the discrepancy and distance between different aspects of my personality. I want to separate them out, sift myself into different piles. But it doesn't work that way. I am one person, in one piece. I can talk about the different aspects of myself, but it is all one.
This realization is making me ask some questions. First of all, I’m learning to ask whether or not certain things are in line with the person I believe I am and that God created me to be. If not, I get — I get to — throw those things out the window. I get to discard them. Second, I’m learning to be more vulnerable, to move into the world as the person I know in my heart. I’m learning what it means to reject perfectionism when it doesn’t feel like me. I’m learning what it means to not try to hard to look perfect all the time, but to remember that I’m deeply flawed — but deeply loved.
We’re broken, yes, but Jesus has made us whole.
And we want to live like it.
We want to walk into the world believing that each of us is one whole person, deeply loved for the human beings that we are.
We want to evaluate what we allow into our lives: Is this in line with who God created me to be?
We want to let go of the perfectionism, even if it’s just bit by bit, because while it’s good to be Type A sometimes, it doesn’t always let us be ourselves.
There is only one version of me. I want to be fully her.
Jesus, help me to be. Help me to be the person You created me to be. The person that You loved into wholeness when You redeemed me.
Unite our hearts, we pray.
Make us fully ourselves.