“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.” ― Brennan Manning (in Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging)
I wrote last week about the idea of being loved by God as our primary purpose. That has been a big enough shift for me to contemplate in and of itself, but accepting this kind of radical definition of my purpose and being changes everything else, too.
I like the way Brennan Manning sums it up in the quote above. If my true self is defined by being beloved by God, all of the personas that I create and all of the masks I wear to try to be liked by others are all illusions. Every other definition of me, every other way I see myself, every other way people see me are all illusions.
It’s almost too simple to believe. As one who has a tendency to make things much more complicated than they need to be, it is hard to fathom the idea that the only definition of me that matters is that I am beloved of God.
And yet, if this journey through the chrysalis in my life has taught me nothing else, it has shown me time and again that all of the other ways that I have defined myself over the years are nothing more than mist. While the amount of outward change has slowed from the pace that I was experiencing a couple of years ago when I started this blog, the inner transformation continues unchecked, making me a mystery to myself more often than not.
The only definition that remains is that I am one beloved by God. Oddly enough, as the other definitions I once had of myself continue to melt away, my faith in this one grows stronger. Even without any signs of objective proof, my assurance of this becomes steadier as all of the other noise and illusions are stripped away.
It’s like stripping off mask after mask until I find what is left at the bottom of the pile. What’s left is one beloved of God. And that’s a richer self-definition than any of those that I have discarded.
A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a fragile and vulnerable place to be, so I am committed to keeping this a safe place for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight are not welcome here and will be deleted.