We were each born with a unique message for the world. But along the way, like a game of broken telephone, we lose our message and our identity. We succumb to the pressures of the world and conform to the labels given us.
We start to settle for less. And after some time of living a double life that isn’t true to our real selves, we begin to believe the labels as true, accepting that this is all that we are. Confused, disappointed, and frustrated, we go into survival mode and start to merely exist, as we gradually lose our sense of purpose.
As our fear grows, we stop believing in the deep joy we were promised at the very beginning, which the Creator planted deep in our hearts and we are actually designed for. In truth, most of our fears are irrational, though totally understandable. For it is human nature to run away from things we do not understand.
Which is why Donald Miller said, “It costs personal fear to be authentic but the reward is integrity, and by that I mean a soul fully integrated, no difference between his act and his actual person. Having integrity is about being the same person on the inside that we are on the outside, and if we don’t have integrity, life becomes exhausting.”
I know how that exhaustion feels like. Because I lived for a good many years of my life without integrity. Without knowing who I really was on the inside, so instead I let the fear of upsetting others run my life for me, and maintained a false sense of peace.
I didn’t know what were the real things that mattered to me, so I lived without purpose and without my own voice, simply believing that everyone loves an easy going person. In so doing, I handed my rights to live over to the people I loved, believing that if I could make all of them happy, I would be happy too.
Until my eyes were opened to how unfree my life was that fine October morning in 2015, as an indescribable force brought me to my knees in the Adoration room at St Joseph’s Upper Bukit Timah, and I caved to that quiet voice within. I was living someone else’s life but not my own. But that’s the beauty of the journey isn’t it?
Our journey isn’t about constant progress and improvement, as what this perfection driven world teaches. Neither is it about ascent and climbing higher as we move along over time. If we think that way, we are bound to be disappointed with the inevitable downs that life hands us. Rather, the journey is about coming more fully alive to who we really are.
It is an awakening from our slumber to the deep purpose that lies in our hearts, that original message buried in the depths.
For as St Irenaeus said, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” And it is only in becoming fully alive, that we become effective messengers of the original message we were intended to carry to the world.
2 Corinthians 3:3 – Clearly you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.