Written by Bill Johnson. A spiritual brother to Rabbi Brian and friend of Religion Outside The Box.
To Be Ourselves.
“May we free ourselves, from ourselves so that we can be ourselves.” Rabbi Brian
This week I met Rabbi Brian online through a quirky, divine, surprise syncrhoncity. As we talked he shared this quote off the top of his head, or more like from the depths of his soul.
One of the biggest questions we can ask ourselves in life is “Who are we?” The answer to that question lies at the heart of the pain or pleasure we experience in our lives, doesn’t it?
Who are you?
Do you answer that by saying: “I am bad, unworthy, sinful, broken, and marred?” Or do you answer by saying, “I am good, worthy, beautiful, whole, perfect and divine?”
In my tradition there is an emphasis on a concept called “original sin” that most people believe and it goes something like this, “We are rotten to the core.” But what amazes me, the older I get and perhaps wiser or more deluded, is that somehow we have forgotten that Gen. 1 really does come before Gen. 3! Before the “fall” is the blessing. I believe now more in “original blessing” than “original sin” (which is a made up non biblical concept anyways!) I believe in the “Imago Dei” and I feel it to be true deep down in my soul. You and I were created in the “imago dei” – the image of God. And that image remains within us. It is who we are. It cannot be marred or broken or destroyed by failure, or by sin, or by our choices. It can’t be taken away by anything, it is only, often and consistently forgotten. But what if we built our identity on that concept instead?!
So back to the quote. Remember who you are! May we free ourselves and may God help us to free our true selves, our higher selves, our deeper, true and core selves and soul – our self with a capital “S” from our small self – our self with a small “s” – our false self. So that we can be free to be who we were truly created to be – experiencing the joy, passion, contentment, bliss and freedom of being who we really are.
“I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.” Hafiz
“Now, with God’s help, I shall become myself.” Søren Kierkegaard
“God has entrusted me with myself.” Epictetus
“You have been taught that there is something wrong with you and that you are imperfect, but there isn’t and you’re not.” Cheri Huber
“Close your eyes and imagine the best version of you possible. That’s who you really are, let go of any part of you that doesn’t believe it.” C Assaad
“Now all that is left is for you to become yourself.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“O God, help me to believe the truth about myself no matter how beautiful it is.” Macrina Wiederkehr