Knowing Thyself – Part 1

“Becoming a Person means the individual moves towards being, knowingly and acceptingly, the process which he inwardly and actually is. He moves away from being what he is not, from being a facade. He is not trying to be more than he is, with the attendant feelings of insecurity or bombastic defensiveness. He is not trying to be less than he is, with the attendant feelings of guilt or self-depreciation. He is increasingly listening to the deepest recesses of the psychological and emotional being, and finds himself increasingly willing to be, with greater accuracy and depth, that self which he most truly is.” – Carl Rogers


Don’t worry if that seems to be to you “as at best speaking in riddles, and at worst, sheer nonsense,” that just means you don’t share my personality type. 😉

I love personality tests. I know many people who hate them because they can’t figure out what personality they are, but fortunately for me, I fit pretty well into one of the standard categories. Reading about my personality is very therapeutic sometimes, because it helps me remember that there are good things about my personality, that I am the way I am for a reason. Instead of bemoaning my personality, I should learn to work with it. To use the strengths God gave me to the best of my ability, instead of wishing I was someone else.

Today as I skimmed an article about “my” personality type, I read a paragraph that really resonated with me:

“The pressure of needing to have it all together in order to truly feel as if I’m not being hypocritical when I “champion” others, while simultaneously feeling as if I am always a giant, clumsy, unreliable, immature, and inconsistent hot mess can sometimes feel like too strong of a burden.”

It is nice to know it isn’t some weird quirk that no one else has that makes me agonize over the discrepancy between my outward “togetherness” and inward turmoil, because that quote is me – in fact, that is the reason for this blog. As a teacher and leader in many settings, I struggle to be confident in my ability to teach or lead when I have so many flaws. I feel like a bit of a fraud. How can I teach when there is so much I have not learned? How can I lead when I am inwardly such a lousy example?

My personality type tends to over analyze itself (probably why I am so obsessed with personality tests!) and to desire to be authentic – to be real. I have a horror of coming across as perfect since I know I am not. My imperfections seem so black to me, and I remember with crystal clarity almost every fault anyone has ever pointed out to me.

“The deep fear is that you actually are as flawed as others might suggest and your own heart seems to show you.”

Almost every time I have posted on this blog, I have been convinced that something I have admitted about myself is going to cost me a friend or two – and I haven’t so many friends that I wouldn’t feel the loss of even one very keenly. I am sure that someone dear to me will read my confessions and be utterly disgusted, because the things I am confessing about myself disgust me.

I take comfort in the fact that I am a work in progress. As a child of God, there is no flaw so great that it cannot be conquered. In Christ alone, I have the power to put to death the old man, and continue to become with “accuracy and depth, that self which {I} most truly am” – a new creation.


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