A young woman came to my practice and told me she was afraid because she was sure God was mad at her. She had an abortion long time ago, and was sexually involved with multiple partners in her life. At that time, she was thinking that God was preoccupied with her sins and shortcomings, and she felt that God was seeing her with anger and reproach. Was she right?
I am also thinking about a young man who came to me seeking professional help. He could no longer believe that God takes a personal interest in his life. He said he had suffered so much that he could not conceive God having any interest in him. He also said he never experienced the caring hand of God, and if God loves someone, for sure, it was not him. Was he right? Both cases show the lack of understanding of who could God be in our lives lives.
In this post, I want to show you how to begin practicing self-awareness, which must be anchored in an understanding of God’s love. That is, genuine self-awareness begins with an understanding of God’s love in your life. This love needs to become the foundation of your identity. Searching your inner world without the love of God is like walking in complete darkness without light. When I look into my inner being, and try to comprehend my vulnerabilities, failures and sinful actions, what I see inside of me is detrimental and depressive. I see the roots of a shameful mentality crying “you are not good enough, you are a failure, and death is your destiny”.
For this reason, self-awareness must begin from the perspective that your identity must be engraved in God’s love, and it does not matter the false self you have lived in the past; God continues to care for you with an everlasting love. Until we dare to believe that nothing can separate us from God’s love, nothing that we could do, or fail to do will make God change His love for us (Romans 8:31-38). We will not practice genuine self-awareness because we will be afraid of what we will find. And in addition, we will remain in kindergarten in the school of Christian spiritual transformation.
Meeting God in the vulnerability of my sins and shame is something strengthening because I know that whatever I find in my inner rooms never opened before, will not stop God from saying “this is my son, whom I love with all my heart”.
I remember when I was a child, I was scared of darkness. If I had to go to a dark room alone, I would rather die than entering that room. However, my dad was accessible to me. Every time I called him, he was available to enter to a dark room and found the switch to turn on the lights. Your heavenly Father is next to you, and wants to assure you that He loves you, and long to go inside your innermost dark rooms as you begin to know yourself and transform your life.
I challenge you today not to go alone to search your inner dark rooms. It could be very depressive and scary what you may find inside. Invite God to come with you as you practice self-awareness. Reflect on your knowing of God’s love by asking these questions: To what extent does this knowing build the foundation of who you are as a person? In what ways do you experience divine love? And how do you know it to be true even when you are not experiencing it?
If by any chance you do not like your answers, tell God how much you long to know His perfect love for you. Pray that God will lead you to someone with whom you can share this desire, someone with the spiritual maturity to journey with you as you seek to know God’s love experientially. Today, you are embarking on a transformation journey, and anchoring this self-awareness expedition in the love of God will help you believe that “nothing is impossible for those who believe” (Mark 9:23). When you do not like what you see inside yourself, remember that God loves you and accepts you as you are. God bless you.