One of the secrets of life is to be honestly who you are. Who others want you to be, who you used to be, and who you may some day become … these are fantasies. To be honestly who you are is to give up your illusions and face today with courage.
— Bill Purdin
I have been going to counseling for about six months now. I went in for a few tweaks and recently realized that what is needed is an overhaul. Had I known six months ago the things I now know about myself, I think I’d have maybe refrained from ever going in the first place. That is not to say I regret going. I believe we have to know ourselves as well as possible.
It helps me understand a little bit about why people often do not seek counseling in the first place. They are afraid of the exact situation in which I now find myself — finding out they are not the person they thought they were in essential ways; and that the reality of who they are is hard to take.
But this is better than not knowing, isn’t it? If I owe $50,000 to somebody, I’m better off knowing than not knowing, aren’t I? If I have a terrible physical disease, isn’t it better to know than to not know? Because of what I have learned, I am ready for the first time ever to act according to these truths I did not know until recently. And aren’t we better off acting according to truth than acting according to falsehood? It may be more comfortable to ignore the huge debt I owe, or the terrible disease I have, but that comfort will be short-lived indeed. Eventually my debtor, or my disease, will catch up with me and I will pay an even greater price for my denial.
Change is hard. I can honestly say I do not how to be the person I need to be. I will have to learn new ways of thinking. I will have to let go of a lot of dreams I had that simply do not align with the realities of my life. More than anything, I will have to be on my knees because it is my worldview that God’s Holy Spirit is behind genuine change, whether I acknowledge it or not. I must admit that I am fearful. Fearful that I will not be able to change. Fearful that my inability to change will have negative effects on my life and the lives of those around me. Fearful that in changing I am giving up too much and will not know who I am anymore when it’s all said and done.
But I take comfort in knowing I am not alone. Everybody needs to go through a process like this and the fact that most people don’t do it doesn’t mean it is not needed. Everybody has baggage and everybody is acting from past influences that they simply are not aware of.
I want to give up my illusions and face today with courage. I’m in the “giving up illusions” part. Facing today with courage is yet to come.