That’s what a wise rabbi once said. At the moment I heard these words I didn't fully understand them. But now I know what they mean because I’m going through it in my own life. Only with God, I’ve begun to recognize myself as a real me. Not like my parents, teachers or friends wanted me to be. But me personally, the way I was conceived and created by my Creator. Not to be as a spitting image of anybody, but exactly myself.
It so happened that the fear of judgmental looks had become my dark companion since my school years. My life in society was more like survival. The fear of not meeting expectations, fear of making a mistake, fear of failing the hopes had stolen my real life. In seeking acceptance and approval I lost my true self, the real me.
I was so afraid of doing something wrong, ruining relationships with people that I was saying them what they wanted to hear more and more often, and I was the one they wanted me to be and the one they wanted to be friends with.
In high school, it was hard for me to understand how to make a life for myself, what I want to do for a living. Because I no longer understood what I liked about it. And I'd chosen to go with the flow. I would have stayed in any university I could be accepted to.
I did that, I went where a lower resistance was. Less than anything new and unexplored.
With my friends, I could understand their desires and habits and be like them. With my parents, I could tell them stories that pleased them. Making new friends was extremely difficult for me. I was scared because if I made a mistake, I would be rejected. After all, if I'm not like that, I'll be alone.
I’ve been trying to talk to the strangers as little as possible. Asking someone the way was a true challenge for me! I could spend hours wandering around, looking for the street I needed and not talking to strangers. I couldn't go to the store or have lunch by myself in a cafe. It seemed to me, that everyone was staring at me and judging.
It seemed like my every movement was assessed by an invisible eye and I would never be able to live and enjoy life as freely as normal people. Public speaking or something like that was out of the question. I wouldn't have been able to bear that physically, because I was pressed inside and shaken outside. I'd often run away from job interviews because I couldn't handle so much new and unfamiliar things around me. I lived behind invisible walls of fear, trying to fence myself from everybody and being afraid to stay completely alone at the same time.
Nothing changed right after I came to God. At least it seemed to be that way, but I know when I said "Yes" to God, He had started His work in my heart. God was leading me and delivering me as I was able to accept this freedom. I had to put some effort by serving in the congregation and at other events. I was trying to do my part.
The Lord has freed me from the fears that kept me from living my life! I’m re-discovering the world for myself without trying to please everyone and everything. I am not afraid to communicate with people, minister to others or build new relationships. I am not afraid to be alone.
This is like all new to me, like that wasn't me who had lived before, but some other entity in my body, a complete alien occupying my body, stole my ability to be myself and without asking me to "live" my life.
Yeshua has rescued me, given me a new life, a new beginning, a new chance to live with Him: "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32, MKJV)
Once I catch myself at sitting in the coffee shop having lunch that I am alone and nothing scares me, nothing puts pressure on me, I simply enjoy life. And a thought popped into my head: "This is freedom, this is happiness, right here and right now!»
The Word of God is true: "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool; but whoever walks wisely, he shall be delivered." (Prov. 29:25, MKJV)