"It's hard for me to think about someone so beautiful doing something like that to themselves..."
Or something to that effect was a statement made to me on Sunday after church from an old friend of mine. It's always hard for me to talk about....quite a shameful part of me, of my past.
Then this morning, reading my friend's blog Running Disciple followed by an article Philosophical conceptions of the self: implications for cognitive science, discussing the two perceptions of self:
This review examines two important concepts of self: the ‘minimal self’, a self devoid of temporal extension, and the ‘narrative self’, which involves personal identity and continuity across time.
really began me pondering upon perceptions, our own and others of something, anything, of each other.
The Three Brides by Jan Toorop
I see a minimum of three versions of myself, three existing perceptions:
There can possibly be more than 3 really, for every person we encounter has their own unique perception of 'me', but in general it's going to come down to seeing me in three general manners.
I see 3 general ways I can be viewed:
- How I see myself:
Dirty, evil, sinner. Never good enough, always messing things up. Imperfect failure. Ugly, fat, unattractive, undesirable, rejected, pointless, worthless, unimportant. unloved and unlovable
- How Others see me:
While not the opinion of everyone, this is a view I've had expressed to me by a few that I respect the opinion of but don't really understand or agree with.
To sum it up, a purity test once told me I was the 'virgin sacrifice'...Innocent, pure. Once in high school I got fussed at by my friends for saying the word 'pissed' to express my anger, apparently I am not allowed to say such things. Older gentlemen tell me that 'if only they were younger' and a date once said that he thought if anyone was capable to earn their saint status, he thought I did (ex-catholic). Most generally sum me up as that church-going good little christian girl, who is a bit too innocent for them. I find humanity always seems to place higher judgements and expectations upon others than themselves, and await for our imminent failure-for we always have decent reasons for our own actions-everyone else just has excuses.
- How God sees me: How I REALLY am:
I see God seeing me as the the bride of Christ... I am imperfect alone but perfect through Him who cleanses me. I am in His image, His temple, His light. I am made of flesh and blood, bone and muscle. I fall short sometimes, I fail, but all the while comforted by the warmth of His mighty palm where I reside. No one whispering to me what I should be, or trying to label me anything.
Imperfect made into perfection through the blood of His one and only son, the Son of God Jesus Christ who died just for me.
For I do have worth against my own view. I am worth the time, worth the seasons of my being. worth the trials, worth the pain. I'm somehow deserving of His love, I am beautiful and I am loved.
There is a deeper reason for my existence through Him, I have purpose.
The world always talks about "accepting yourself" and I started wondering when, if ever, I managed this during my recovery. The answer is I think never.
I haven't accepted myself, I have put down myself and accepted Christ.
If I had of accepted myself, my self-view, or self-perception, would be better. I don't think I want to accept myself, I just want to accept God's view. I want to merge His view and make it my own.
Putting down myself and lifting up Him.
"Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." 1 Peter 5:5-7 KJV
For I am only worth anything if you see me through Him. And any "good" others see in me, any beauty is really His beauty shining through me. Any resemblance to anything remotely close to a Saint, any "virgin sacrifice"-like qualities are His grace being reflected through me.
I think Paul really grasped this concept when he wrote 1 Corinthians 15:9
"For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." NKJV
- Other's viewed Paul as either "Saul" the perfect Pharisee, or Saint Paul the powerful disciple.
- Paul saw himself for the murderer he was
- And God saw Paul as a perfect vessel to flow His mighty power though