For several years, I had wrestled with the feeling of having the need to be just like everybody else while struggling to get out of my shell, wanting to show the world who I really am.

I was wondering why I wasn’t able to do it easily. Bakit kahit alam ko na yung gusto kong gawin, hindi ko pa rin magawa? Then I learned that I have to truly know myself first kasi hindi ko pa pala talaga kilala yung sarili ko kaya siguro ginusto kong maging katulad na lang ng ibang tao.

But knowing myself comes with having to embrace my individuality, to accept my uniqueness as a person and as a child of God, to see my own beauty not just to boost my self-esteem, but to really know how fearfully and wonderfully created I have been. Pero hindi lang pala ako.

I am unique and special. And so are you!

When I learned about and have accepted my true identity, hindi doon nagtatapos ang ‘boxing’. Knowing that I am precious in the eyes of our loving Heavenly Father stabilized my self-confidence and has eventually lessened my craving for self-worth and approval from the world, although it is still an ongoing process.

Having a stronger confidence comes with another challenge: becoming genuinely humble. While I am learning to embrace my individuality, I also have to appreciate other people’s uniqueness. Hindi lang ako ang anak ng Diyos. LOL! In my experience, habang natututunan ko kung ano ang tama at mabuti, nandyan din lagi yung tendency ko to be self-righteous. But the Lord has always been faithful to gently rebuke and lovingly convict me whenever I forget to also see how special and beautiful His other creations are. And for that, I am grateful.

Each of us has a particular role to play.

After knowing and accepting myself and seeing the worth of other people, the next thing I had to learn is that each person has a purpose. Every person I meet teaches me a lesson or two.

I have friends whose personalities and attitudes are so diverse. Most of them are very smart, some have strong personalities—straightforward and tough, others are tenderly caring and thoughtful, there are some who are gentle and soft, etc.

And just when I am tempted to wishfully think na sana katulad na lang nila ako, I am being reminded that just how each of these friends of mine play a certain role in my life, I also have a particular role to play in theirs.

And for me to play my role well and be able to fulfill God’s purpose, I have to be who He created me to be and do what He created me to do, and this has set me free from the world’s pressure to be like everybody else and to do what everybody else is doing.

Each person has his or her own battles and monsters to defeat.

Before, having my own challenges had often made me falsely think that I was the only one who is having a hard time, not seeing that others were suffering, too. But Jesus intervened and made me see what I have been blinding myself from.

Some friends and acquaintances would approach me when they are going through difficult situations and would either need an advice or just someone to listen. And I would be more than happy to respond.

Upon listening and talking to these people, I came to understand that no matter how a person’s life may look like on the outside, he or she may be having an internal battle that no one else knows about. And I should understand this because I, myself have been wrestling with my own monsters, too.

WE ARE SPECIALLY MADE FOR A WONDERFUL PURPOSE

May knowing and accepting our true identity as created and intended by God make us see and appreciate the beauty and worth of our fellow creatures—humans, animals, nature–which are His living glory and masterpiece.

May we gracefully and faithfully live and fulfill the Lord’s purpose for each of us as we embrace our individual essence.

And may we keep on growing in love and maturity, having profound and genuine respect and understanding of each other’s life, differences, and experiences, while continuing to face our own respective ordeals with grace and confidence from and with the Lord.

Love and prayers for you.

Photos sources: Unsplash and Pixabay

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