Being myself..


By Marilyn Lai

Monday, 4 December, 2006

I need to write this down tonight before i lose the nerve to.

I thought i knew myself very well, but i didn’t. I thought i’ve always loved myself, but strip away everything that i’ve tried to achieve, the mask i wear, the ‘talents’ i possess, the friendships that build me up…and i know i never really did love myself for who i am.

A part of me has died many years ago, and tonight i found out that it has never grown back. I know all this while, my heart is wild like a bird caught in a cage, i’ve never felt free from the greatest enemy – myself.

We are someone’s pride and joy, someone’s disappointment, someone’s only hope for living, and we live and behave the label. Sometimes it’s hard to rip the ID sticker off our sweaters.

Our sense of self changes as we stand tender beneath the sun, searching for our new hard shell of a role to keep us safe, covered in familiar. I’ve taught myself that the key is to wear your identity more like a sticker than a tattoo. I made myself learn this ability to move from role to role, to glide without missing a beat, which makes a perfect Mari.

When you are around people, there is always a right answer, because that’s when we stop being ourselves, when we select what to say, and what to hide, to get what we want.

You want to be like them because if you shake hands with a mirror, you’re both likely to enjoy the view.

Likeness leads to liking.

And eventually, you’ll be like them because they like themselves. It’s not authentic, and then you’re a little sad and introspective at night. Suddenly you’re in sales. Why am i trying to be what everyone wants?

Why isn’t that one person just simply “me”?

I don’t want to be perfect anymore. All this years i’ve been trying to overcome myself, to overcome the world only to forget that someone has done it already. I’m trying to catch my breath running the hamster wheel of this life, and tonight, this promise of Jesus echoed in my mind: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John16:33)

I know this with total absolution and certainty – if i didn’t have that promise, i’d have lost myself completely a long time ago.


About the author:

Marilyn is someone who is trying to overcome the world before the world overcomes her.

Marilyn’s blog is here.

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