What if in 2013, you stopped trying to obey all the rules you have placed on yourself? What if you looked into the scary corners of your Shadow Self – all those things you try to deny and hide because you have labeled them as ‘bad’ – and chose to love and embrace all of the parts and pieces that make you human? This is a good time to start being you. All of you. Often, people think the Bible is a Book of Rules that says God will only love you if you are good, according to these rules. And yet it provides examples of evil deeds, of forgiveness, of humans being human. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Did you know that Jacob, the Father of Abraham, was a liar? Esau sold his birthright to his baby brother Jacob for a bowl of stew...folly on Esau’s part. I’m sure Esau didn’t really think this ‘bargain’ mattered because he knew his father, Isaac, was going to give him his blessing and birthright. It wasn’t yet Esau’s to give – or Jacob’s to take. What Esau didn’t know was that their mother, Rebekah, had plans to help his brother deceive their father so that Jacob would receive the first born’s blessing and birthright which was, of course, intended for Esau (Genesis 25 – 27). Essentially, the great nation of Israel was conceived through deception. And yet the Children of Israel (Jacob was later called Israel by God after wrestling with an Angel, Genesis 32) were God’s chosen people (Deuteronomy 14:2, Exodus 6:7). Imagine being betrayed by your brother…or your mother. Esau did forgive Jacob (Genesis 33). But the only way to learn forgiveness is to have something to forgive. Usually, those closest to us provide us with the biggest opportunities to learn forgiveness. These are lessons in love and in grace.
And what about forgiving ourselves? What unholy terror has your Shadow Self released that you have not been able to forgive? Are you ready to let that go? To love? To show grace? Doing so will allow you to step into your greatness, having overcome the fear of who you think you are in those dark recesses. Loving your Shadow Self is not an easy task. But if those aspects of yourself of which you are ashamed are not acknowledged, when your repressed states unleash themselves, you risk destruction to yourself and to those you love.
God called David ‘A man after My own heart, who will do all My will,’ (1 Samuel 13:13-14). But when King David’s Shadow Self emerged, not only did he have an affair with Bathsheba, he then had her husband, Uriah the Hittite, sent to the front lines of battle, ensuring his death. David impregnated Bathsheba and then made sure her husband was murdered (2 Samuel 11). More than one commandment was broken, right? …Thou shalt not kill…Thou shalt not commit adultery…these are one right after another, like David was going down the list…but then add Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s <wife> (Exodus 20). One could argue that more were broken, but you get the idea. When David succumbed to his darkest desires, he went all out. Was God pleased with this man after His own heart? Well, no…David’s house was afflicted with turmoil, including the death of the resulting love child.
What good came of David’s Shadow revealing itself? When David realized how far he could fall, he became human. Yes, he was technically already human, but David didn’t realize just how much until these sins humbled him. David admitted his wrongs and asked for forgiveness (2 Samuel 12:13). David trusted God and obeyed His commands. David had Faith and was a faithful servant. But I think David’s greatest gift was that in all things – in times of rejoicing and in times of despair – he was thankful. And his Faith made him Fearless.
In 2013, I invite you to have Faith and be Fearless. Stop trying to be ‘good’ and allow yourself to make mistakes. You won’t be the first or the last. Love and embrace all aspects of who you are. And, in the realization of your perfect humanness, be ready to forgive.