The other day, I was cutting into a purple onion. It was the first time that I ever had my eyes burn and the tears kept flowing as I sliced it for our hamburgers that night.
Like I had to do to that onion, we ourselves need to remove the layers of false identity. We need to peel away and remove the junk. Some of us are holding onto shame and guilt. Some are believing the lies of who we think we are – failures, not good enough, too old, no purpose, nothing to give.
It is time to stop listening to the lies and start believing the Truth. Some of us in our Second Half are feeling confused and unsure about our purpose. We are asking God for direction and instead He is moving us into transformation. This transformation helps us live life to the fullest beyond what the world tells our identity to be and its quest for success and wealth. Sometimes this process goes without a hitch and, often times, it’s an ugly mess before we get to the core of who we truly are, what we were designed for, and can see things clearly again.
What you may discover are parts of you that have been long-buried and may surface. Things about yourself that you’ve rejected, ignored, hidden or forgotten. You will realize that you are not your day to day - rather, you’re someone in that role (i.e. Mom).
The thing about the peeling away of layers of beliefs and habits to uncover the real “God-created” you is that it’s uncomfortable. It may not be a blissful, warm and fuzzy experience. There will be periods of intense emotions – feeling like you’ve lost your identity, feeling out of control, like you got in the way of things. Through it all, you will find you. You will find the falseness of what you have believed for so long.
If I, as a child, had allowed myself to feel dirty and ashamed of what my father did to me, I would have felt disqualified, unloved, and unforgiven for my failures. Then I would never have become like that purple onion and realized that through the burning and tears of pain comes goodness and forgiveness. We can remove the labels and see ourselves how God sees us.
Three things we can do to remove false identity:
1 Trust God with our identity. When you open your heart and surrender the layers, you find acceptance, love, understanding, and compassion. We must allow fear of change and loss to be set free. Our attitude must be one of letting go and letting God.
2 Love ourselves. So many women don’t. They see their past as their present and their present as their future. They live in depression because they choose not to forgive themselves or others. They have anger and hatred because of past hurts. The list goes on and I find it comes down to do you love yourself so that you can love others? Or even better, do you forgive yourself, so that you can forgive others? When you can say yes to those two questions is when the layers of who you thought you were begin to fall off.
3 Get rid of the baggage. Some of us are carrying guilt, blame, and resentment and they must be shed before you can find happiness or discover your new purpose. I get it – who hasn’t had difficulties? We all carry this extra weight – be it from a failed marriage, betrayal by a friend, abusive relationship with a spouse or parent, or a financial setback. For a lot of us in our Second Half, have experienced these and more, they are just a part of life. Do we like them? No. Are we proud of them? No. But we all must accept them and learn from them. We are not to dwell on them because if we do it only takes away time and energy of our new identity.
4 Make peace with yourself and others. Part of focusing on a new identity is learning how to move beyond our failures or troubles. To do this we must forgive others for what they’ve done to you and yourself for what you may have done to others. Clear you heart. Get right with God. When you do that you can move on without hesitation.