“I wish you could see yourself through my eyes. If you could, you would see just how beautiful you are, and the extraordinary miracle of being you. If you could climb inside of me right now and feel what I feel for and about you, you would know you are accepted and loved… all of you… just the way you are, and you would never again doubt your worth or your place in this world. Don’t confuse the word “acceptance” with “tolerance.” It’s not that you are a tolerable you. You are that priceless piece of art, that song that brings tears to your eyes, that sunset that moves you, takes your breath away and satisfies every molecule of your being. I don’t “tolerate” you, I dance and celebrate you! I wish right now you could sink down into and bask in the warmth of knowing all that you are.
But you won’t believe this about yourself. Instead, you are seeking worth, love, acceptance, security, peace, worth and happiness out there in the world. So you live in fear.
You fear failure because you have a misplaced dependency upon “success” for value and worth. You fear rejection because you have a misplaced dependency upon others’ opinions and responses to you for acceptance. You fear financial loss because you have a misplaced dependency upon money for peace and security. You fear abandonment because you have a misplaced dependency upon others for love. You fear God because you have a misplaced dependency upon religion that measures your value against your performance. You fear aging or not having the perfect body because you have a misplaced dependency on physical appearance for worth and acceptance. You fear honesty because you have a misplaced dependency on an image of having it all together for a sense of identity. You fear being a nobody because you have a misplaced dependency upon being a somebody for a sense of purpose and meaning and value.
Listen to me. Even if you could achieve all those things, they would not satisfy or fill what you long for. Somewhere out there along the way in your drive to succeed, your game of image management and pleasing others, your dutiful religious obedience, your obsession with losing weight and being thin, and carrying that monkey on your back to be special and significant or at least not found out… somewhere out there along the way in all of that you are going to lose something invaluable… yourself.
Do you get that? You’ll lose you – the you I see right now… the beautiful you, the worthy you, the good you, the loved you, the extraordinary you. Do you see? Even if, by doing all those things, you gained the whole world, you would forfeit you.
I’m going to ask something of you that isn’t going to be easy because it’s going to require you to trust me. Right now you are carrying a story inside your head about yourself that isn’t true, and you’re going to spend your entire life forfeiting yourself and losing your life trying to fight or disprove that story. I’m asking you to start seeing you through my eyes. I’m asking you to be open to the possibility that there is nothing wrong with you and never was. That you have nothing to earn, nothing to prove or disprove, that you can bury that fictitious story, and start living the truth. They say the truth is always better than fiction. See that for yourself. That other story will kill you piece by piece until there’s nothing left. But living the truth of who you are is going to open up a life of possibilities you could have never dreamed and would have never achieved out there chasing the carrot of acceptance.
There’s nothing wrong with you. There is no obstacle to overcome here except yourself. You can do this! You can step into the real story of who you are. Part of the old story is that you can’t. Not true. I wouldn’t have asked if I knew you couldn’t. Sure, it’s going to be a process. You going to have good days and bad days. But then one of those days… somewhere out there along the everyday paths of life when you least expect it… it will sneak up on you and suddenly you will indeed see yourself through my eyes.
Then we’ll both dance.”
– Jesus, Luke 9:25, The Religion-Free Bible (Jim Palmer)