I lay myself naked in front of you, with nothing to hide, without shame of who I am, without fear of your censure. I have brought myself here so that I can get closer to the truth, so that I can move further toward my ultimate destination. Sometimes the advice or feedback from others can push you along in the right direction or pull you away from the darkness.
Over the years, because of my education level and my general lack of patience with most people, I have been accused of being an elitist. I am not so sure that I can fully deny the charge brought against me. I have at times, from my self-erected lofty pedestal, looked down on the unwashed masses and passed judgement. However, this reflection of me would certainly reveal a much younger man, someone that I no longer fully resemble. With age, comes a certain critical judgement, and maybe, a more solid basis for patience and understanding and relation. Whenever I have been accused of being an elitest, I chuckle a bit inside, not because I find humor in this pointed finger. What I think to myself is how odd a situation that I find myself in. I am accused of being an elitist, but I don't even like myself. I chuckle because of the consistency of my warped and misguided judgement. At least it is a level playing field in my mind, where all who don't rise about my threshold are judged in the same manner.
My own view of myself has, of course, been colored by a lifetime of hurt and pain and trouble. I wish to be beyond all of these petty slings and arrows, but I find that I fall as easily as everyone else. On the one hand, I think that I should not be so easily trapped and persecuted. On the other, I find that I am all too human. Experiences of this sort have, over the years, lessened my opinion of myself. In the past I often chided myself for being a weak fool, utterly without purpose, utterly without value, and utterly unlovable. I could be perfect 99% of the time, but that remaining 1% overshadowed all of my success. That 1% haunted me, kept me awake at night, and pushed me at the exclusion of all else. After a time, living in this mode, my foundation began to show some minor cracks. These issues were easily dismissed, easily ignored. Ultimately these cracks increased in magnitude and lead to my downfall. I could have used this as an excuse to destroy myself, to increase my negative view of myself. But, by the grace of God, this was my old self. Thankfully that old self is slowly giving way to a new self as I travel along the Christian path. I have come to understand that God not only loves me, but he also really likes me. I have learned that I am a unique creation of infinite worth, that I am worthy just as I am, that just being me is enough. I understand that as a member of the God's body, I play a unique and important role in his kingdom, a role that nobody else in the history of the world can play as I can.
I pray everyday for God to help me better understand the needs of others. A supplication that I strongly desire not to just become dust in the wind, but a true part of me, how I think and live. I earnestly hope that through understanding the troubles and concerns of those around me, that I, ultimately, will learn more about myself. It seems that I am not so different from others after all.