Recently, I had the experience of reconnecting with some of my extended family in the ever dreaded FAMLY REUNION!!!! I am sure that my nervous anticipation of the judgment and ridicule is a familiar experience to many others. As a kid, I was experienced by my cousins and extended family as being extremely spoiled. However, on the inside I experienced great shame and embarrassment of who I was. As I reflect on what I must have been like as a child, I am sure that I was trying to cover up my feelings of inadequacy and shame by being annoying, frustrating, and generally rotten.
Fast forward 30 years, I am sitting around the campfire with the same family members who I provided great material for teasing and harassing and I was able to experience love and acceptance. Much of the time was spent catching up on each others lives. However, there were moments when I felt we were able to look past the image of our youth and see who we are as adults. Many of us have had tremendous relational difficulties, marriage failures, and deaths that have impacted us deeply. While there were the usual jabs at each other, there were also the moments of reality that each of us is tied to the other through the stories of our lives, our parent’s lives, and our past generations. In this place of pain, struggle, success, and love, we were able to stand together and find acceptance and healing.
As with many of my clients, I am no different in that the story of my life has played a significant role in creating who I am today. The same insecurities that I experiences as a child can often show up and have me behave in ways that are frustrating and hurtful to others. In these moments when these insecurities show their ugly head, I find it difficult to stand firm in who I believe that God has created me to be. I find that to be the honest, confident, self-accepting man that God created me to be can be extremely difficult in times that are awkward, scary and uncomfortable.
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to be involved in a seminar that is built on the idea that “you cannot change or heal what you do not acknowledge’. So, I continue to acknowledge my wounds, fears, and shame and step forward into the future with confidence that God will continue to work in me to be whom I was created to be all along. It is also my greatest pleasure to walk beside my clients who are struggling to find who they are created to be, and help them find acceptance and love. I am sure I am not alone on this journey, so if you find this a difficulty for you, talk with a trained professional that can help you find the amazing person God has created you to be.