By Valerie Minard
Looking for a new you in the new year?
Maybe it’s with relationships, getting fit, or seeking new opportunities at work or in other spheres of activity that will better utilize your talents and bring enrichment.
“Often, it’s not about becoming a new person,” said poet-fiction author Heath Buckmaster, “but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.”
While some may not be able to define what they want to change, they crave a fresh start — a life with more meaning. So the question becomes how do we discover who we are “meant to be?”
Could it be that the desire to improve oneself actually comes from a knowledge we have deep down that we are much more than what we appear to be? Isn’t it a desire to know ourselves spiritually, to see in ourselves and others the grace, beauty, self-worth, intelligence and harmony that come from our divine source?
Some people have found that taking a spiritual journey has helped to clarify their purpose and to find their true identity. Spiritual discoveries help us drop old, negative, limited views of ourselves in exchange for clearer views of our spiritual worth and promise. Sometimes this journey starts as a quest for a deeper understanding of one’s relationship to the Divine. Other times, we run up against something that impels our spiritual growth.
That’s what happened to the Apostle Paul. On his way to Damascus to sentence more Christians to death, the Bible says he was struck blind and heard the voice of Jesus telling him he had a unique spiritual purpose. Healed of his blindness soon after, Paul underwent a radical change of character and mission. His life took on new meaning, and he was able to bless many people, even the Christians he had formerly persecuted.
Paul said that we too could experience this healing transformation by throwing off or dropping the “old man” or outgrown, limiting concepts of ourselves and putting on “the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” That new man could be viewed as our true, spiritual self, boundlessly good.
While each of us has our own spiritual path, I think how Paul approached his journey is worth considering. He showed great humility. He was willing to drop all preconceived notions of his history and begin to identify himself from a spiritual perspective. Instead of condemning himself for crimes he had committed, he began to accept that his true self was “created in righteousness and true holiness.” He opened his heart to see what the Divine was seeing and knowing about him as His loved creation.
Spiritual thinker and healer Mary Baker Eddy adds her own perspective from the spiritual journey she took. “How shall we reach our true selves?” she asked in her “Miscellaneous Writings” book. “Through Love … Who wants to be mortal, or would not gain the true ideal of Life and recover his own individuality? I will love, if another hates. I will gain a balance on the side of good, my true being. This alone gives me the forces of God wherewith to overcome all error.”
After a series of failed relationships many years ago, I was drawn to a better understanding of my relationship with the Divine. Instead of searching for another boyfriend, I decided it was time to get closer to God and Divine Love to find my self-worth. This journey led me to feel more complete and joyful, and my relationships became grounded on a more spiritual foundation.
Learning to love as our Father-Mother loves us is the way to discover and express our true nature. This spiritual standpoint empowers us to achieve much good and progress in our lives. As we do this, we find that our true self was indeed our only self and our best self. So bring on the new year and the new you!
Valerie Minard writes regularly on the connection between consciousness, spirituality and health. She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media and legislative spokesperson for Christian Science in New Jersey. Contact her at email@example.com or @valerieminard.
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