3 Ways To Let Your Awesome Self Shine
I used to work with a guy who was so difficult to get along with—Like hair-pullingly difficult. I clashed with his personality and felt like he just didn’t like me, and so I didn’t like him in return. An eye for an eye, right?
Yet… I wondered how I could still love someone, even if they (seemingly) didn’t like me. I thought, “Doesn’t God understand this feeling best of all? If God is a God of love, doesn’t He love all people, no matter what? And don’t people seem to flock to God, no matter what?” Father Moon explained:
“Why does everyone want to offer their best service to God, depend on Him, and be with Him? Why, in their innermost heart, do people willingly leave their parents, and brothers and sisters, wanting to be closest to God in order to share their personal concerns with Him? This is because God is true.” (Sun Myung Moon, 1971)
I can’t change anyone’s attitude toward me, but I can change my own and become a truer person in the process. If you’re seeking to get at the core of God’s genuine, trustworthy, ever-embracing presence—and become that yourself—here are three things you can start practicing every day:
Don’t we turn to God because we know He loves us no matter what? We realize that He looks beyond our actions and sees the pure heart behind our mistakes. I want to be like that!
One of the ways we can develop that same strength of heart in our relationships is to haveunconditional positive regard for those around us. This is a therapy technique in humanistic psychology that means completely accepting a person, no matter their beliefs or actions. It’s proven this can help people change their ways for the better. It doesn’t mean we agree with everything they say, but we accept their unique ideas and feelings, and love them unconditionally like a brother or sister.
Father Moon came up with another way to unconditionally embrace others: “If three times or more, you act kindly toward someone who hates you, he will bow his head. Just treat such a person nicely three times, and you will win him over,” (Sun Myung Moon, 1971). In Romans 12:21 it says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” We need to believe in the power of good deeds again!
Doing What You Say
Instead of focusing on how my coworker was treating me, I began to think of how I treated others and how I live my life—am I trustworthy? I realized I had some introspection to do.
Father Moon explained that a true person is someone of integrity, someone who does what they say with complete honesty. In my experience, people of integrity are those who live up to their morals and principles and view everyone around them not only as equals, but also as God’s family. From such a place of confidence and stability, we are better able to like people who don’t even like us back, because we are not defined by what others think of us, but rather by our conscience.
Father Moon taught that “a true person should be someone that every person can entrust everything to and discuss everything with. He should be someone in whom people can place their hopes for everything,” (Sun Myung Moon, 1971).
Just like we would trust our lives to God, we too can become people whom others can trust by acting on our principles and building confidence in the process.
Dropping the Facade
Have you ever seen someone, or yourself, act kind in public but then make snide comments behind someone’s back? We’ve all had our “false” moments where we seem to turn off one aspect of ourselves and turn on another, like in meetings, parties or anywhere we care what others think.
To be true, however, is to be genuine. As difficult as it is in practice, I think we can be more genuine by taking a sincere interest in others’ lives, being ready to talk about the more important things in life, listening to others and following the cue of that inner voice when it tells us to do something we know is right.
I learned a lot about authenticity and love through my colleague, and for that I’m grateful. Is there a person in your life today who’s challenging you to be truer and to love more deeply?