The True Me?

Posted: January 6, 2010 by clairer in Pride, Truth

I was bored one summer afternoon, so I grabbed my laptop, opened my browser, and checked my Facebook account.  My newsfeed was littered with results from my friends taking yet another Facebook quiz.  Usually, I ignored these (as the results tended to not mean anything significant), but this one intrigued me: “What famous literary character are you?”  As an avid reader and fan of literature, how could I resist taking this one quiz?

I briefly answered the eleven “what-would-you-do-if-this-happened” questions and viewed my result.  Apparently, I was most like Jane Eyre – someone who struggles between her mind and heart’s desires, an eccentric, quiet and thoughtful, smart, romantic, and forgiving person.  I quickly dismissed the results.  True, some of the qualities might be similar (of course I am forgiving, smart, and thoughtful), but me be Jane Eyre? Jane Eyre is extremely plain, someone nobody wanted, and was deceived by the man she loved.

I much preferred to think of myself as a Lizzie Bennet – someone who was smart, witty, pretty, and unafraid to speak her mind.  Of course she had her faults, but in light of all of her good qualities, they weren’t that significant.

However, why was it that I was so quick to reject the result that I didn’t like?  No doubt if Elizabeth Bennet had been my result, I would have been quick to publish it to my newsfeed and paste it on my profile.  Perhaps it wasn’t so much that the result was wrong, but that I viewed myself incorrectly.

One of the areas that has been central to my maturing process has been seeing myself as I am and not how I imagine myself to be.  As a strong-willed, imaginative perfectionist, it is easy for me to see myself as I would like to – a perfect, smart, beautiful prodigy with a mixed-in Mother Theresa personality.  Learning to see the truth has been a process for me that will continue throughout my life.

When I was little, my stuffed animals talked to me.  I knew that it was really my mom talking through them, but they always seemed so alive because their personalities were so realistic.  Looking back, I can understand how my mom developed and understood these personalities so completely – their personalities were perfect replicas of my own!  My favorite stuffed animal was a lamb, originally and creatively named “Lamby.”  She was strong willed, sometimes irascible, and a perfectionist.  There would be times that I would argue with her and ask her why she couldn’t just be like my brother’s stuffed bear (who had an extremely sweet, caring personality and an adorable little laugh), to which she would reply, “Because you aren’t.”  This puzzled me somewhat because I thought I was a lot more like my brother’s bear than my demanding lamb.

However, as I matured, I began to be able to see and acknowledge my true self, both good qualities and flaws.   I was more selfish than I wanted to be, less considerate than I could be, and more stubborn than I should be.  While I didn’t and still don’t like to admit where I fall short of who I want to be, acknowledging who I am was the first step for me to work toward becoming who I can be.  There are some things that I won’t be able to change about myself, like my appearance or my naturally strong personality, but there are other aspects that I am able to change now that I see a bit more clearly who I truly am.  I can practice more patience, work on being more considerate of others, and learn to channel my strong will so that it is used effectively to serve others and not selfishly.

I think that it can be a temptation for all of us to see ourselves in the way that we want to.  However, it is important for us to have an accurate picture of who we are.  Without truly seeing who we are, we’re blinded to the areas where we need to grow and, without this growth, we are unable to become the people that God wants us to become.  While it takes humility to look in the mirror and see the areas where we need to grow, God reminds us that we aren’t alone in this task, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)

In all humility (*cough*)…I still didn’t think that I was a Jane Eyre, so I went back to take the quiz one more time.  Jay Gatsby?  No way!

  1. JoRo says:

    Like it so much!!

  2. Tabitha says:

    Very insightful. I appreciate your honesty. ( :

  3. Katlyn says:

    Very helpful – helped me connect more with your point.
    Thanks for being honest. 😉

  4. Nicholas says:

    Are you a fan of pride and prejudice (i am assuming so… my sisters love it, but i can’t seem to get into it 🙂

    Good post, very thoughtful!

  5. claireanne says:

    🙂 Yes, I’m a big “Pride and Prejudice” fan — I’ve read it 11 times!

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