During the course of my childhood, I adopted the belief that being oneself is a "no-no." That I had to seek to improve myself in order to become what other's desired me to be. However, I never believed I could achieve, nor accepted that I had - or ever could have - any great worth, so I found myself living down to the expectations of others, and, whether I desired to or not, I never seemed to improve.
It would be years later, when God knew I was ready to confront such issues, that He would reveal to me that just because a characteristic belonged to me, it didn't mean it was a bad one. Long story short, God enabled me to come to terms with the fact that I am me and I don't have to alter anything to impress anyone. Rather, I had to find self-acceptance in order to truly be myself. In doing so - in coming to terms with my quirks, short-comings, weaknesses and strengths, I was led into a place of peace not known to me before.
The image I get on writing this is of me being here in my home, at my desk, with the door shut. I'm busy typing away when someone knocks on the door. I rise from my place of unchained thought and, dressed in my best smile, open the door to welcome the visitor. On opening the door, I learn the person who seeks entry is no true friend. Rather, they've come to run their finger over the furniture; to check the state of the kitchen sink; to stick their nose to the floor in order to see how much dirt they can find hiding in every fibre.
The old me would've followed them around the house, agreeing with every critical judgement they offered; allowing them free reign in my home, and bowing to all the negativity they possessed - so much so that by the time they left I would be broken on a floor, or hiding in shame in a dark closet, and no longer confident enough to return to my place of writing, convinced that my heart was evil, I have no real value, and definitely nothing worth sharing with the rest of the world who were all too good for me anyway.
But not anymore. God's seen to that. He's worked on me behind my closed door, so now when an aggressor knocks, and that look of disdain greets me at the door, I can confidently and boldly say, "I'm not interested," and close the door once more, shutting them out. And, with a smile upon my heart, and with peace embracing my soul, I let them get on with their life, and I get on with mine.
Sometimes, the best door is a closed one...