Who is the real you?
There’s the you that strangers see. Hopefully, if you are sincere and honest in how you behave in public, this is a part of the real you, the outer layer so to speak.
Then there’s the you that your friends see. And depending on which friend you are spending time with and what his/her likes and dislikes are, you may show a different layer of the real you to each one.
And there’s the real you that your family sees. Oftentimes this part of the real you is the you without makeup, the you with the moles and warts exposed (okay, I know, speak for myself, right?) This part of the real you feels more free to cry or express your frustration because you trust that your closest family members will love you anyway, in spite of your imperfections. You may have a BFF who is like family, also, and who will love you no matter what.
My mom is going to be 84 before the end of this year. She suffers from dementia.
When she first started forgetting everything I said to her, I felt frustrated. I felt like I was wasting my time telling her anything because she wasn’t going to remember it anyway.
But looking back, I realize that this was a selfish way of thinking. The point of loving someone is that you spend time together and care for one another. It’s about what you give, not what you get.
if when Mom forgets what I told her, I just tell her again. And again. But she knows I love her because I am spending time with her, showing her that I care, and allowing her to do her best to care about me.
Mom is living in a different layer of the real her. The real her that used to be is still there somewhere inside, and when I think about it, I grieve its loss. But the sweet Mom that is her core being is still there.
Perhaps it might be said that she is more real now than she ever was.
Many of her memories have been stripped away. In some cases, that is God’s mercy.
Her strength has been greatly diminished, and weakness has become her bosom buddy.
She doesn’t realize how much she has lost because she doesn’t remember how much she had.
But she still has her faith in God. In fact, she probably has more faith now than ever, because she forgets what she has to worry about!
But she still meets with the ladies at her church for prayer a few times per month. She still offers up her prayers to God on the behalf of those others who need His help.
And she still has love. I still can tell her what is going on, maybe a problem that I am facing, and she still listens sympathetically and shows that she cares. She may not remember later on, but I still have her listening ear, and I still have her love and care.
My mom is one of the sweetest, godliest, most merciful and caring people in the world!
The real her of today is just a continuation of the deep life of faith that she has lived for so many decades.
When all the layers get peeled away from me someday, I hope that the core, which is the real me, will be as beautiful as my mom’s is.
Don’t you wish the same for yourself?
May God help us today and each day to think the thoughts, say the words, and make the choices that will build in us a godly character, the core “us”, that will endure till the day we leave this world behind.
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