The True Self, the False Self, and the Reality of Self

One lone branch.

Sometimes I get tripped up when thinking about the true self and false self. Does that ever happen to you? 

It can happen like this. 

I’m aware of my true, created life in God, and when I’m living life from that place, everything within and around me becomes timeless. Everything holds a glow of beauty and perfection because God-in-everything becomes so evident in that place. Purity of heart, mind, body, and spirit abounds. 

Living in that place, I experience rest and hope and joy. I can breathe, and I can say with full conviction it is well with my soul.

But I don’t live from that posture of my true self all of my living, breathing moments. 

There’s also the false self.

This is the scrappy, stingy, worried, anxious, competitive, blaming, conniving self. It’s a distracted, consuming self. In its more tempered moments, it’s simply a shell of a real self. 

I don’t live all my living, breathing moments from this place, either. 

They’re both there.

I’m continually invited or compelled toward one or the other by forces outside myself and by habits built up within myself. On any given day, I’m an admixture of my true self and false self.

That admixture creates the reality of self. 

The reality of self is who I am in this very moment, living on this very earth, walking in this very moment deeper into my formation. 

Will I be formed more fully into my true self?

Will I be de-formed by my false self?

These are the living, breathing questions faced by the reality of self each day.

And this place of still forming — of reflecting on the reality of our formation in still moments and of acknowledging that we are forming, still, each day that we live — is one place those questions meet with our appraisal.