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Friday, November 30, 2007
What is a "self?"
I've seen alot of posts recently about identity: what it means (or doesn't mean to be female, feminine etc,) whether or not we should change and/or hide parts of "who we are" in certain situations, and generally what it means to be an authentic woman/person of God.

What lies at our core and is essential to who we are as authentic human beings, and what aspects of our habits, presentations and personalities are flexible, adaptable and able to be altered and improved to better enable our essential authentic selves to shine forth ultimately?

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posted by Jemila Kwon at 11:08 AM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 12/03/2007 10:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous


    I think that a great start lies with internalizing love without condition. Of course, that is something difficult to do with so many conditions for love floating around in the world around us and in our heads. Most often, it becomes easiest when someone has loves us in that way.

    This reminds me of a question that I ponder: "Is it hard to believe that God loves you, because he knows you?" And of course by "you", I mean that buried, hidden you - the "self".

    Practicing unconditional love for others enables them to live more authentically as well.

    Just some thoughts..


  • At 12/03/2007 02:12:00 PM, Blogger Jemila Kwon

    Amie, I hear you. If God is love and we are made in her image, I think our very inmost essence is pure love. Yet what flavor pure love? Our genetics and histories help give us our particular seasoning, and I am wondering how we understand where the line is between the parts of ourselves we can (and in some cases need) to change to grow or adapt, and what parts of ourselves we cannot alter without betraying our true selves. Hence, what self is it that we cannot betray and still be true to ourselves?

  • At 12/03/2007 09:00:00 PM, Blogger Lydia

    What a great question. It's taken me this long to even begin to formulate an answer. :)

    I'm going to be rather pragmatic here and say that a good deal of it has to do with why someone is being asked to change.

    Is it because their actions, etc are harmful to someone else? Is it because their actions, etc are no longer working for them the same way they used to? Is it because being or doing X simply makes the Smiths and Joneses (who don't do or think or feel X) of the world a little uncomfortable?

    On a slightly different note, this:

    "Is it hard to believe that God loves you, because he knows you?"

    Hit me like a ton of bricks. Yes, I have a hard time believing that God loves me because he knows me (and not in spite of it.)

  • At 12/05/2007 02:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous


    I think that embracing every part, undermines the ones which are not necessary and "reintegrates" us.


    Yeah, that's a tough one for sure!

    For me, I understood better the failure of old covenant Israel in keeping to "Love others as you love yourself" by thinking about that.


  • At 12/05/2007 03:41:00 PM, Blogger Jemila Kwon

    Lydia, it took me two readings to properly understand your question. I think there is so much Christian training that ingrains in you NOT to believe that God loves you BECAUSE God knows you, and that training compounds the crap we've already experienced living in a broken world with broken parents.

    Yes Amie, I agree. Honoring and loving the difficult parts of ourselves is like being the first to say you're sorry -- it just dissolves the whole conflict. It's just so much easier known than practiced! :)

  • At 12/23/2007 05:41:00 PM, Blogger Kim

    What is a self? I'm approaching this from a different point of view than the other comments, but as a clinical psych student, I'm actually doing a paper on this right now. One of the most promising paradigms of the self is the "self-in-relation." That we have different schemas, or self-organizations, that rise to dominance according to who we are with (or thinking of). We are different with our parents than we are with our children, different with a spouse than we are with professional colleagues, etc. So, using this paradigm, coherence for the Christian comes from awareness of the self in relation to God ... and His constant presence in every circumstance and in every moment lends coherence to ourselves. I believe that God sees so much more potential in us than we can possibly imagine ... and that's why life in the Spirit can never be sterile or stagnant!!!!

  • At 12/25/2007 09:17:00 AM, Blogger Jemila Kwon

    Mmm...I like this way of looking at it Kim, thank you! Merry Christmas!


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