A lot of people hide themselves from people for fear that they might discover who they are. If you really know how such people feel, you pity them. We are all carrying wounds caused by others or the leftover of our childhood or wounds caused by ourselves. When we refuse to be what God wants us to be in life, we become confused and when people come to us, the little thing they say triggers anger and suspicion and we misinterpret whatever they say even when they mean well. Because of the numerous problems facing them, they tend to look for scapegoats whom they can transfer their aggression to without knowing that they have to deal with their problems by themselves and not to look for scapegoats. Blaming others cannot help us. When people are suspicious of each other, they cannot relate better.
There is always communication breakdown. This is a syndrome in Nigerian society. When there is communication breakdown, people cannot feel free to talk as before. One weighs his words for fear of being misunderstood. When a person is in such a state of mind, he or she tends to suspect every person that comes on his or her way. There is a tendency of saying “I hope this person is not like others who do not accept me as I am”. Such life becomes a hell when one begins to rehearse the type of people that come on his way and how they have treated him. We must also know that we know ourselves to a certain extent. We should not allow people’s negative perception about us affect who we are even though what they say about us may not be hundred percent true.
Self-acceptance is necessary people with low self-worth should begin to accept themselves. Poor image of ourselves brings untold misery in our lives. Waiting for someone to praise us to feel good is not good for our being. For a spiritual-minded person, life must continue in spite of the odds. One should not be afraid to meet others for fear that they might know his weaknesses. Being with people can strengthen us and help us overcome our past hurts. Carrying our past hurt all the time paralyses us and impedes our growth. This world is not free from pains and misunderstanding. We are bound to be hurt like the wounded Christ but through his wounds we are healed.
We must cling to Christ, the wounded healer to heal us of our “woundedness” and free us from anxieties and dreams that are not fulfilled. Unfulfilled dreams make us feel that we are nobody in the eyes of people. The wounded Christ helps us to refocus ourselves to things that are real not imagining that others do not love us and we feel that if they know our past they might reject us. We must accept ourselves because God has accepted us. God cannot reject what he has created. We must continue to feel good about others. When you do not feel good about yourself, you may not feel good about others. When there is no suspicion of others, we will not feel afraid to encounter the other and witness the miracle in a dialogue. Let us not be having hang-ups with people whom we think might discover who we are.
Even if they discover the other part of us that are not pleasant, they might help us deal with it so that we can be complete. Let us not act in fear. Let us deal with the contradictions in our lives that make us fear that people might know us and reject us. Fear or phobia has destroyed many people today. People are afraid to be alone. Many people fill their emptiness by being with people all the time thereby creating more problems for themselves. Being with people all the time makes people not to know themselves. It can create spiritual hazard. Fear of being alone is psychological and needs to be checked.
Many people today have wrecked their lives by not being at home with themselves and not knowing some of the things that prevent them from growing spiritually and materially. We need spiritual check-up and evaluation of ourselves. That is why we need expertise to help us understand ourselves and push that darkness in us to light and a selfgrowth realized. Now a full emerging person, with self-esteem has been born and no more distorted thinking will intrude into ourselves anymore and mar our personality.
• Very Rev.Msgr. Livinus Ukah is a Catholic Priest, an Author of many books and a Social Justice and Peace Advocate