The way people see us and the way we see ourselves require a thorough panel-beating of ourselves, in short, rebuilding ourselves. Re-inventing is like rebranding ourselves. When life seems to toss us up and down, we feel helpless and we do not know the root cause of the problem. We feel afraid to look deep into ourselves to know why we are the way we are. Why we look odd in the society is a subject of serious investigation. Most of our bizarre behaviours do affect the society and even embarrass the society we belong to. Sometimes we do things as if we live alone in the society, breaking laws and rules. Our sense of mannerism is flawed and we don’t even care.
We continue hurting people without knowing it. In fact, a bunch of unfinished business weighs us down and we act as if there is something automatic in us. Perhaps we have lost a sense of direction and we have been tossed like a piece of wood in an ocean aimlessly with no hope of being ashore. When one does not pause for a second and ask oneself some pertinent questions about oneself, one will pay for it dearly because an unexamined life is not worth living. That is why we have many spiritual and psychological casualties today. We cannot ask people to help us because we feel if they really know who we are they will not like us. But how long can we hide from “who we are” imprisoned by our inability to be at home with ourselves and face the challenges life offers us to grow.
We need courage to confront what hinders us from growing. When we lack centre, growing up becomes an uphill task. When we are not sure of ourselves, we may not be sure of what life is offering us. We may prefer comfort zone to a life of struggle; fluctuating in different moods. Still, we have not dealt with the self; who I am. Can one escape the truth of one’s life? Can we see the truth of one’s life as an unimaginable project? Every day we can add something to ourselves. To know who we are, or discover who we are cannot be done by panel-beating ourselves like an old vehicle almost going out of use. If we try to panel-beat ourselves there is no way it can touch the inner self because panel-beating is only an external work. Whatever we do to ourselves without touching the inner self is a cover-up. We are like a whited sepulcher. People may see us but deep down we are good for nothing.
We may shine like stars outside and people may admire the outside but if you know how the inside treats us, you Re-inventing ourselves for Christ’s coming superficially is not enough. Looking at ourselves in the mirror is not okay because the mirror does not see the inner self. We cannot be happy with ourselves with all the contradictions and ambivalent lives. We must meet Jesus with our shattered lives, re-invent ourselves, meet him at the mountain top, disclose ourselves and allow him to rearrange our lives. This is the major reason for this season! With Jesus, the inner self emerges because the old self has given way to the new self. This is so through the efforts of eliminating in us what should not be there to disturb who we are in Jesus. Disobedience, dishonesty, rebellion and inciting people to rebel against authorities are what should not be found in children of God. This is a serious crime against humanity.
Very Rev. Msgr. Livinus Ukah is a Catholic Priest, Author of many books and a Social Justice and Peace Advocate