Become You – Be Free

You need not be ashamed of whom and what you are as long as who and what you are successfully strives to be whom and what you need to become.

Todd Beal

Each one of us is born with an internal sense of purpose, ranging from a vague longing to a consciously specific, burning desire. Few of us ever question it; we simply accept it for what it is and act upon it whenever and wherever we can. If you were designed to fix things with your hands you will fix whatever you can wherever you can find it. If you were designed to compose music and perform, you will compose music and perform anytime and anywhere possible. If you were designed to be an orator, you will speak anywhere and anytime possible on any current topic that burns within you.

We each were designed with a unique personality that lends specific talents and aptitudes for authentically navigating life. You may well remember the moment you suddenly realized you were meant for something other than what you were doing. It is the moment you realized something was wrong; you were not meant for this and something has to change, now! That experience fundamentally changed you… forever.

Sadly though, our human nature wants us to make others see life from only our personal point of view. We force ourselves on each other at every level and in every facet of human interaction: society, culture, family, marriage, friendships, and casual interactions. Within each of these areas, we are expected to live our lives according to the expectations of common ‘normalcy’: “How dare you be different”. Unfortunately, this begins at home with parents: “You want to do what? No child of mine is gonna do that!” Some of us will resign to these expectations and die inside, existing from that point on, day by day, as a walking empty shell. Some of us though, despite the outside pressure, will feel the inferno begin to build inside and grow more intense day by day. Inevitably, we make the move and we’re off pursuing what we were ‘born to do’; it is a most freeing moment!

However, even if you are that one that defies the norm’ to pursue your life purpose, there is a price for standing alone, just as there is a price for resigning to the selfish expectations of others – nothing is without cost. You may find yourself someday feeling lonely or paralyzed by the feeling of guilt over ‘betraying’ your family heritage, your religion, or culture. We were not created to live in isolation from the people we love, but conversely, we were also created to live out the unique person we are inside, even if that means saying goodbye to those who mean so much to us. If your current path is not based on selfish desire, sheer rebellion, or self-indulgence, if truth is your source of direction – guiding you, leading you, prompting you – stand firm, dig in, and know that God will provide everything you need to both proceed and ultimately succeed – even if the results are different from your expectations. Truth knows no shame; and if truth is your source, you are becoming who and what you were created to be – life lives within you, for by truth alone and none other you live, unique and free.

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About Todd Beal

I love truth and its facts. I love thought-provoking conversations that give both the other person and me a better understanding of a particular topic. I love to find answers to life-long questions; answers that let me see things for what they are instead of what they seem to be. I truly enjoy being in the midst of a group of people where all individuals are joining in, where everybody is enjoying the company of each other. I relax in the company of individuals who are competent yet humble. I like to catch myself doing or saying something ridiculous and then laugh my head off. I enjoy my church and being involved.
This entry was posted in Authenticity, Being True to Self and Others, By Title [B], Life Purpose and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Become You – Be Free

  1. I believe that conflicts between the “true self” and expectations are the cause of much mental illness and anguish. Without an understanding of true principles, it is very difficult to find the balance needed to fulfill both self AND expectations. However, I’m convinced that balance is exactly what God wants us to achieve. Not the elimination of stressors and stresses, but an acceptance and management of appropriate stresses, and abandonment of harmful ones.

    If I am a born musician and feel that my purpose in life is to write symphonies, I should by all means pursue it. However, if the market for symphonies is tough and I have been forced to become a bus driver to pay the bills, I have already struck sort of balance. If I marry and have children, new dimensions are added. I may hate driving that bus and long to be at the podium conducting, but I do need to feed my family. I don’t need to submit to my parents’, my friends’ or anyone else’s expectations, but those of spouse and offspring remain eternally valid. I was “born” to be a musician, but I was also “born” to be a husband and father (which demands the undesired role of bus driver). I can either let the tension between these apparently conflicting roles prompt me to seek freedom from the one I least enjoy, or I can drive that bus with a smile and hum one of my symphonies all day long, love my family and work hard in every spare moment to develop my talent. By embracing ALL of my valid roles, I am trusting in God that I will be blessed for my efforts. He certainly wants me to succeed in all of them. In that way joy can be found in times of stress, hard work and juggling of multiple roles.

    That’s what I’m hearing in your words “…successfully strive to become whom and what you need to become.”

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    • Expressed very simply and logically.

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    • Todd Beal says:

      Michael,

      Yes, and I am continually, pleasantly surprised at how you equate these posts with your own life experience. I would not have thought to apply your analogy to this concept but it certainly rings true in my life.

      Year after year, I necessarily performed the type of work contrary to what I was designed to do – I simply needed the income. But interestingly, doing so forced me to work in the public arena with hundreds of people, the very experience I needed to gather crucial writing material. I cannot remember not being in tune with personality, even as a child, but those years of working side by side with others helped me to understand how my concepts apply within everyday life.

      Aside from this, I find that the majority of all people forgo their natural design – in one way or another – in favor of retaining “good status” with others. This wreaks havoc on their individuality as well as their personal relationships. For instance, if I am naturally compelled to pursue a career in finance, but, due to cultural and/or familial pressure, I instead choose the field of automotive mechanics, I will simply hate life and those around me. My choice runs contrary to my natural purpose. This is not to say that our lot in life, or life circumstance, allows full use of our natural design (as you pointed out), even if we do choose to pursue our natural path. However, life circumstance does not kill our spirit, but only our willful resignation to following a self-contradictory life path. It is one thing to be denied by life but quite another to do this to ourselves and consequently commit internal suicide.

      My point here is that we each are unique individuals with unique talents and skills. The person that turns his or her back on this gift, trying instead to duplicate the gift given to another person, instantly dies inside. This is why the apostle Paul states in Philippians 2:12-13 [ESV] to “[12]…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, [13 ] for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” God designed us to be unique individuals, not the duplicate of another person. God designed each of us for a specific purpose, and in the process provided the necessary tools to achieve this purpose, including the burning desire to use them.

      Finally, I believe we are so afraid of alienation that we fear the individuality in others. The dissimilarity makes us feel separate from them. I also believe we are so afraid of alienation that we fear our own individuality. Individuality makes one stand alone and separate. However, only strong authentic individuality allows for strong authentic relationships with others. This involves a great deal of work but the results are both rewarding and lasting. Without this, one becomes an increasingly wishy-washy person, believing that the world owes him or her continual favor.

      | That’s what I’m hearing in your words “…successfully strive to become whom and what you need to become.” |

      Absolutely, that is the purpose of this post. And the door between success and failure is our willingness to stand alone, even when it hurts.

      I recall one other individual who pulled this off, but perfectly. His name is Jesus Christ, the individual of individuals who also loved his creation so much that he gave his very life in our stead. That is awesome! I want to be like him.

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      • You chose the right hero, Todd. We Americans like to worship talent and shell out enormous sums to watch “one in a million” athletes and performers. The New Testament doesn’t tell us if Jesus could slam-dunk or sing like Pavarotti (although I’ll bet he very well could have been a skilled and artful carpenter), it is clear that he had the talents he needed to complete his own mission: An inexhaustable love for all humanity combined with a laserlike focus on the individual. He not only didn’t do anything wrong, he did everything right. All other heroes and objects of admiration fail us at some point, but our worship and emulation of Him can never be misplaced.

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        • Todd Beal says:

          Awesome! Michael, I realize that most of my comments are long-winded and sometimes a bit too involved, but your comment (the whole thing) is the underlying essence that drives my statements about personality. Jesus followed his life path regardless of the cost, and so we too must follow our life path, our purposed design, regardless of the cost just as he did.

          The awesome part is that because we are too weak to follow his example on our own, he empowers us to do so through him. I simply love how he perfectly lived out the very design that he gave us. He isn’t a “do as I say and not as I do” God, he is a “do as I say, according to my perfect example, as I empower you to do so” God. What a privilege to serve him!

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    • Todd Beal says:

      Quite simply, Michael, this comment contains more substance, more truth, than any of your previous comments. It is also the best written/presented.

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    • Todd Beal says:

      | I believe that conflicts between the “true self” and expectations are the cause of much mental illness and anguish. Without an understanding of true principles, it is very difficult to find the balance needed to fulfill both self AND expectations. However, I’m convinced that balance is exactly what God wants us to achieve. Not the elimination of stressors and stresses, but an acceptance and management of appropriate stresses, and abandonment of harmful ones. |

      Michael, I was just rereading your comment and your first paragraph jumped out at me. I have been trying for years to formulate what you say in this statement. I don’t know how anyone could lay out this concept/principle any better. You covered all the bases in one impactful, easy to understand statement. Thanks! It speaks to me on a personal level.

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  2. Lance Ponder says:

    This was an amazing post. Nothing to add. Nothing to criticize. Just a note to say thanks for sharing.

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  3. Madison Woods says:

    Todd, this is another deeply resonating post.

    I have struggled all of my adult life to ‘fit in’ while at the same time follow my purpose. I’m one of those with a deep, burning desire to lead a life that is different from the norm, but I feel compelled to do it, regardless of cost. Yes, I have made adjustments in order to pay bills, but still I am compelled to get out of the consumer life and rat race.

    It feels important to be debt free, which means I won’t be driving brand new cars or wearing the latest fashions, and I might not have cable or satellite television or cell phones by the time I’ve whittled out the unnecessary expenses from my budget. But it will mean that I have freed up a lot of my time to pursue the life God has inspired me to live. My children are all mostly grown now and they won’t feel neglected by the lack and there’s no other real reason I want to continue paying those bills. Those bills are the only reason I’m working so much of my life at a job that isn’t satisfying what I feel is my purpose in life.

    So, we have to be careful that we’re not justifying that ‘balance’ by taking on a yoke we weren’t meant to pull. My family needs a safe haven for what might be very difficult times that lay ahead. That is my main purpose in life, it is what I feel led to do. I’ve been led to learn to garden, recognize and utilize medicinal plants, and learn to live without relying on Wal-Mart for my needs and those of family and livestock.

    Because my writing isn’t paying my bills (yet), I’m still working the dayjob because of debt obligations. But the idea is to pay down the debt not to continue building it.

    Very often throughout the most recent years, since I accepted the call to my purpose, I’ve felt an awful lot like Noah must have felt when his family and friends ridiculed him for building a boat in the middle of the desert. But none of that bothers me anymore because I feel firmly on the right path. My husband decided this was not the life he wanted to lead and I decided I had to continue this life without him. I have faith that a new partner will come into my life, one who is suited to me and I to him.

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    • Todd Beal says:

      Madison,

      | So, we have to be careful that we’re not justifying that ‘balance’ by taking on a yoke we weren’t meant to pull. |

      Very true. There is no good alternative for doing what we must, but pseudo self-sacrifice is never necessary either, only detrimental.

      | Very often throughout the most recent years, since I accepted the call to my purpose, I’ve felt an awful lot like Noah must have felt when his family and friends ridiculed him for building a boat in the middle of the desert. |

      The awesome part is that God eventually brought the rain to make that boat float. Of course, Noah’s faith allowed him to know this beforehand.

      Thanks for this.

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