What the heck is self-actualization?


What the heck is self-actualization?


Last night I was up too late talking with my roomies.  Sometime ago we all analyzed each other using Meyers/Briggs Type Indicator.   Scotty and I were sharing with our much younger roommate about the process of self-actualization.  We told him that it is very likely that in the next 3 or 4 years he will go through a process where he will begin to accept who he really is, and let go what he thinks he is.  To be completely fair Jason is already a very sincere and genuine person.  He is further along the process of self-actualization than a lot of people I know.

It was in my mid-twenties that my opinion of myself and my world began to become more accurate.  For me I needed to understand grace.  When I did I began to allow myself to acknowledge the dark side of who I am.  It was very liberating to put aside the self denial and accept things as they are.  I started to realize how selfish and and self-centered I was even when I was doing good things.  I also realized that Jesus did everything that needed to be done to make me right with him, I just needed the faith to trust and the smarts to let Him start working on me from the inside.

Until I came to accept myself I was living in this tension between who I was and who I thought I was.  It takes a lot of effort to live in denial.  I felt like I was always spinning my wheels trying to project who I thought I was to myself and others.  In this there is always the fear that if you stop spinning that the whole system will implode and life will collapse in on itself.  It seems odd but having your life implode can be a marvelous conduit of God’s grace.  Life gets so difficult that there is no energy or desire left to keep spinning.  We reach a point of brokenness that frees us from the desire to mold other people’s perception of us.  The basis of our self image shifts from what others think of us, to what God thinks of us. 

  1. #1 by wilsonian on December 16, 2004 - 7:54 pm

    Does anyone make that transition gracefully? Or does everyone slide/ stagger/ cartwheel/ duck-walk it from denial like I am?

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