The Key to a Happy New Year? Be as God Created You! What does it mean for you to "be"? What is your "being"? Understanding it, and Living it, is the Key to both Wholeness and Holiness in this life.
To be, or not to be, that is the question.", Hamlet tells us. But what he didn't mention is that it's a question of living or dying. Be-ing is living, while merely existing is like a death of one's true self.
So I want to begin this post with a New Year's Resolution. This year, I resolve "to be." That is, I am resolved to live my unique being and express that unique being more faithfully—faithfully to God and to my true self. Don't gloss over it. God wants you to do the exact same thing.
But what does that mean? Aren't we all existing in our being already? Isn't that just natural, and doesn't it just happen without effort? Not by a mile! Being—true being—can be hard to achieve and easy to lose sight of. And when that happens, we grow more unfulfilled in life. Fulfillment in life, and the pathway to holiness, is "being ." Failure "to be" is contrary to God's will, desire and plan for us. Let me explain what “being” is, and then I'll get into what specifically I'm resolving to do when I say that I resolve "to be."
To Be is To Live
What I call "being" can be described as the expression of your person manifesting God's perfect idea of you. When God thought of you, it was like Mozart composing a symphony or concerto in his mind, long before he put it to sheet music and long before the piece was ever played. You existed only in God's mind before time began. And like a composition of music, you were a unique composition of traits, gifts, characteristics, and talents in the divine mind that composed a beautiful, perfect, amazing "you" long before you were placed in your mother's womb.
Then the beautiful composition was put to sheet music—you were created, and your soul and body were combined in your mother's womb. The composer's hand is perfect, and his composition is breathtaking, but the paper was dirty, damaged, and a little faded (original sin).
"THE MORE WE IDENTIFY AND LIVE OUT THE CHARACTERISTICS OF OUR UNIQUE BEING, THE MORE REAL WE ARE AND THE MORE FULFILLED WE ARE"
After birth, the world, the flesh, and the devil tend to frustrate, mute, stall, or misdirect our being. And so truly "being" involves returning to that perfect idea that God had and manifesting the characteristics and qualities of that unique person God designed when he thought of you and created you. Being is like discovering or remembering what that perfect composition was in God's mind and learning to conduct that perfect symphony as God intended when he created it. The more we identify and live out the characteristics of our unique being, the more real we are and the more fulfilled we are. But the more our being is muted, stalled, frustrated or misdirected, the more anxious, unhappy, and unfulfilled we are. Because the composition of music we're intended to be is being played so badly that it's painful to hear it and more painful to play it.
Your Being, My Being
What is your "being," as I call it (and at this point, I'm going to stop putting it in quotation marks)? What does it mean for you to be? What did he envision when God had you in his mind before He created you? Whatever he envisioned, that's what and how you're supposed to be. Maybe the outline of your being looks like this:
- I'm personable and love interacting with people
- I'm outgoing
- I'm good at making people laugh, and I enjoy doing that
- I enjoy reading about history and value a connection to the past.
- I'm a parent, uniquely forming the personalities of my children in a way that no other human being throughout time could ever do.
- I like to take long walks and think deep thoughts
- I'm introspective
These are the types of things that compose one's being. For such a person to do anything outside of that outline, they are not being. They are behaving in a way that is outside of their being—outside of the nature of their unique individual selves. An introspective person who enjoys long walks would not be being if they spent most of their time busying themselves with noise and frivolous activity. A person whose being is that of a priest would be acting outside his being if he were robbing banks between masses. Get the picture?
To Be—being—is to live out the characteristics of who you truly are, fundamentally. We all have likes and dislikes, and preferences. That's natural. But there are some things particular to our personality and character that we know and identify as being "us." That is who we really, truly are, deep down. When our being becomes obscured or clouded, like seeing ourselves in a dirty mirror, a part of us just knows, "There's more to me than this." Even if we aren't yet clear as to what that "more to me" exactly is.
Using myself as an example: I love music. It's one of my likes. But the reason I love music is that I have a particular fondness for beauty. My love of the beautiful, more than my love for a beautiful thing (music, art, etc.), fundamentally characterizes who I am. It is part of what is truly me. I need to manifest my love of beauty in order to be myself. If I'm living out that characteristic, then I am whole in my being. If I'm not living it out, it's like suffocating because I'm not being. I'm not being my most authentic self.
So what's your "being"? I can't answer that. That's a question for you to ponder. Who are you, truly? What did God envision when he had you in his mind? That is who you truly are. And you—we—are more fulfilled in this life and feel more complete the more we live our lives in accord with that being.
New Year. New Clarity, New Resolve
Recently I've come to understand part of my being. I'm a communicator. It's who I truly am, deep down. I'm a person who not only feels the need to communicate, but I have a natural talent for being an effective communicator. I know, it doesn't sound very exciting. But it is to me. Because it's my being. It's the "me" that I connect with. I feel connected to myself when I'm writing, giving a talk, or engaged in evangelization or apologetics. I enjoy the process, and I feel the most real. Because when I'm communicating, I am being me. I am being. This is what God created me to be. And when I am being that, I am achieving wholeness in my life.
If my being is "Communicator," I have a natural responsibility to communicate. But l haven't been taking my being very seriously. I rarely post to my blog. I seldom post on social media. One of the reasons why I'm so inactive in these ways is that I feel like I'm talking to a wall or vacuous outer space. No one is there to hear and listen to what I'm communicating. I don't have many followers on Twitter, and I have very little traffic to my blog. So I often wonder, "Why bother to make an effort?" or "What's the point?" Well, I guess the point of making the effort is that by doing so, I am being who God created me to be. Maybe one person in a month will read something on my blog. Maybe one thing I post to Twitter will get seen by someone who needs to see it. My being is "communicator," and being heard isn't a necessary component of that being. Just ask the prophets!
This post is about a challenge and a resolution.
First, I resolve to be a more active and effective communicator here and on social media this year. I'm staying a safe distance from the words "I promise to…" because we all know how New Year's Resolutions usually go, and if I'm going to fail at a resolution, I don't want to have broken a promise in doing it. But I resolve to do better and to be better with my blog and Twitter (@forthequeenbvm).
And that challenge I mentioned? That's for you. Ready? 3-2-1…
What is your being? What does it mean for you to be who God made you to be? Think about it. Pray about it. Reflect on it in front of the blessed sacrament. Discover and understand your being. Then be it! At the beginning of time, God told the sun to "be," and it was. He told the earth to "be," and it was. He told life to "be," and it sprung up. He had you in his mind long before then. And "in the fullness of time," he said of you, "Be!" and you were. You "happened" in your mother's womb.
But then life happened after you were born. Sin, the world, the flesh, the devil, experiences, bad habits, disordered desires, and other things got in the way of your being. They altered the course of your being who you are. But they couldn't change your being; they could only change your capacity to live your being. So go back to the roots of who you are. Who are you? What is your being? Ask God... He's the one who made you. Come to know and understand your being, and then live it. Be! It's the key to many of the doors along the path that leads to sainthood.
Ave Maria, Virgo Fidelis!