Freedom To Be Your True Self: Change Your Story, Change Your Life
Do You Know Your True Self?
Do you know your true self? Before you answer, consider carefully how you think about your self. Are you happy with your life or are you unhappy? Do you go through your life with a sense of adventure, accomplishment, and happiness? Or do you continually focus on your faults and your failings?
What if the root of your unhappiness is that you don’t know your true self identity?
The Swan Who Doesn’t Know His True Self Identity
The “ugly duckling” is actually a swan who thinks he is a duck. Why? Everyone around him calls him a duck—an “ugly duckling.”
The story tells of how the swan who thinks he is an ugly duckling is tormented by everyone around him. He finally reaches the point where he has had enough. He runs away.
The Secret To Become Your True Self
This classic story of the ugly duckling about transformation reveals a powerful secret about how to get rid of a false identity and become your true self.
The ugly duckling becomes an explorer seeking a happier life.
The swan who thinks he is an ugly duckling goes through many ordeals and hardships before he finally knows the secret of happiness.
He finds happiness when sees himself as he truly is for the first time. At last, he knows his true self identity. He is not a duck. He is a swan.
He was a swan all the time, but he didn’t know his true identity until he could see his own reflection in the clear water of a pond.
Andersen ends the story with these words:
I never dreamed of such happiness as this while I was an ugly duckling.
This story captures the secret of transformative stories. You cannot be happy until you see your true self.
When You Believe What Others Say About Your Identity
The story of the “ugly duckling” also contains another profound truth about your true self.
Everyone in the story was wrong.
There is nothing ugly about the baby swan in the picture on this page. It’s only when everyone insists that the baby swan is a duck that they decide that he is an ugly duck.
In other words, you can’t always trust what other people declare to be true about your true self identity.
Stories And Your True Identity
Stories are one of the most powerful methods of creating self identity. Everyone in the story of the “ugly duckling” made up a story about the swan.
If you think about your life, and what you believe to be true about yourself, you will discover how much stories also shaped your identity.
The question is: Were the stories about your identity true or were they stories about a false identity? Have you gone through life believing that you are an “ugly duck” when you are actually a swan?
Seeking Your True Self
What if much of the unhappiness in your life is the result of stories you learned about who you are?
If you think about the stories you learned as a child, what did the stories teach you? Did they teach you to be happy, to be courageous, to be adventurous? Or did the stories teach you to sad, afraid, and timid?
Change Your Life By Changing Your Stories
If you want to change your life, the most powerful thing you can do is change the stories of your life.
Stories are the operating system of your life. The operating system in your computer controls the programs that run on your computer. Stories have the same effect in your life. They run your life.
Stories tell you who you are. Stories tell you how to live. Stories also teach you who has the right to tell you what to do.
If you are struggling to change something in your life, the place to begin is to identify the story you tell yourself about this situation. If you want to change your life, you need to change your story.
More than anything else, people stay stuck in old patterns despite good intentions and efforts to change until they change the stories that keep them stuck.
This means you cannot change your life until you change the stories that run your life.
What Are Your Stories?
If you think about your life in terms of the stories you heard again and again, you will begin to discover how much your self identity has been shaped by those stories.
What were your favorite stories, either from your own life or from books, movies, and family lore? What stories did you hear again and again when you were young?
What did the stories teach you?
- Did they teach you to be powerful?
- Did they teach you to be obedient?
- Did they teach you to be afraid?
- Did they teach you to imagine yourself capable of accomplishing great things?
- Did they teach you to mind your manners and don’t step out of line?
These questions are worth investigating. If you can identify the power of stories in your life, you will recognize the power of stories to define who you think you are.
When you ask these questions, you will also discover that the stories that rule you are usually inherited stories. You didn’t choose them.
You inherited stories from your family. What are the stories your family told about you? What are the stories they told about your family history and the place of your family in society?
You also inherited stories in school. What stories did you hear in school about your ethnic identity, your national identity, your political identity, your sex, your race? What stories did you hear about the geographical place you lived? What did you learn about education itself?
You also inherited stories from the larger society around you. What stories did you hear from TV and radio and movies about society, about money, about education, about work, about social status, about gender, about sexuality, about race, about business, about politics, about law, about government, about the place of your country in the world?
These stories are the tip of the iceberg. We live awash in a sea of stories. This flood of stories tells you who you are, what you are, why you are, and what you are to do.
You also inherited stories from religious education. What religious stories did you hear about human nature and the purpose of human life and your true self identity?
Religious stories are especially powerful because of the authority vested in them as God’s will for human life.
Even if you never had any specific religious education, religious beliefs about your identity are everywhere. We are all like fish swimming in the ocean. Just as the fish are immersed in the ocean, we are immersed in a culture shaped by religious beliefs about what it is to be human.
The Bad Bible Detective
My chosen identity is the Bad Bible Detective.
What do I mean by Bad Bible?
The Bible itself is not “bad.” It is misuse of the Bible that turns it into Bad Bible.
As a Biblical scholar, I am acutely aware of the power of religious stories to trap people from Christian backgrounds in guilt, shame, anxiety, and fear based on the stories they learned in their religious education.
What do I mean by Detective?
Detectives investigate crimes. Crime is a familiar word with a specific meaning. In common law, a crime is an action that causes harm to the whole society.
My underlying claim is that the Bible itself can be used as a weapon to harm the innocent, the powerless, and the vulnerable. This is when the Bible becomes Bad Bible.
Even more significantly, when any part of the Bible is used as a weapon of power against the vulnerable, the use and abuse of the Bible come under the category of crimes—even if there are no laws in any criminal code to cover them.
Anytime anyone is demeaned, abused, and harmed, it affects all of us.
What About Belief?
My websites are not typical Bible study sites. They are also not Bible-bashing sites.
They are about the power of religious stories to rule your life. They also offer a liberating perspective on Bible stories told as you have never heard them before.
You don’t have to believe in God, Jesus, or the Bible to be affected by Bible stories. And you don’t have to abandon faith in God, Jesus, or the Bible to set yourself free from the power of Bad Bible to rule your life.
My goal is teach people from Christian backgrounds how to transform the religious stories that keep them stuck in fear, guilt, shame, and anxiety into empowering stories.
You will discover that the Bible often doesn’t say what you think it says.
Bible Stories And Your True Self Identity
As the Bad Bible Detective, my particular investigation concerns the connection between Bible translations and the use and misuse of Bible stories to create false self identities for believers.
Here’s the good news. You can change your life by changing your life stories.
The common theme of my interconnected websites is that you can change your life by changing inherited stories into stories about your freedom to be your true self.
Does The Bible Really Say That? Series
True Self Identity Scandal focuses on the effect of Christian sin theology on your true self identity.The theme is: Does The Bible Really Say That About Your True Identity?
Can A Rich Man Get Into Heaven focuses on Christian beliefs about money. The theme is: Does The Bible Really Say That About Money?
Bad Bible Stories
Freedom From Bad Bible Bullies is about personal freedom to be your true self. The theme is: Transform Your Bible Authority Stories To Claim Your Personal Freedom.
Bible Authority in American Politics changes focus from the power of Bible stories in your personal life to the power of Bible stories in public life. The theme is: How Radical Claims About Bible Authority Hijack Political Freedom In American Politics.
Freedom To Be Your True Self focuses on self confidence, self esteem, and happiness. The theme is: How To Be Your True Self.
Book Writing Made Simple
Book Writing Made Simple is about the art of writing, and the art of storytelling. The theme is: Book Writing Guide To Make It Simple.
For your freedom to be your true self,
P.S. If you have ever felt like the ugly duckling, you can have a new perspective on your true self identity by changing your ugly duckling stories into stories about becoming a swan.
P.S.S. You might be astounded when you realize how often Bible translations turn swans into ugly ducklings and hide your true self identity from you.