“I can’t explain, you would not understand. This is not how I am. I have become comfortably numb.” –Pink Floyd, Comfortably Numb

We put on masks, masks that become part of us, ones we wear in order to interact with others and the world. Before too long, we become trapped by these false ideas of ourselves. These false selves, these lies of who we are and how we see ourselves, start developing when we’re young. How our families shape us, how we let our friends define us, the fronts we put up in order to appeal to potential mates. We may derive our self-worth from what we do, we’re of value because of how we behave or what we have.

And yet some part of us is miserable under this definition of who we are and longs to find a way out from under it.

We come to believe this lie and try to fix it ourselves, essentially creating a self-salvation scheme as we try to re-create ourselves. “I am not”–a man, for example–but “I can be if”I have the right rims, the right car, the right kind of money, the right bling, the right girl, go to the right school, get the right job. “I am not”–where I should be in life–but “I can be if”I have the right job, the right house, the right kind of money, the right family, and live in the right neighborhood.

On one hand, we see ourselves as gods of our own domains, free to live as we choose. On the other hand, we’re trapped by definitions of ourselves that we can’t seem to escape. Part of leading a self-examined life means getting over the fear of facing ourselves. We have to see the obstacles in our lives, realize where we are, then we can overcome it.

Be they problems in your family, addictions, compulsions or bad decision making patterns, we have responsibilities to our lives. We must be diligent. We must strip away anything that hinders us from being the people we were meant to be. We must always be growing, be “becoming”. Start with a few simple questions: What do you want to change about yourself? What do you know needs to be changed in your life?

Think through the issues you need to change, don’t numb yourself to them. Shed the imposter and become fully who you were meant to be.

“Sanctity lies in discovering my true self, moving toward it, and living out of it… While the impostor draws his identity from past achievements, and the adulation of others, the true self claims its identity in its belovedness. We give glory to God simply by being ourselves.” –Brennan Manning