A NATURAL JOY

IT CAN BE ALL TOO EASY to look to others to validate who we are. But focusing on how others perceive us can be a slippery slope. I've learned my own lessons on the importance of trusting God to define who I am. In fact, I had to address the issue when I recently found myself confiding to a Christian Science practitioner, "Sometimes, I really just want people to like me!"

Beginning when I was in elementary school and continuing throughout college, people had often accused me of being fake in my expression of happiness and joy. Their comments implied that this behavior wasn't natural, and I was often hurt by these assumptions. I'd always been an outgoing and joyful person, and felt truly genuine expressing myself in this way. My practice of Christian Science was a big part of this expression. Addressing these remarks about "being fake" often felt like a losing battle, and sometimes I ended up feeling hurt and alone.

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