One morning in Meeting for Worship, I was powerfully blessed by a sudden shift in self-perception.
I’d been worrying about an encounter that I expected to have in the coming week, and as it played out in my imagination, it went badly. The encounter as I imagined it left me feeling like a failure, ashamed and inadequate.
Suddenly, I received a powerful insight: in the imaginary encounter, I had been seeing my mother, not myself! In my mind, her identity had become superimposed over mine, and I was seeing myself as I saw her—insignificant, powerless, without substance.
With a sense of wonder, I knew with certainty that I was not a replica of my mother. I was a different person, stronger and more capable. The certainty that we were different gave me a sense of power and freedom that felt redemptive, and I cried in relief. As the tears ran down my cheeks, I found myself repeating over and over in my head, “God has given me this new joy, I am not my mother.”
The self-knowledge I received that day was a benediction that altered my sense of worth and blessed my relationships with others. Eventually, that powerful moment of clarity opened my eyes to see that my mother herself was far more than had I had imagined her to be.