Born This Way

Yesterday I went with my friend Skye to participate in a flash choir performance of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” sponsored by The Harmony Project, Equality Ohio, and other groups whose names I have forgotten.  My intent was not to make any sort of political statement (I rarely do), but to spend quality time with a friend I haven’t seen in ages, and to belt out my summer anthem.  This year has been about learning and loving who I am, messy emotions and all, and Gaga puts it so well:

I’m beautiful in my way
‘Cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way

Don’t hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track baby
I was born this way

I’ve spent much of this past school year wishing I were somewhere–and someone–else.  Someone who had it all together.  Someone who was happy, and therefore (in my mind), likeable.  Someone simple.  But I was not those things, and for a long time I could not cut myself any slack for having such a hard time, which of course made everything worse.  In therapy, I found space to recognize, perhaps for the first time, my own howling grief and the inchoate sense of loss unresolved.  I started searching for parts of myself I thought lost: my dominant intuition, long bound and gagged; my deep emotions that are at once my greatest strength and most dangerous vulnerability; my place in the bigger picture; my genuine needs and desires.

As the pieces started coming back together, I came upon the topic of codependency, and while I do not fit the classical definition related to substance-abuse, I certainly suffer from a pathological need to be needed and craving for approval–with my parents, working with colleagues and students, in my romantic relationships.  (Friendship seems to be the one bulwark against this tendency, and even there I’ve noticed it pop up with certain people.)  So I started reading codependency literature and plotting ways to renovate my personality.

As I reviewed some work I had done in the fall, though, I came to the realization that I was born this way: Developer was among my StrengthsFinder themes, INFJs are inherently complicated but warm and also the rarest personality type in the U.S., and in the Haugk Spiritual Gifts inventory I scored highest in Generosity, Nurturing Leadership, Mercy, Servanthood, and Helping.  Suddenly I stopped feeling like a circus freak. I remembered what one of my teachers (who is also an INFJ) told me last summer: “God knows who you are and has someone who accepts, loves and even needs your craziness, creativity and overflowing intensity.”  Codependency, like any sin, is simply a perversion of what God intended for His creation, but through Christ I have the power to take back what is mine/His.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times: Lion King says it best.

You have forgotten who you are, and so you have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become....Remember who you are.

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2 thoughts on “Born This Way

  1. […] Glamorous Powers features a protagonist much more, I thought, like myself: possessed of intuition honed to the point of psychic ability, requiring more psychic space than was made available by his family, a teacher of difficult students, and, most importantly, wrestling with what he perceives as the call to leave his former calling.  (Did I mention that he’s a monk?  So…toss celibacy and austerity in there for good measure.)  I dog-eared and underlined not a few passages that seemed particularly relevant: “I think that any corruption of your call is going to come from the dark side of your personality within you, not from the dark forces of the Devil without.” (see the end of my post Born This Way) […]

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