Wk 2 Essence of You
Essence. What does the word Essence mean anyway?
Essence is a the most important ingredient or crucial element. It is the indispensable quality that makes something different, unique or unlike others of its kind.
When I turn the magnifying lens inward, I struggle. I don’t want to turn the attention on myself. It feels exposed, vulnerable; what if I see something I don’t like? What if when I look there – I find that there is nothing good, nothing unique, and nothing with value?
Being faced with the challenging question, ‘What is a the most important ingredient or crucial element of me?’
When I focus on the value of understanding the Essence of Me I have a range of conflicting feelings and thoughts. On one hand, I would love to know beyond any doubt that the essence of me is special. To be someone who knows I am wonderful in my differences, special because of my quirky habits and a person that will make a difference in the world. Unfortunately, the truth of my essence is missed. I often feel like I have lost that view of myself.
When I was in many years of various abusive relationships, there were times when I felt like my ‘life force’ was actually being taken from me by my abuser. The vibrant person I once was, would eventually disappear and leave a hollow shell of a human being. I felt that the abusers wanted to steal my essence of life and I coined the phrase, “Physic vampires.” Over the years when I talk to other survivors they relate to this feeling of loss of essence of themselves.
When relationships would end, and I was able to begin a healing process, I would begin to restore this hollowness. Unfortunately, I would reengage in a new abusive relationship and this loss of self would happen all over again.
The truth is this essence never really disappeared, but the value, my importance, my sense of safety, and my life force felt gone. Abusive relationships can strip away another person’s self. Heathy relationships do not feel so destructive or with the same loss of self. When you have experienced more abuse, than healthy, it can be difficult to know there is a different way.
I believe God has made each person for a purpose. I believe that he made me for a purpose. When I have taken the healing steps away from that belief I have done so much healing by experiencing how I treat and love my children. When I look at my children, I know that they were born with specific personalities, talents and gifts. It was very early on in their lives that I knew that they were made for a purpose. So why them and not me?
I know there are tangible parts of the human body that make me unique. The Iris of my eye, my fingerprint, footprint, shape of my ear, the way I walk, and even my lip patterns make me one of a kind. There are no two of the same; even as an identical twin are still factors that can make them different.
Is there a greater essence in the world – greater than me?
In my walk of faith, I have come to experience the essence of God all around me. I find the Holy Spirit is the breath of God that lives in me. When I feel less than on my own. I can lean into the fullness of who God is and the life breathed in me and in each of us. That is a unique creation.
IDEAS FOR SELF REFLECTION
How would you define essence?
Describe the essence of one thing that you can’t live without?
How would you describe is the essence of you?
WHAT CAN I DO?
Now let’s create a picture of ‘essence’. Think about the essence of you, the essence of God, the essence of something with extreme value in your life.
What does it look like? Does it have a color? Image? Is it a variety of words?
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” John 6:63
The Scripture highlights the word of God, is the breathing and speaking of God. His word is Spirit or breath. The Spirit is therefore the very essence, the substance, of the Scripture. Breath, as we know, is necessary for our physical life. Similarly, the Scripture being God-breathed has to do with our spiritual life.
If we see that the Spirit is the essence of the Bible, we’ll change our approach. When we know this, we’ll come to the Bible not simply to learn something new, but to touch the life-giving essence, the Spirit, in the Word. We’ll come to the Spirit in God’s Word, and the Spirit will give us life. This life will refresh us, enliven us, feed us, and cause us to grow in Christ. This is the key to our spiritual growth.
Lord, thank you for today and for this week. I ask for you to help me see that I am a representation of your essence. Your essence lives within and through me. Let me come to you and be refreshed and cause me to grow in Christ. Be my key to spiritual growth and help me see the beauty in the essence of me!