Let’s be ourselves

January 4, 2023 by Jeniffer Rodriguez

New Year. New ways of living. New opportunities to grow. New eyes to see what is happening among us and around us.

These are some of the things we usually say as part of our new year resolutions without forgetting to have healthy habits of eating, work out more or find more time to be more in connection with God and us.

We tend to say a lot of things. We tend to do few of the things we set as our goals. We have forgotten something really important: “Being authentic with ourselves.” We have forgotten that as a way of doing everything we have planned or desired to do, we need to love ourselves and be who we are, no matter the circumstances.

There are times we say it is hard to be me because of the work we do or because of the positions we need to fill. If we go back to the center of our roots; those being Jesus, our rock and model to follow, we then realize that he was himself. Jesus was authentic. Jesus was real and that’s what people miss seeing and interacting with. Also, what about us? We need to be comfortable with ourselves. Let’s not be something we are not happy to be or to do.

The text of Colossians 3:9-10 it is the text I have in my heart and the one I have the urgency to share with all of you: Dont lie to each other. Take off the old human nature with its practices and put on the new nature, which is renewed in knowledge by conforming to the image of the one who created it.” (Colossians 3:9-10)

In this New Year 2023, let’s leave our masks that we have been wearing behind and let’s allow the light of God to shine upon us to guide us, lead us to be who we are without any fear. We do hard work. We do important work. This important work can be more faithful and meaningful if we allow ourselves to be who we are despite what other people or work tells us.

One of the things I want to continue exploring is my connection with God through drums. The powerful connection I have been feeling through drums is indescribable. Being in connection with my ancestors with every single tone has given me the opportunity to discover more about myself and the strength I need to feel and be happy to be me.

We all can find our own ways to be happy and to be ourselves. God constantly affirms that we can be ourselves and there is no shame in that. Let’s allow our true self to come to the surface. The fake us, or my fake me, let’s leave that behind. We are better people when we are in peace with ourselves and others.

As we continue reflecting what are we going to do and be during this year, it is the perfect time to transfer those thoughts as action. We have the blank paper in our hands to write new resolutions, new ideas and more importantly a new us. We have pen, pencil and colors in our hands to make that possible. We can lead our lives to where we can be authentic and creatures of God who walk with confidence and feel the love of God at all times.

Today it is a good day to start, do not you think?

Happy New Year!

Rev. Jeniffer Rodríguez is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Ossining, NY. Jeniffer and her husband, Kyle Craig, are the parents of a beautiful 3-year-old girl Emma Sophia and a handsome 1-year-old boy Eric Gabriel. Originally from the Dominican Republic, she pursued her Master of Divinity at McCormick Theological Seminary. Rev. Rodríguez likes to do creative things with art, both for worship and personally. She is a chaplain of the New York City-based Ecumenical Choir Cántico Nuevo (New Song) and is involved in social justice issues.