Sunday, January 06, 2008

it's been one of those Saturday's . . . long overdue for sure, most appreciated too. somehow I managed to sleep in until noon. i ate a bowl of cereal and talked to Brittany and Whitney, cleaned my room, took a nap, hung out with my mom, drank half a bottle of wine, and stayed in my pajamas.

Mom got Brennan Manning's "Abba's Child". I've been chewing on it while I listen to the Rainbow CD's and cuddle with my kitty. I think at this point I could just copy the whole book down for you - but that would take forever, so this is me saying READ IT! Brennan's honest words resonate with my heart.

The second chapter was titled The Impostor. In many ways I recognize that my move home has forced and allowed me to come face to face with my Impostor. There are so many paragraphs that I want to copy and paste from this chapter! But, I'll stick with one . . . a long one =)
The sad irony is that the impostor cannot experience intimacy in any relationship. His narcissism excludes others. Incapable of intimacy with self and out of touch with his feelings, intuitions, and insight, the impostor is insensitive to the moods, needs, and dreams of others. Reciprocal sharing is impossible. The impostor has built life around achievements, success, busyness, and self-centered activities that bring gratification and praise from others. The false self is frustrated because he never hears God’s voice. He cannot, since God sees no one there. Prayer is death to every identity that does not come from God. The false self flees silence and solitude because they remind him of death. The imposter must be called out of hiding, accepted, and embraced. He is an integral art of my total self. Whatever is denied cannot be healed. To acknowledge humbly that I often inhabit an unreal world, that I have trivialized my relationship with God, that I am driven by vain ambition is the first blow to dismantling my glittering image. The honesty and willingness to stare down the false self dynamites the steel trapdoor of self-deception. As we come to grips with our own selfishness and stupidity, we make friends with the impostor and accept that we are impoverished and broken and realize that, if we were not, we would be God. The art of gentleness toward ourselves leads to being gentle with others-and is a natural prerequisite for our presence to God in prayer. - Brennan Manning

Chapter two is The Beloved. I can't remember how many times I've read it today =).
Finally, I accepted my brokenness . . . I knew I was broken. I knew I was a sinner. I knew I continually disappointed God, but I could never accept that part of me. It was a part of me that embarrassed me. I continually felt the need to apologize, to run from my weaknesses, to deny who I was and concentrate on what I should be. I was broken, yes, but I was continually trying never to be broken again – or at least get to the place where I was very seldom broken . . . It became very clear to me that I had totally misunderstood the Christian faith. I came to see that it was in my brokenness, in my powerlessness, in my weakness that Jesus was made strong. It was in the acceptance of my lack of faith that God could give me faith. It was in the embracing of my brokenness that I could identify with others’ brokenness. It was my role to identify with other’s pain, not relieve it. Ministry was sharing, not dominating; understanding, not theologizing; caring, not fixing. –Mike Yaconelli
Silent solitude makes true speech possible and personal. If I am not in touch with my own belovedness, then I cannot touch the sacredness of others. If I am estranged from myself I am likewise a stranger to others. Experience has taught me that I connect best with others when I connect with the core of myself. When I allow God to liberate me from unhealthy dependence on people, I listen more attentively, love more unselfishly, and am more compassionate and playful. I take myself less seriously, become aware that the breath of the Father is on my face and that my countanance is bright with laughter in the midst of an adventure I thoroughly enjoy . . . In solitary silence we listen with great attentiveness to the voice that calls us the beloved. God speaks to the deepest strata of our souls, into our self-hatred and shame, our narcissism, and takes us through the night into the daylight of His truth: "Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are mine. You are precious in my eyes, because you are honored and I love you . . . the mountains may depart, the hills be shaken, but my love for you will never leave you and my covenant of peace with you will never be shaken (Isaiah 43:1,4; 54:10). It is God who has called us by name. The God beside whose beauty the Grand Canyon is only a shadow has called us beloved. The God beside whose power the nuclear bomb is nothing has tender feelings for us. Hushed and trembling, we are creatures in the presence of ineffable Mystery above all creatures and beyond all telling . . . But when the night is bad and my nerves are shattered and Infinity speaks, when God Almighty shares through His Son the depth of His feelings for me, when His love flashes into my soul and when I am overtaken by Mystery, it is kairos - the decisive inbreak of God in this saving moment of my personal history. No one can speak for me. Alone, I face a momentous decision. Shivering in the rags of my sixty-plus years, either I escape into skepticism and intellectualism or with radical amazement I surrender in faith to the truth of my belovedness . . . Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion. - Brennan Manning

We never seem to get all the facts, even when we're out of the storm. But somehow along the journey we come to know ourselves and God a little better, which in turn allows us to go deeper in our relationships. My time at home has been beautiful and tragic. But I am beginning to see where God has grown me.

And here, here are words that I pass on to you for this new year.
"May all your expectations be frustrated, may all your plans be thwarted, may all your desires be withered into nothingness, that you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God who is Father, Son, and Spirit. Today on planet Earth, may you experience the wonder and beauty of yourself as Abba’s Child and temple of the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ our Lord." – Larry Hein.

1 comment:

Bill Reichart said...

I appreciate your thoughts as I was doing some research on the "false self". This may be of interest to you but at our men's breakfast a couple of months ago, we started a series about the "false self".

Love to hear what you think.