Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The question is not whether I am in introvert or an extrovert, a sanguine or a subdued personality. The issue is whether I express or repress my genuine feelings... To open yourself to another person, to stop lying about your loneliness and your fears, to be honest about your affections, and to tell other how much they mean to you- this openness is the triumph of the child over the pharisee and a sign of the dynamic presence of the Holy Spirit. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (2 Corinthians 3:17). To ignore, repress, or dismiss our feelings is to fail to listen to the stirrings of the Spirit within our emotional life... Yet, emotions are our most direct reaction to our perception of ourselves and the world around us. Whether positive or negative, feelings put us in touch with our true selves. They are neither good nor bad: They are simply the truth of what is going on within us. What we do with our feelings will determine whether we live lives of honesty or of deceit. When submitted to the discretion of a faith-formed intellect, our emotions serve as trustworthy beacons for appropriate action or inaction. The denial, displacement, and repression of feelings thwarts self-intimacy... When we choose our masked self and deny our real feelings, we fail to recognize our human limitations. Our feelings congeal to the point of callousness. Our interactions with people and life situations are inhibited, conventionalized, and artificial... Unless we reclaim our child we will have no inner sense of self and gradually the impostor becomes who we really think we are... The positive qualities of the child- openness, trusting dependence, playfulness, simplicity, sensitivity to feelings- restrain us from closing ourselves to new ideas, unprofitable commitments, the surprises of the Spirit, and risky opportunities for growth. The unself-consciousness of the child keeps us from morbid introspection, endless self-analysis, and the fatal narcissism of spiritual perfectionism... Our inner child is not an end in itself but a doorway into the depths of our union with our indwelling God, a sinking down into the fullness of the Abba experience, into the vivid awareness that my inner child is Abba's child, held fast by Him, both in light and in shadow. -Brennan Manning. 

sometimes someone else says too clearly and exactly the things that I need to hear, the things that I have been musing, the things I wish I could put into words. Sometimes I try to drown out what is going on inside; with more thoughts, more words, more music. When simply, I just need to stop. Stop and listen, stop and feel, stop. That's when the clarity comes, the still small whisper is heard, peace fills every part of me. 

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