Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Don't Doubt Who You Really Are

(My favorite coffee cup, given to me by one of our MSU students, circa 1982. The handle broke off years ago. Coffee tastes better in this cup than in others!)

I'm sitting on my back porch with a hoodie on over my head and my legs wrapped in a blanket. There's food in my various bird feeders, nectar in my hummingbird feeder, a few snacks, a cup of coffee in my favorite mug, my journal, a pen, James Cone's God of the Oppressed, Henri Nouwen's Spiritual Direction, my Bible, and my laptop. I've got 5 hours to dwell closely in God's presence, listening, praying, writing as God leads me.

Nouwen's book is spectacular. I'm reading what he says about self-rejection, and acceptance of our core identity, which is: I am a son of God, and God finds favor with me. Self-rejection concerns "the darkness of not feeling truly welcome in human existence. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that declares we are loved." (31)

Self-rejection manifests itself as either shame or pride. Either arrogance or low self-esteem. Nouwen writes: "Self-rejection can show itself in either a lack of confidence or a surplus of pride." (31) "The greatest trap in life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection, doubting who we really are." (31)

Like Nouwen, it has taken me a long time to experience this great truth in my heart. I've known it in my mind. But what's needed here is not theory, but experience.