Great news! You are not who you think you are.
You are not your emotions, your passions, your impulses or talents or dreams. You are not your past. You are not what you think about yourself, or what others think about you.
Why is that great news? It’s because you are something far greater than you can currently imagine. Deep in your being, you are whole and calm. Eternity unfolds effortlessly. Love surrounds and emanates from you. You are a luminous, glorious creature.
Wait a minute, some of you may say. I’m nothing like that! Well, I say that you are. You just haven’t met that self yet, your true self, created and known by God.
I know this because I used to not know it, and now I know the difference. I spent decades running through my busy, noisy, crowded life, having a great time—or so I thought. I was gainfully employed, I had a good marriage and a positive attitude, and I thought I was really living. I thought everyone else needed to climb aboard the Happy Train I was riding and their troubles would be over. Why couldn’t everyone be like me?
Then, a series of small events unfolded that I could not have orchestrated—events that led me to begin to understand myself in new ways. I began to see that my personality, all those emotions and impulses and opinions, was really in charge. I saw that sometimes my happiness steamrolled people who just needed me to listen, to acknowledge their pain, instead of trying to distract them or cheer them up. I saw that I became irritable and critical whenever the world did not serve me as I wanted it to. Ultimately, I got the shock of my life: I discovered that all this positivity was an elaborate survival strategy cooked up by my personality to distract me from the horror I felt at a seemingly arbitrary, violent, scary world.
For some of you, my story will resonate with a strong “Yes, I get that.” For most of you, your personality has taken you on other journeys, into self-doubt, despair, anger, resignation, aloof observation, self-negation and even self-loathing. Each of us has a misaligned compass that points toward what we think is the true north of life. It makes us live beneath our birthright, causes us to settle for fast food and call it great when a gourmet banquet awaits us. Ultimately, it robs us of a deeper relationship with God and even of our destiny.
So, great news! You are not who you think you are. In coming weeks, I will begin to unpack what I have discovered, how I have been set free, and what I continue to learn on this never-ending adventure into the true self. This adventure requires some tools, preferably a few companions, and a guide. I hope you’ll join me on this journey of excavation. It’s a journey of hope and freedom—a journey toward destiny.
Quick Start Guide to Centering Prayer
This short guide gives you the essentials for learning to be still and quiet before God so you can hear his voice and feel his love in a deeper way.