Advent (Love): True Self, Part 2

Can we show up in the presence of those who have hurt us and be whole?  Our more common response is to put on a face or facade.  This is a very important survival skill, and we learn to do that as very small children: put on the face that will get me through this painful situation because somewhere, early on in our lives, we hear the messages that our True Self is not acceptable.  We must become what others need us to become.  And we do in order to survive.

 

Others can and have hurt my ego in many of its presentations.  Others can and have hurt my personality, my style, my emotional states.  Others have hurt my body.  When I look back on those hurts, I realize that while each of them created immediate, sometimes debilitating, and often isolating  pain, they each in their own way were attacks on a façade that I had put on to try and become acceptable.

People who have hurt me have helped me, despite themselves, their bad actions, and maybe despite their intentions, to see my Self more clearly.  I have come to believe that I am a Self that cannot be hurt by others even while I acknowledge that my various facades, important in their own right, can be hurt by others.  Those hurts have helped me come to discover what I think of as my true Self.  Yes.  This is a circle.  Each piece in the circle leads to the next and finally back around to where I began.

To the original question:  can I stand whole before those who have hurt me?  The possibility includes a very real “yes.”  Of course, I can choose one of my facades and climb behind it in the face of one who has hurt me, and I am clear that there may be time when that’s exactly what I may need to do.  I don’t have much practice walking around naked as my true Self.  None of us do.  So, for today: what glimpses do you have of your true Self?

Bob Patrick

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