Earlier this week I read an excerpt from Henri Nouwen’s book “The Inner Voice of Love” and I believe I even blogged a bit about what has grabbed my attention ‘showing up’ for me in a powerful way. One such excerpt has stuck with me all week in many aspects of my life with my family, the ministry and friends.
“You are called to live out of a new place, beyond your emotions, passions and feelings. As long as you live amid your emotions, passions, and feelings, you will continue to experience loneliness, jealousy, anger, resentment and even rage, because those are the most obvious responses to rejection and abandonment.
You have to trust there is another place, to which your spiritual guides want to lead you and where you can be safe….this place is at the core of your being – your heart, where all human sentiments are held together in truth. From this place you can feel, think, and act truthfully.
Also, you have not fully acknowledged this new place as the place where God dwells and holds you. …. You are called to unity. That is the good news of the incarnation. The Word becomes flesh, and thus a new place is made where all of you and all of God dwell. When you have found that unity you will be come truly free.”
A special prayer I wrote myself when I read this passage last week was, “I want to live where I respond out of this place of unity with God.”
In many ways I’ve been tested by this personal prayer. It isn’t easy because living amid my emotions has been what is comfortable and ‘safe’ even though it is the most harmful way to live. I’ve noticed this truth in survivors as well, we tend to stay in situations or return to unhealthy situations or relationships because it is what is ‘normal’ and ‘safe’ and we can’t see the detriment to these decisions. We fear the change because we don’t know what it’s like to live in any other circumstance which is why we have to be guided to recognize healthy boundaries, healthy relationships and comfort in this ‘place of unity’ with God.
A big ‘theme’ for my growth through this year has been accepting ‘I can’t change anybody but myself.’ Slowly God is revealing to me little nuggets of wisdom, such as this excerpt from Henri Nouwen’s book, to help me embrace this ‘theme’. With each effort I make to think “I can’t change him/her/them,” and to respond with love or not respond at all is one foot forward on my journey to breaking completely free from the disguise of what has appeared to be ‘normal’ and ‘safe’ into the limitless world of freedom.
No matter where you are on this journey my prayer is that you are able to find your place of unity.