As I am, not as I should be...
I have found myself very unsettled by current events lately and I have found myself caught in the most un-profitible work I know-” spinning in my narcissism”: This essentially looks like avoiding an understanding of what is upsetting me and also worrying about outcomes in the future which I have little control of. I am frustrated by attitudes and events happening around me and spin into greater frustration and sadness. Instead, I need to be seeking to find out what is at the root of what is bothering me and trying to formulate a loving, thoughtful response.
What I am learning to do is to sit with God and bring me “as I am, not as I should be.”
For me this starts with self awareness-which looks like trying to identify which emotions I am feeling and what is at the root of them.
Next, I work to bring my real feelings to God, not the ones I think He wants to hear. This is a chance for me to bring self knowing and the practice of His presence together.
David Benner, in his book The Gift of Being Yourself has fleshed out in words more eloquent than mine, what I have found to be true.
“Everytime I dare to meet God in the vulnerability of my sin and shame, this knowing of God’s love, is strengthened. Every time I fall back on the mode of self-improvement and try to bring God my best self, it is weakened. I only know Divine unconditional radical and reckless love for me is when I dare approach God just as I am. The more I have the courage to meet God in this place of weakness, the more I will know myself to be truly loved by God. And the more deeply I know this love, the easier it will be to trust it as Christ did-preferring God’s will to my own…….
Allowing God to accept me just as I am helps me accept myself in the same way. This is essential for genuine spiritual transformation……..
Self knowing and self acceptance are deeply interconnected. To know something about yourself, you must accept it. Self transformation is always preceded by self acceptance and the self you must accept is the self you actually and truly are-before you start your self improvement projects……
Freud noted that things about ourselves that we refuse to acknowledge are given increased power and influence by our failure to accept them. it is that which we avoid, he asserted, that will most tyrannize us. Self-acceptance does not increase the power of things that ultimately need to be eliminated, rather it weakens them. It does so because it robs them of the power they develop when they operate outside of awareness and outside the embrace of self acceptance…….
The cultivation of awareness and practice of presence are two sides of the same coin. Both involve learning how to be present to our lives rather than mindlessly flowing down the stream of life.”
For me, this is the journey to wholeness and freedom. As the process evolves, I learn more about God and His love for me. I learn more about myself and how I can better formulate a loving response to others. It is what spiritual transformation is about.
If these aforementioned outcomes are not readily apparent, at least I leave with a satisfaction that I stopped the spin of my narcissism and I faced and addressed my fears and worries.