Presently I am reading Richard Rohr’s new book Internal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self. He writes that Jesus makes it very clear that there is a self that has to be found and one that has to be let go of or even “renounced.”
We’ve just finished our eleven week Healing Path class and all through out I see in myself and others the struggle to live out of the true self. My great struggle to live out of a place of truth has been and at times continues to be my shame and a core anxiety that I am not “good enough.” There is that broken part of me that covets recognition and praise. So throughout my life I’ve worn many costumes and played many roles for approval. Trying to build, protect and promote my idealized false self to others was and has been exhausting. Until I honestly learned how to die to my shame and become truthful and vulnerable with others I remained “stuck.” I could fall into great despair in solitude but could never invite others (Jesus included) into my pain or shame.
Eventually I had to fall into the merciful arms of Jesus and renounce this false way of life. I was so obsessed with people accepting me, liking me, and being impressed with me that I had forgotten how to live. Pastor Rick Warren said years ago “that you can waste your life, spend your life or invest your life.” I was wasting my life hiding behind a false self.
Let me leave you with these powerful words from Richard Rohr: “Our core anxiety that we are not good enough is resolved from the beginning, and we can stop all our climbing, contending, criticizing, and competing. All “accessorizing” of any small, fragile self henceforth shows itself to be a massive waste of time and energy. Costume jewelry is just that, a small part of an already unnecessary costume.”