(All quotes from Henri Nouwen’s The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom.)
When people who know your heart well and love you dearly say that you are a child of God, that God has entered deeply into your being, and that you are offering much of God to others, you hear these statements as pep talks. You don’t believe that these people are really seeing what they are saying.
There is so often a deep doubt in your core about who you are. Furthermore, the encouragement you so often give to others you refuse to believe about yourself.
It’s not out of rebellion, it’s out of the deep woundedness that you—and so many others—carry.
As long you as you remain blind to your own truth, you keep putting yourself down and referring to everyone else as better, holier, and more loved than you are. You look up to everyone in who you see goodness, beauty, and love because you don not see any of these qualities in yourself.
Seeing everyone else as better than you is not true humility; it’s actually a form of pride. Pride at its core is finding ways to separate ourselves from others. Humility is actually not thinking of yourself at all, not so you can be “special”, but so you can be free to be in absolute community with all people.
You have to be willing to live your loneliness, your incompleteness, your lack of total incarnation fearlessly, and trust that God will give you the people to keep showing you the truth of who you are.
It starts with naming it, and naming it completely. It’s way too easy to be afraid that if we admit to ourselves how “bad” we are at the spiritual life, God will somehow reject us. But this is a problem with an incomplete and inaccurate understanding of love (and much moreso, God’s love).
Name it, and name it completely. What we bring to God, God heals. What we bring to Christ, Christ heals. Bringing it to him starts with naming it.