the core truth

cloudstormOver the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.” … [My dark side says,] I am no good… I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “Beloved.” Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.

~ Henri J.M. Nouwen

4 thoughts on “the core truth

  1. I really appreciate your perspective. It’s strange to think that we can be our own biggest obstacles in life to reaching our divine potential. Where do you draw your strength from?

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    1. Hi Steve,

      Thank you for your comment. I don’t really consider myself all that strong but I guess I draw my strength from the many writers whose quotes I use to accompany my photos. To quote, once again, from Henri Nouwen, “They can give us a new sense of hope. Not because of any solution they offered but because of their courage to enter so deeply into human suffering and speak from there.” Rilke, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Henri Nouwen, Cheryl Strayed, and Elizabeth Gilbert… I see God in all of them because they so beautifully reveal themselves, both the joys and struggles, with their words. To be able to touch another’s soul so they know they aren’t alone in the world, be it through words, music, art, a smile or touch… that’s God’s grace to me.

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