Openness with Myself

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Openness with Myself | Like any relationship, your relationship to yourself is a process. When you look at a baby or small child, do you think they have a grasp on the fullness of who they are as an individual | #Friends #GrowingCharitytoUprootGreed #UprootGreed #GrowingCharity #TipsforConnection #GreaterPeaceJoyandfreedom #Joyfreedom #MargaretVasquezs #GrowingVirtue #ModelofHonesty #TipsforConnection #OpennesswithGod #KnowingGod #OpennesswithMyselfOpenness with Myself

Like any relationship, your relationship to yourself is a process. When you look at a baby or small child, do you think they have a grasp on the fullness of who they are as an individual? No! Rather, it is through the process of being loved by their parents, discovering their strengths and weaknesses, growing in compassion for others, and beginning to understand who they are to their parents and to God that they begin to know and value themselves, see themselves as gift and learn to return that gift to the Lord. As this happens, their dawning awareness allows them to more consciously participate in God’s loving plan and to embrace their baptismal commission as priest, prophet, and king. We don’t hit a certain age and suddenly arrive at human, spiritual, or relational maturity. Scripture tells us we are to grow up into the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). That is a lot of growing to do and it is a long process.

In his book, Addiction and Grace1, psychiatrist and theologian Gerald May says that we all suffer from repression and addiction, which prevent us from responding fully to grace. So, our need to be honest with ourselves is important as we look to move more deeply in connection to God, ourselves, and others. Openness, honesty, and authenticity with ourselves are essential to greater openness to God’s mercy, healing, and grace. Realizing how vulnerable that requires us to be also gives us a gentler eye toward our neighbor striving or struggling to do the same.

Since this connection to ourselves is a process, there is no need for discouragement, particularly when we stay rooted in the foundation of connection to God. We’re not to grow in self-actualization for the sake of becoming more of ourselves for ourselves alone. Rather, the spiritual journey is about aspiring to drink more deeply of the Living Water of the love of Christ so as to be more transformed into and more intimately united to him. Taking on his mind and his regard of us is part of union with and imitation of him.

Remember, openness with ourselves, like openness with God and others, is a byproduct of the factors of connection. We naturally open up in our relationships when we experience being truly known, valued, and safe. Therefore, if we find honesty with ourselves challenging, we can consider in which of these areas we may be able to relate to ourselves with greater grace so we have the courage needed for greater truth. As a friend of mine often says that any problem is fundamentally a problem between the person and God. Conversely, any healthy formation fundamentally comes from growth in relationship with him. Authenticity doesn’t come from being perfect, but in knowing that while imperfect we are perfectly loved.

May the Lord give you peace!

Margaret

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