WE HAVE BEEN EXPLORING what it means to know ourselves as a first step toward spiritual practice. The goal of this self-reflection is to broaden the breadth of our self-understanding so that we create enough spiritual space to deepen our understanding of God. This self-knowledge includes emotions (what we feel), reason (what we think), and attachments (what we want). Increasing our awareness does not mean we overcome or remove these forces; we simply recognize them. Our goal cannot be to rid ourselves of feelings, thoughts, and attachments. Instead we choose to be conscious and mindful of what triggers them and how they affect us.
We have all heard the saying, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” So it is with our thoughts, feelings, and attachments. We should know them and stay aware of them, but we cannot let them define us. Consider the difference between saying, “I am having a sad feeling” and “I am sad.”
Recognizing our current emotional experience is healthy, but we are not our emotions. We are much more than those. We are not our thoughts or desires; we are more than those as well. We strive toward a way of life that does not allow thoughts, feelings, and desires to consume us. We will know ourselves better when we can identify our thoughts, feelings, and desires and take them into account as we react to the world around us.
– Christopher Maricle
From pages 30-31 of Deeply Rooted: Knowing Self, Growing in God by Christopher Maricle. Copyright © 2016 by Christopher Maricle. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
Do you agree that self-awareness creates room for growth in God? Share your thoughts.
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
Mark 3:24, NRSV
This Week: pray for patience. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
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This week we remember: Boniface (June 5).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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