Perhaps the greatest challenge in the journey of life is the acceptance of myself as I am.
At least this is my greatest challenge.
The seeking of authenticity means that I need to be authentic to my own inner experience. This doesn’t mean that I need to be a slave to my own selfish pettiness. And act out of that regardless of consequence.
Rather it means noticing those parts of myself I do not really like and would rather not admit to – and acknowledge them. Once I am able to acknowledge how I feel and perhaps articulate it, the power it wields diminishes. I am freed to consider my response rather than simply reacting.
And the response is also an authentic part of myself. It is no less authentic than the reaction would have been.
The stripped down self is not pretty. It is less than I would have liked in so very many ways. But it is real.
At least the glimpses I get of it feel more real, more gritty, but perhaps a little braver, and just a touch more compassionate.
Knowing my own weaknesses, my own faultlines, my own capacity to be less than generous – I am far more likely to give the other the benefit of the doubt. Maybe their hurtful actions are not as brutally pointed as I presumed. Maybe they are struggling in a way that I do not understand or do not see.
Any journey can be dressed up as a journey of the soul. But if the fruit is not a growth in humility and compassion – it is probably not headed in the right direction.
For now, I simply have to accept my poverty of spirit and trust in the grace of God.