Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Deeper Self

What do I want? I ask myself that question almost daily. In the book, Women Who Run with the Wolves, the author says that women have dual natures.

“If one overlooks a woman’s dual nature and takes a woman at face value, one is in for a big surprise, for when the woman’s wildish nature rises from her depths and begins to assert itself, she often has interests, feelings, and ideas which are quite different from those she expressed before.”

The author also says that the one brave enough to try and untangle those two natures and accept both as the beauty of a woman will learn to as two questions, “What do you want?” and “What does your deeper self desire?” The desire to ask those questions regularly, to know the true name of a woman, and the courage to stick around long enough to uncover her is a grace taken on by the one who truly desires to be her mate with his/her own wildish, untamed nature. But the search for the untamed nature is more than just a search for a mate; it is the search for self. How can we know the heart of another if we don’t know the depths of our own?

A friend once remarked that I am on a “never-ending quest to find Stevie.” I didn’t quite know how to take that from him because he said it kind of sarcastically. But honestly, I don’t see what could be bad about that. Too many people stop searching; stop trying to understand themselves, their brokenness, their darkness, their pain, their deepest sense of fulfillment and joy, their dignity, their love or why they have such a hard time loving. Who was it that said, “An unexamined life is not worth living?”

Another friend said to me last year, “Live, don’t just let life happen to you.” I wonder how many people walk around believing that they are living because they have a five-year plan for their lives or because they do a lot that makes them happy in an attempt to forget a lot of their life that has been unhappy. I know a lot of people like that and most of the time, I don’t know how to have relationship with them once my heart has moved past the quips and surface conversation if they don’t find an openness within to move past those things with me. Because all of a sudden, I want to know what makes them tick. I want to ask deep, serious questions that are often uncomfortable. I want to help awaken others to their deepest sense of conscious, knowing that it is one of the most frightening and painful places to go and few go there willingly. But also knowing, that so much of my life and the things I do would be close to meaningless to me if I wasn’t constantly digging deeper into my own conscious where the Divine moves.

I often feel very alone, even in my most meaningful and intimate relationships. I hold onto the image that God holds my heart and that I am never alone for God does not know how to be absent. I pray for the grace of commitment, because commitment is nothing but a lot of grace received and offered. I ask for the courage to face what is in and around me; and the faith to let God hold the weight of my heart and the weight in the hearts of my friends who are broken in so many different ways, but broken, like me, nevertheless. I trust myself to choose God and choose who God is within me. And above all things, I trust in a God of transformation and redemption of all people.

Not long ago, I re-read The Diary of Anne Frank. Anne has so many deep thoughts and questions about herself and her world and often talks about two different Annes, the one who is more serious and things deeply and the one that is silly and jokes around a lot. She was terrified to show her more serious side, to reveal her dual nature, except in her writing. I know how she felt. It is much easier for me to write these things than say them to anyone. Anne was afraid to feel rejected and alone. I suppose that is my fear too. But she trusted God to hold her heart and I trust him to hold mine. The part of herself that she was so afraid to reveal is now read by millions and treasured. She wanted to be treasured, seen, heard as she wrote but never taught anyone how to listen and notice her. So maybe that's it, we can't always just expect those things from others. We have to teach them; teach them to ask us, "What do you want?" and "What does your deeper self desire?"

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