23 February 2001

Who am I?

How I answer that depends on how I understand self. Do I see me as complete as I am and feel good about being me? Or do I try and define ME with a survey of what I do, what I own, how much I know, what I've accomplished, or how I look? So often, so sadly, I do the latter.

Thomas Merton calls these things we setup around ourselves the "double garment of hypocrisy and illusion". Another Thomas, Thomas Keating - collectively terms it the 'monumental illusion that is the false self'.

How I view myself hangs so much on these symbols. Insecurity and having to 'survive' in a world that esteems power, intellect and beauty above honesty, personhood, and character - it's no wonder that our idea of living and being alive depends so much on these structures. I could spend my whole life constructing them, but they don't make me.

The total sum of my ability, power, popularity and possessions can never substitute the real self. The one true me that God loves completely. And the real person who longs to be set free.

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