Monday, September 28, 2009

Stop Being a Pleaser

I have been looking for this quote from Henri Nouwen for a while, after a friend brought it to my attention a few months ago when I desperately needed encouragement. It's entitled, "Stop Being a Pleaser," and it's from his book of journal reflections: The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom, p.5):

You have to let your father and father figures go. You must stop seeing yourself through their eyes and trying to make them proud of you.

For as long as you can remember, you have been a pleaser, depending on others to give you an identity. You need not look at that only in a negative way. You wanted to give your heart to others, and you did so quickly and easily. But now you are being asked to let go of all these
self-made props and trust that God is enough for you. You must stop being a pleaser and reclaim your identity as a free self.
This feels like blessed fatherly wisdom for my soul right now. I am coming out of a month of deep depression where specific events and people completely dominated how I saw myself, and the message was clear: I am rejected.

I am fighting and clawing my way out of it, by God's grace. Reminders of my identity can be the most violent acts in the realm of my soul.

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