Friday, February 06, 2015

Stop Being a Pleaser

Some new wounds were unearthed this week. Or, to be more accurate, light was shed this week on wounds unearthed back in November 2014. Wounds revolving around work, bosses and tasks, some of which go back decades. They are pervasive and long-standing in their effects, and as I contemplated (at times, with shame) how deeply and easily my heart is injured I felt the need to re-visit these words from Henri Nouwen.

Perhaps later when I have more perspective I shall write more on the journey the Lord is taking me on, but for now I’ll let Nouwen speak from a page out of The Inner Voice of Love titled, “Stop Being a Pleaser.” Inner Voice was Nouwen’s “secret journal” kept during a period of public breakdown just a few years before his death.

“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.” (Henri Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love, p.5)

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