I want to be clever. I want to be able to make witty conversation, to be a someone of whom people say, "yeah! I know her, she's cool!", to be memorable. But when I try to be clever or witty, I cringe at myself for instead sounding catty and sharp.

I then do penance for the rest of the day, praying "Lord, help me not to try to be clever".
I rant at myself, chastising and criticizing till my psyche is black and blue with self-inflicted wounds. "You should know better. You who hold Amy Dorrit as favored literary role model! You sounded like Emma Woodhouse on her bad days just then. Badly Done, Emma!"

Noticing and checking my faults causes me to slide into a rut of deep self-criticism. One event opens the door to a closet full of my failings and sadly human tendencies, and I'm quickly buried in the avalanche that pours out.  I just wanted, for once, to be the girl with the personality, instead of the one who rarely looks up from her notebook and desk. It's here that I see my deeper problem. I wanted to be not me.

I am reminded of a reading assigned in Expos last week from Henri Nouwen's Genesee Diary, his journal tracking his time in a Trappist monastery. I liked it then--I owned it today.
Nouwen wrote about his own struggles with self--trying to be and do something special, comparing himself to others--and I find myself commiserating with him. But as much as I feel his struggle, I also take courage from his reflection. He points to our quality as humans as Image-bearers, created by God.
"We live because we share God's breath, God's life, God's glory. The question is not so much, 'How to live for the glory of God?' but, 'How to live who we are, how to make true our deepest self'" --Henri Nouwen
 Because in my potential of unbroken fullness I am the reflected glory of God, I shouldn't be trying to be someone other than me. In trying to become another, I un-Name myself.
Its a struggle to be content with who I am.

1 comment

  1. Insightful and well-written. And who you are is simply lovely, dear heart.