With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony
And the deep power of joy
We see into the life of things.
what does it mean to be whole? how are our unique gifts brought into the softest and most forgiving light? how do we gather that trail of all the forgotten bits of ourselves?……imagining a dark & musty-lined basket in muslin & lace…….holding it all…..
The worst thing that can happen to a person who is already divided up into a dozen different compartments is to seal off yet another compartment and tell him that this one is more important than all others, and that he must henceforth exercise a special care in keeping it separate from them. The first thing you have to do, before you start thinking about such a thing as contemplation, is to try to recover your basic natural unity, to reintegrate your compartmentalized being into a coordinated and simple whole, and learn to live as a unified human person. This means that you have to bring back together the fragments of your distracted existence so that when you say “I” there is really someone present to support the pronoun you have uttered…..Thomas Merton
To find our true self-portrait, however, is a challenging road to travel because it means renouncing the false self with all of its ingrained patterns and habits, and all of the affirmations it receives, letting go of the comforts and securities of all that is familiar and setting out on a journey toward what is unknown to ourselves- who we most truly and deeply are. We cling again and again to our familiar ways of being and relating with others. This true self is not an idealized self, or a perfect self, but rather the unadorned, vulnerable, human self we all contain. There is no compulsive striving for attention and affirmation…..Christine Valters Paintner