If You Knew the Gift

selfcompassion

Imagine someone gives you a precious gift and you never open it.

Most of us, I believe, are living with such an unopened gift. We have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten that we are “the beloved.”

Maybe we are afraid to acknowledge and claim our “belovedness.” Maybe we can’t believe it’s true.

Somehow it’s easier to claim what we perceive as “wrong” with us. The places where we fall short. Where we don’t measure up or haven’t succeeded enough. So we walk around with these interior wounds and scars. And much of the time our inner pain gets projected “out there.”

But what if we could be retaught and remember that we are the beloved? What if we could open ourselves to claim the gift that we truly are?

compassion Jack KornfieldIf each of us could hold ourselves with such acceptance and compassion, no matter what shows up in us, what then?

 

Henri Nouwen, a spiritual teacher and writer, said a lot about this in his book Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World.

“To be chosen as the Beloved of God is something radically different. Instead of excluding others, it includes others. Instead of rejecting others as less valuable, it accepts others in their own uniqueness. It is not a competitive, but a compassionate choice.”

I know when I claim the gift of my belovedness, I can’t help but open myself up to love. Love for myself and love for those around me. If more of us were able to do that, I don’t think we could possibly treat one another with hateful comments or hurtful actions. We would feel so incredibly graced, we would want nothing more than to give that love out to others. Because we would know the truth.

But, as Nouwen said, the real work of prayer is to become silent enough to hear the voice that calls us the beloved.

Henri Nouwen_Quote

The God whom I love dwells within and never ceases to remind me that I am the “beloved.” But I admit that most days I am hard-pressed to really take that in. And to understand the depth of that love.

But there are moments.

Like Monday morning.

For some reason, I awaken around 3 a.m., with a dream half-remembered. And the word “Beloved” on my lips. I breathe into it and feel myself smile with joy. Because even in my half-awake state, I “know” the truth. This is not something I can explain. But I “know” it.

And I know that this gift has been given to me in the early morning hours when I am too sleepy to fight it, to discount or disbelieve it. I simply take it in.

And I pray.

Teach me to come back to You again and again, and lose my “self” in You so that I may recognize the true treasure I possess – life in You, with You, for You, of You. This is my belovedness.

There is no other gift I need.

There is nothing more.

May each of us come to know and live from this truth. The gift of being the beloved.

 

henri-nouwen-heavy-heart

 

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About Pauline

I've been a freelance writer and editor for many years and I'm seeking to follow my heart in this stage of my journey, as the major roles in my life as wife and mother have changed. Not sure where this will lead, but I'm taking one step at a time as I listen within.

Posted on July 7, 2017, in love, spirituality and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Sue Dougherty

    This is not only absolutely beautiful, Pauline, but absolutely true! A reminder that we all need to hear both for ourselves and for others. Thank you, as always, for calling us back to the center, the core of who we are.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Grace Cangialosi

    This is so beautiful, Pauline, and a much-needed message for all of us. I used to lead a retreat based on Nouwen’s book, and it was so moving to see people on those retreats respond to this message, often with tears of profound gratitude. The world sends us so many messages telling us that we are anything *but* beloved, that it’s hard to hold on to that truth. Thank you for sharing your writing–and your wisdom–with us. Blessings…

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  3. You’re welcome, Sue. I’m glad it speaks to you.

    Like

  4. This is so beautiful, Pauline, and a much-needed message for all of us. I used to lead a retreat based on Nouwen’s book, and it was so moving to see people on those retreats respond to this message, often with tears of profound gratitude. The world sends us so many messages telling us that we are anything *but* beloved, that it’s hard to hold on to that truth. Thank you for sharing your writing–and your wisdom–with us. Blessings…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you Pauline for once again affirming my belief that each of us is a gift. John Denver wrote and performed a song called “The Gift You Are” It is a special song for sure. It speaks to me. Here is a link: https://www.google.com/search?q=the+gift+you+are+youtube&oq=The+gift+you+are&aqs=chrome.5.69i57j0l5.6899j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8. I hope it touches you the way it does me every time I hear it.

    Stay true to your heart’s calling Pauline, you are doing so much good in this world.
    Warmly, Karen

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  6. Thank you Pauline, it is always so beautiful read your words! Every time remember me how much precious we are!

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    • Graziana,I am happy to hear from you. I hope you are doing well in Italy and still practicing your English. Much love to you.

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