Where wholeness can be found

I have been so intrigued by this book, I can barely put it down. It has inspired me to write my own stories. There are so many of them-too many to count, thousands a day. Sometimes I think they are too ordinary to share. I haven’t had anything miraculous or crazy happen to me. That is, nothing miraculous the way the world defines it, but I do indeed see miracles every day. And like this author, I am aching to write about them.

Probably one of the best quotes so far is in her section on “Freedom.” She writes,

We usually look outside of ourselves for heroes and teachers. It has not occurred to most people that they may already be the role model they seek. The wholeness they are looking for may be trapped within themselves by beliefs, attitudes, and self-doubt. But our wholeness exists in us now. Trapped though it may be, it can be called upon for guidance, direction, and most fundamentally, comfort. It can be remembered. Eventually we may come to live by it.

This spoke to me fiercely. I am always looking for outside help, ideas, support  and clarity. Most often, I hear the critical voice saying, “You’re stupid. You don’t know anything.” “You’re incompetent, how could you think you’d make it?” “You’re going to have break down.” and other absurd lies. But I do believe them most days. The author later, through a story, talks about how we become the real “us” and surprise ourselves. I do that a lot. I look at a lot of the things I have accomplished with God’s (and others’ at times) help and I stand back in awe. The ugly person I sometimes think I am could never have done these things: studying in Guatemala for a semester in college despite challenging physical/emotional problems, returning to college after having left for a semester due to severe depression, graduating from college, teaching inner city for 2 years with very difficult students and an unsupportive principal, radically changing my diet and lifestyle, advocating for my health in unknown situations, staying on top of loans and bills, working odd jobs to make my way (after losing my job), starting a 3rd new teaching job while also tackling grad school, supporting friends going through hard times, my commitment to my church groups, and my most recent feat of getting off of anti-depressants (after 9 years). For all these and many more things, I am so in awe and grateful. I just need to remember those things.

On the hard days, I tell myself, “I have been through worse.” And it’s true. I have gone through so much and I will no doubt go through worse things later. But the truth of the matter is, I need to use the God-given resources I have inside me already rather than searching for a solution in all the books I read or in a person I think is smarter than I. What a good reminder… hopefully you can be reminded of this too in your own life! And I highly recommend this book!

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5 comments

  1. Vanessa Marie · August 19, 2011

    Wow Britney! I have never read your blog before. I am impressed by your writing (not surprised). Thank you for taking the time to post.
    This book looks great. I was really touched by this post. We all need to be reminded that even when WE think things are not great (our negative self talk) we need to look at what we HAVE done; not what we haven’t done. I know in my heart that God has all the answers but my head needs to be reminded–all the time! LOL

  2. Vanessa Marie · August 19, 2011

    Oops! I didn’t spell your name right! LOL Brittany 🙂 There

  3. Dr. Cristina Cantu, ND · August 19, 2011

    Great book and touching post! 🙂

  4. David · December 1, 2011

    Thanks Brittany. I stumbled on your blog the other day and have been very inspired by it. I’m looking forward to reading this book, it seems like it touches on several themes of others I’ve read recently. The quote you included talks of a hidden “wholeness” that resides within every human being. Another author who talks about this is Henri Nouwen. For the last ten years of his live he served developmentally disabled men and women at a community called L’Arche Daybreak in Toronto, Ontario. He battled anxiety and depression for much of his life and writes on this extensively in his devotional books. What inspires me most about him is that no matter how dark things got, he was always able to look within himself and find that hidden “wholeness” amongst his wounds and struggles. Again, thanks for your post.

    • Living the Questions · December 1, 2011

      Hey David, thanks so much for your interest in my blog! Yes, Henri Nouwen is a favorite author of mine because of the many similarities we share. I am currently reading Road to Daybreak-his journal of the year before he started at Daybreak. It’s very personal and vulnerable, like most of his writings. The way he shares himself so openly is inspiring to me. Thanks again…I hope to post something soon. I struggle with putting my writing on here, so glad to know I’ve blessed someone. Take care 🙂

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