The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo contains daily reflections and invitations for meditation. One of the entries from last week, May 20, spoke about the way we change and grow as people. In a moment when these changes are surfacing, the author says, our friends may say to us, “You’re not yourself,” or “That was out of character for you.” And the response that he recommends is this: “I am more than I have shown you and more than you are willing to see. Let’s work our love and know each other more fully.” (Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening, Conari Press, p. 167)
I am more than I have shown you and more than you are willing to see.
This speaks a truth about human nature. We present a part of ourselves (consciously or unconsciously) depending on the situation we find ourselves in. This is not being false or fooling others, this is natural. We do not reveal our deepest and truest selves every place we go. Certainly this is true in our public and professional lives—yet it is true in our personal and intimate lives as well. We show a part of ourselves. And the other part of the statement is equally important. Others perceive us in certain ways, and this is a mixture of what we are showing and of what they want to see or are ready to see.
The other aspect that the author invites us to contemplate is that we are growing, and that who we are today is a different version of ourselves compared to who we were. This connects to the theme of creativity that I have been featuring in my Sunday morning messages this month. I believe that we live in a cycle of creativity, of becoming ourselves and shaping ourselves. I am more than I have shown you because I keep growing, cultivating myself, becoming a new version of me.
Let’s work our love and know each other more fully.
The fact that two human beings – be they coworkers or siblings or spouses – are missing parts of each other in their interactions isn’t surprising and it isn’t bad. And, in any relationship, we can invite one another to deeper connection. I am willing to show you more of myself if you are willing to see it. And that requires love and trust. I love the way that Mark Nepo expresses it, “Let’s work our love…” This implies that the love is already there, and that it is not static. Love is a force that has untapped potential. By “working it,” we can have deeper, more authentic, and more vulnerable relationships. To do so is to live life more fully.
May each of us dare to creatively become the new version of ourselves. May we be open to the unfolding within us. May we welcome the more beautiful and truer parts of ourselves that emerge.
May we see one another in our fullness, recognizing the Divine in one another and letting go of how we expect or want to see each other.
May it be so.
Rev. Andrew Frantz
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Rev. Andrew Frantz
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