Friday, January 7, 2011

Nouwen in the New Year

Be a Real Friend
Friendship as pain.  "You desired it so much that you often lost yourself in the search for a true friend.  Many times you became desperate when a friendship you hoped for didn't materialize, or when a friendship begun with great expectations did not last."  Nouwen gets it every time.

All of my relationships have been built upon my inexhaustible needs.  I have known this to be true, at least on some conscious level, for every single relationship I have had in my life: romantic, platonic, and familial.

I knew this, but did the other party?  They had to have known something was up; they had to have had some kind of wounded-ness they were trying to heal at the time of our meeting.  Have I appeared well all these years?

Nouwen says, "Friendship becomes more and more possible when you accept yourself as deeply loved."  I have never thought of myself as friend-able, never considered myself a healthy influence in another's life.  Perhaps that is why I have acted in the ways that I have.  I have acted out the thoughts I have held for myself.  So must negative self talk.  So many mistakes made.

"A friendship in which heart speaks to heart is a gift from God, and no gift that comes from God is temporary or occasional."  My life has been a merry-go-round of temporary relationships, and I have wondered why.  I have not kept God as my center; therefore, I have attracted negative, unhealthy relationships into my life.  Most have ended disastrously because they were not meant for me.  I fought and fought against my inherent nature to hang on to these horrible relationships that were never meant to be.  And I wondered why my life was chaotic.

Let my needs for affection, affirmation, and emotional support allow my authentic self to move closer to God, and not be led by my small self toward people or things that are not meant for me. 

Nouwen ends well.  "Dare to love and to be a real friend." 

Read all of my Nouwen inspired insight here.

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