... The art of gentleness toward ourselves leads to being gentle with others--and is a natural prerequisite for our presence to God in prayer.
.... Self-hatred always results in some form of self-destructive behavior.
Accepting the reality of our sinfulness means accepting our authentic self. Judas could not face his shadow; Peter could. The latter befriended the impostor within; the former raged against him. "Suicide does not happen on a sudden impulse. It is an act that has been rehearsed during years of unconscious punitive behavior patterns."
Years ago, Carl Jung wrote:
The acceptance of oneself is the essence of the whole moral problem and the epitome of the whole outlook on life.... But what if I should discover that the least amongst them all, the poorest of all the beggars, the most impudent of all the offenders, the very enemy himself--that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness--that I myself am the enemy who must be loved--what then?
Thursday, December 17, 2009
The Art of Gentleness toward Ourselves
There's no need for any one of us to participate in, much less to perpetuate, the myth that the suicide rate increases during the holidays. (I've had three close friends take their own lives, and none was during a holiday). But we all have stresses during the vacation times with friends and family and at churches, synagogues, mosques, or even at the shopping mall. And I'm reading some Brennan Manning (Abba's Child, pages 44-45) to help: