The deep secrecy of my own being is often hidden from me by my own estimate of what I am. My idea of what I am is falsified by my admiration for what I do. And my illusions about myself are bred by the contagion from the illusions of others. We all seek to imitate one another’s imagined greatness.
If I do not know who I am, it is because I think I am the sort of person everyone around me wants me to be. Perhaps I have never asked myself whether I really wanted to become what everybody else seems to want to be. Perhaps if I only realized that I do not admire what everyone seems to admire, I would really begin to live after all. I would be liberated from the painful duty of saying what I really do not think and acting in a way that betrays God’s truth and the integrity of my own soul.
During a day retreat in Leeds on Saturday we talked about confidence and the giving over of oneself to the authority of others’ expectations. This quote works rather well in relation to our talks. …for me it’s a first cousin, if not sibling, of conditioned confidence and talks of that sense of vulnerability and panic when the veneer (of confidence) slips. Yes, I’d say so. Thanks to Nic for the quote and thought.