“Humility consists in being precisely the person you actually are before God, and since no two people are alike, if you have the humility to be yourself you will not be like anyone else in the whole universe. ” ~Thomas Merton
We often want to be someone other than we’re not. Or we compare ourselves to others and come up short.
Lent begins today and is the perfect opportunity to ask ourselves, “Am I the person God intended me to be?” And since none of us is perfect, we all have room to grow toward that person.
In his book The Rhythm of Life, Matthew Kelly talks about God wanting each of us to become “the-best-version-of-yourself.” The word “best” may imply trying to be perfect—especially if you’re a perfectionist in recovery like me. Perhaps a goal during Lent is to try to become better than we’ve been.
Becoming a better person may mean making a small shift in our habits by making more time for prayer and reading Scripture.
It may mean making a small attitude adjustment about those people we find hard to get along with and trying to see them with new eyes.
It may mean working on shifting the way we see ourselves. Being more kind and gentle with ourselves when we mess up. Forgiving ourselves when we’re less than perfect. Believing that we’re limitlessly loved by God because of God’s “no matter whatness,” as Gregory Boyle writes in Tattoos on the Heart.
It may mean spending more time reflecting on life’s purpose and meaning by asking two important questions: Who am I called to be? What am I called to do? To explore your answers to those two questions, consider seeking out a spiritual director, who is trained to deeply listen and ask really good questions.
Most of all, honor your own spiritual journey by being yourself. Even if it means sticking your neck out. Even if it means making a radical shift in your life or your work.
Thomas Merton asked, “How do you expect to arrive at the end of your own journey if you take the road to another man’s city?”
Figure out which road is uniquely yours to take, and then have the courage to take one tiny step onto it. Trust that even though you can’t see the road ahead, God always walks along with you.
You will show me the path of life. Psalm 16:11