Kelly Flanagan on Unwrapping the Real You

For some time now I am following the personal blog of Kelly Flanagan, a clinical psychologist living in Wheaton, Ill. The text he has just published is, up to this moment, the best I have read this Christmas. Here is just a fragment, the most important one, I think.

* * *

I don’t believe in identity formation anymore.

Because figuring out who we are isn’t about making something new; it’s about seeing something old. There’s no such thing as identity formation; there is only identity recognition. There is only a new awareness of something original in us. In the end, we don’t make something of ourselves; we glimpse something of ourselves.

How do we finally recognize who we already are?

We get quiet. We get silent. We stop doing. We start abiding. We let our waters get still, until, in the glassiness of our silent inner night, we can see who we really are. Who we’ve always been. We see, in the darkness of a holy night, the beautiful gift we’ve been waiting for all along.

Who are you?

Better yet, who are you not?

You are not your shame and you are not your glory. You are not your mistakes and your failures, and you are not your perfection and your success. You are not your losses and you are not your wins. You are not your disappointments and your disbelief, and you are not your happiness and your certainty. You are not the wounds you’ve wound up with along the way, and you are not the wounds you’ve avoided all along. You are not your bitter anger or your trembling fear or your bottomless sorrow or your utter joy or your moments of ecstasy.

That stuff is all just your wrapping paper.

You are the gift you find underneath.

You are already the thing you’ve always wanted to be. You are enough. You are worthy of every compliment you can summon the courage to receive. You matter and you belong. You are as simple and as sublimely beautiful as your next breath. You are the redemptive heartbeat of the universe. You are the compassion you can’t contain.  You are a creator of beauty. You are a lightAnd you are the grace that knows everyone else is also a gift, just like you.

Tonight, let silence happen, and allow yourself to glimpse the gift that is you.

Tomorrow, start unwrapping.

And don’t ever stop.

* * *

Read HERE the entire post.



Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: