...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Thursday, March 3, 2011

You don't need church to live in denial

You don't need the church to be the one-half in "Two and a Half Men," but that doesn't mean people don't use the church to escape themselves. You don't need the church to avoid the pain of your own self-destructive wiring. But it can help.

With the opportunity to try out a new spiritual practice or discipline in the coming Lent/Easter season, I hope to take a fresh look at what I need- so that my faith practice, whatever it is, can limit self-delusion and blindness, and can encourage self-knowledge and awareness.

The thing is, we can turn anything, even the good gifts of our tradition, into a self-serving exercise, subverting and sabotaging the holy and life-giving intention of the practice. That's why it helps to be intentional and have the support of another in the journey, such as a spiritual director. The great gift of a Christian spiritual practice is first and always, the freedom Holy Spirit gives us to choose more of God, and less cobbling of the concocted self.

That's wonderful addition by subtraction!

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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