10 October 2014

Awakening :: Week 5

We cannot make ourselves grow. We can only will to wake up and submit to the process.

Waking up and embarking on the spiritual journey involved an uprooting and tearing down of my false self and worldview. At times I felt like I was coming undone. Submission to this grace reoriented my life to a deeper degree of truth. The transformative work of Christ is very real. By a mystery that can hardly be explained, the work of Christ sets us free. The true self is free once the false self is confronted and dismantled.

This is Jesus’ promise to us—that it would be “no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). The false self has to “die” in order for Christ’s life to reign in us. This is the spiritual journey—to live into the fullness of Christ’s life within us.

But living into our potential is not easy.

All sorts of factors inhibit us from reaching our full potential and divert us instead toward the reinforcement of a false self. For many women, one big factor is patriarchy. Men too report awakening to perils of male domination. Various sectors of society, in both subtle and painfully conspicuous ways, effectively repress the feminine. Male and female alike suffer from this repression.


Generally, fear in one form or another is what inhibits the true self from freely expressing her/himself. What fear factors hinder you from reaching your potential? Is it fear about what you’ll do, if your true self has his/her way? Is it fear over having enough in terms of material possessions? Is it your fear of opinions of others? Or is it something else?

Be as honest as you can with yourself. The spiritual journey takes courage. And courage is not the absence of fear, it’s being willing to confront your fear. Perfect love casts out all fear, so be open to and enter into Divine Love as you explore your fears and remember your burning desire to walk with God on the spiritual journey and live into your fullest potential.


photo credit: Jennifer Speight

3 Responses

  1. Great thoughts Phileena! For me, the fear I struggle with most is thinking that if I give my life to become a servant, in humility, in compassion, in listening, in community, in caring for the poor my life will not amount to much.

  2. I sat with a friend in a coffee shop yesterday. We went for a walk with her two dogs. We sat outside on the patio in the sunshine while I listened to her stories. Stories of her cancer which has returned. Stories of her experience with radiation focused on a tumor which has restricted blood flow from her legs back to her heart. Radiation treatment which she had been through only an hour before.

    This adorable fighter is in the “pink stinks” camp of cancer survivors. She hates it. Her breasts don’t hate her. Her ovaries do … in abstentia.

    My fear was that I would say something that would offend her … that would make things worse. My fear was that the Spirit within me would be silent.

    But the Spirit was not silent. She spoke through me. And Love invaded and infused the spaces between us. And I guess, maybe, that was sufficient … for now.