Divided No More – 7 quotes from Parker J. Palmer’s book – Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation

by Mark Votava

41se8bsdql-_sx367_bo1204203200_-11. Surrounded by expectations

“We arrive in this world with birthright gifts – then we spend the first half of our lives abandoning them or letting others disabuse us of them. As young people, we are surrounded by expectations that may have little to do with who we really are, expectations held by people who are not trying to discern our selfhood but to fit us into slots. In families, schools, workplaces, and religious communities, we are trained away from true self toward images of acceptability; under social pressures like racism and sexism our original shape is deformed beyond recognition; and we ourselves, driven by fear, too often betray true self to gain the approval of others.”

2. Divided no more

“…the people who plant the seeds of movements make a critical decision: they decide to live ‘divided no more.’ They decide no longer to act on the outside in a way that contradicts some truth about themselves that they hold deeply on the inside. They decide to claim authentic selfhood and act it out – and their decisions ripple out to transform the society in which they live…”

3. We are all made in God’s image

“If, as I believe, we all are made in God’s image, we could all give the same answer when asked who we are: ‘I Am who I Am.’ One dwells with God by being faithful to one’s nature. One crosses God by trying to be something one is not. Reality – including one’s own – is divine, to be not defied but honored.”

4. A place of hidden wholeness

“Good leadership comes from people who have penetrated their own inner darkness and arrived at the place where we are at one with one another, people who can lead the rest of us to a place of ‘hidden wholeness’ because they have been there and know the way.”

5. The seed of authentic vocation

“What a long time it can take to become the person one has always been! How often in the process we mask ourselves in faces that are not our own. How much dissolving and shaking of ego we must endure before we discover our deep identity – the true self within every human being that is the seed of authentic vocation.”

6. I must listen to my life

“Vocation does not come from willfulness. It comes from listening. I must listen to my life and try to understand what it is truly about – quite apart from what I would like it to be about – or my life will never represent anything real in the world, no matter how earnest my intentions.”

7. Attending to my own truth

“When I ignored my own truth on behalf of a distorted ego and ethic, I led a false life that caused others pain – for which I can only ask forgiveness. When I started attending to my own truth, more of that truth became available in my work and relationships. I now know that anything one can do on behalf of true self is done ultimately in the service of others.”

Have you come to the place of desiring to be divided no more?

Purchase Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation