The More You Come To Know Yourself – 7 quotes from Henri J.M. Nouwen’s book – The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom

by Mark Votava

41cyddmtl-_sy344_bo1204203200_1. Two extremes to avoid

“There are two extremes to avoid: being completely absorbed in your pain and being distracted by so many things that you stay far away from the wound you want to heal.”

2. Deeper into the heart of God

“Every time you close another door – be it the door of immediate satisfaction, the door of distracting entertainment, the door of busyness, the door of guilt and worry, or the door of self-rejection – you commit yourself to go deeper into your heart and thus deeper into the heart of God.”

3. The more you come to know yourself

“The more you come to know yourself – spirit, mind, and body – as truly loved, the freer you will be…”

4. It is not going to be easy

“It is not going to be easy to listen to God’s call. Your insecurity, your self-doubt, and your great need for affirmation make you lose trust in your inner voice and run away from yourself. But you know that God speaks to you through your inner voice and that you will find joy and peace only if you follow it.”

5. A great deal of time and patience

“It will take a great deal of time and patience to distinguish between the voice of your wounded self and the voice of God, but as you grow more and more faithful to your vocation, this will become easier…”

6. Your heart is greater than your pain

“The great challenge is living your wounds through instead of thinking them through. It is better to cry than to worry, better to feel your wounds deeply than to understand them, better to let them enter into your silence than to talk about them. The choice you face constantly is whether you are taking your hurts to your head or to your heart. In your head you can analyze them, find their causes and consequences, and coin words to speak and write about them. But no final healing is likely to come from that source. You need to let your wounds go down into your heart. Then you can live them through and discover that they will not destroy you. Your heart is greater than your pain.”

7. How you decide to remember the past

“As you conclude this period of spiritual renewal, you are faced once again with a choice. You can choose to remember this time as a failed attempt to be completely reborn, or you can also choose to remember it as the precious time when God began new things in you that need to be brought to completion. Your future depends on how you decide to remember your past. Choose for the truth of what you know. Do not let your still anxious emotions distract you. As you keep choosing God, your emotions will gradually give up their rebellion and be converted to the truth in you.”

Have you come to know yourself – spirit, mind, body?

Purchase The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey From Anguish To Freedom