Wednesday, May 8, 2013

what reminds me to be real


Peace comes about through acceptance of truth; if we accept the truth of ourselves—the shifting truth of what we are from moment to moment—and constantly give it over into the truth of peace and wholeness in Christ, to which we have access in the church, then we shall be in fact in peace, whether or not we feel ourselves to be at peace. Peace is, then something which enfolds us rather than something which we grasp. Peace is being what you are, what you really are, what you are in God, what you are in obedience to the creative Word of God, the ‘implanted Word’ which is the law of your freedom.”
~Father Simon Tugwell, O.P.
[as published in Magnificat,
May 5, 2013]
  
I get called Beautiful all day long.

I’m not kidding. Here’s how it came to pass. When two and a half year old Elena started talking, she began to call me “Buela,” from Abuela, or Grandma in Spanish.

Except what Elena said sounded exactly like “Bella,” which means beautiful in Spanish! I hope I never stop smiling when I hear her call out for me across the room, Hey Bella!”

A few weeks ago I listened to a TED talk by author Brené Brown on “the power of vulnerability.

Imagine this academic researcher setting to study and collect data on our neurobiological design to “connect” with one another in order to predict and control how this takes place—only to find out after six years of gathering thousands of stories, that her premise was all wrong. What leads people to feel connection, this genuine love and sense of belonging, was actually not only intrinsically connected, but also a result of, authenticity. And authenticity is based on vulnerability.

Brown points out that this discovery led to a personal “spiritual awakening” that transformed her personal and professional perspective, and reoriented her research.

Vulnerable people become what Brown calls whole-hearted people, people courageous enough to be imperfect.

More often than I care to admit, all I can see is the things about me that I don’t like, all the ways that I fail constantly at loving the people in my life. But here was another reminder that, even fixing myself is out of my power. Rather than numbing myself or denying my feelings, my task is to turn over to God my imperfections—and practice the grace of vulnerability, letting myself “be seen” as I am. This is authenticity. 

I think this is part of what Fr. Tugwell describes when he says the “truth of ourselves,” the “shifting truth of what we are from moment to moment." Because "peace is being what you are, what you really are, what you are in God…”

Thank God I have Elena to remind me simply by calling my name.