We Cannot Become Authentic Without Self-Reflection

I heard someone offer a quote from their Clinical Pastoral Education supervisor:  “to the depth you can go to your own pain is the depth to which you can go with the others to their pain.”   I was really struck by the reality of this statement in simply saying you cannot go where you haven’t been.

This seems to, once again,  get back to the question of self-reflection and authenticity.  In order to be empathetic to the needs and wounds of others we need to be in touch with our own pain.   We cannot become authentic without self-reflection.  Those who cannot, will not, or have not engaged in self-reflection may know they they have pain but they have no clue as to the cause of the pain.  In fact, those who do not self-reflect will normally blame others for their pain rather than reflect and learn the actual source.

There is no change without a successful transition and I am not convinced that you can ever have a successful transition without consistent and deep self-reflection.  This process of self-reflection cannot be fulfilled without sitting in the Word of God, seeking the Spirit to lead the discernment process, and then, walking with the Holy Spirit for true discernment.  This process can be painful as the Holy Spirit exposes the wounds that are in need of healing.

Sometimes a person doesn’t honestly know why they have pain.  A person may have denied the pain for so long that they can only say it hurts but they cannot say why it hurts.  If one cannot face one’s own pain it is virtually impossible to support and walk with others in pain.

  • To become authentic is to reflect. 
  • To become authentic is to sit in the Word of God in order to allow the Holy Spirit to open up the wounds that God would like to heal.
  • To become authentic is to be shaped by God through repentance, confession and absolution.
  • To become authentic is to be in a community where God can speak the truth in love through the group members.

“to the depth you can go to your own pain is the depth to which you can go with others to their pain.”

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