Why Am I Here? A Story About Becoming the Best Version of Yourself by Matthew Kelly (illustrated by Hazel Mitchell)
Living Your Strengths: Discover Your God-Given Talents and Inspire Your Community by Albert Winseman and Donald Clifton
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (2012)
The Emotions God Gave You by Art & Laraine Bennett
The Temperament God Gave You by Art & Laraine Bennett
With that, we shook hands, he got up, walked to his car and drove off as I just sat there trying to figure out what exactly had just happened. As I sat there thinking: two things he said reverberated in the back of my mind:
Nothing is withheld from us which we have conceived to do.
Do things that have never been done.
The first meaning: if you’ve conceived something in your mind, decide to do it, and are willing to put in the work – nothing can stop you.
The second is fairly self-explanatory but carries the extra weight of it coming from the guy who invented the very thing that’s letting me type these words out on the internet.
Telling the truth about myself means that not only must I not present myself to others as an object for consumption or as having a primarily sexual worth, but I must also not present myself to others as something other than I am.
It means not acting and dressing to display my superiority to others, or to make a show of my rejection of the values and norms of the people around me.
In facing the fact that it’s not God, but me that has to change, I have slowly started becoming my authentic self. Not anyone else, but me. I am a hot mess Catholic who is trying to hand all my flaws to God so that He can help me change them. That is hard. And I’ll tell you the secret of all secrets, it sucks to the max. It’s like walking on hot coals slowly and when you get to the end, someone lays out more and you have to keep going because the fire of those coals is stripping you of everything that isn’t true about who you are.
The saints became saints not by what they accomplished, but through who they became. In growing up, they managed to conform to the Gospel’s exhortations to become meek and humble of heart, to become like little children. Of course, the saints did tremendous works and deeds. They were often masters at doing. But that wasn’t their focus; it was the by-product of their being, of their living well.
It was just the other day, during a phone conversation with my 90 year old grandmother, when she asked, “Who are you?”
I paused for a moment and said, “Grandma, it’s me. Becky. Don’t you remember?”
She snorted in derision, “Do you think I’ve gone senile? I know your name. I was just wondering if you’d figured out who you were yet.”