Posts tagged ‘true self’




Are you tired of being hurt, offended, and disrespected? How many times a day, week or month do you feel that punch in the gut when someone misjudges, misuses, underestimates, degrades, or disparages you. Are you sick of being taken for granted and giving more than you get? Do you wish people would take your ideas more seriously, find your jokes more funny, give you more compliments, and acknowledge what you contribute to the family, the neighborhood, the company, and the world?



Well, I certainly answer, “Yes,” to these questions. I wish I would stop getting hurt and offended. I wish my poor, tender feelings could get a break. So, when I read the words, “Never be offended again,” I signed up. Did I know what I was signing up for? No, I certainly did not.


Richard Rohr, as I am sure you know by now, is someone I consider wise emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. It was he who suggested, “Never be offended again.” Since it was coming from him, I should have known it would require some “growth” on my part. Here is what I have learned.

Richard Rohr

We each have a false self and a true self. The false self is what we show to the world. The false self is also the “self” that the world has created, and the self the world values. Richard Rohr sums up the false self this way. When we are living in our false self, “We believe our own P.R.”


Imagine being introduced to an audience. Here she is, folks. She is bright, educated, and well read. She has accomplished so many things. She has made so much of her life. She has helped so many people. She is rich or beautiful or uniquely talented. Is she awesome, or what? Is she admirable? Does she stick out from the crowd? When we start believing our own “public image,” we are falling for false illusions.


Richard Rohr says only the false self gets offended. The true self never gets offended because the true self has nothing which can be offended. The true self is not caught up in prestige or pedigree or pretense. The true self is the self that is revealed when all the disguises and costumes are taken away. The title of one of Richard Rohr’s books is The Naked Now. We talked two weeks ago about the present moment as the stage for conscious living. Richard Rohr adds the dress code for conscious living: nakedness.


The true self, the deeper self, the real self, will be naked of affectation and adornment. If I am truly to connect with another human, that connection will not be made while I am wearing the cap and gown of an educated woman. It will not be made while I am carrying my books around trying to impress you into buying them. We can only connect with each other meaningfully on the unadorned, unlabeled basis of human soul to human soul.


Ihave a Master’s Degree. If you only have a Bachelor’s Degree, you are inferior to me. If you have a Doctoral Degree, I am inferior to you. If you are more physically fit than I am, I am inferior to you. If I am able to read music and you are not, you are inferior to me. This is the never-ending comparison and competition of winner and loser. Always the loser will be offended because the loser is not the winner. Always the winner must keep winning, or he will become the loser.


But, our true selves, our naked selves, are no better or less than the true and naked self of anyone else. We are all equal. You see, you offend me when you undervalue me, but when I am in my true, unadorned state, I have no earthly value. I came into the world with no earthly value. I will depart the world with no earthly value. This crazy illusion I cloak myself in while I walk the earth is that somehow things I learn and accumulate and acquire make me superior to some people and, always, because there is always someone who learned more, accumulated more, and acquired more, inferior to other people.


Our ego desperately strives to set us apart and above others. But, this is the ego of the false self. The ego of the true self knows that we are each simply who we were created to be. Is a butterfly of more value than a honeybee? Is a crow more valuable than a wren? Is any creature more important or more valuable than any other creature? The idea is ludicrous. Which is better a zinnia or a daffodil? Is a tomato superior to a cucumber?



It is in the comparison that we begin to be offended and hurt and harmed. Am I the best counselor and grandmother and cook? How dare you say you enjoyed Marsha’s chicken salad? By virtue of hearing that, I am offended that you didn’t think my chicken salad is better. If you tell me about a grandmother who did something sweet for her grandchild, I am offended that you have not chosen me as your example of a fabulous grandmother. My ego demands that I be the one chosen, selected, lauded and honored.


The ego is not bad,” Richard Rohr explains. “It is just what takes over when you do not see truthfully and completely.” Another cook making good chicken salad neither diminishes nor competes with me. Another grandmother doing something sweet for her grandchild neither diminishes nor competes with me. How can I be offended when someone else triumphs? How can I feel superior when someone else stumbles?


My false self is offended. My false self has believed my own P.R. My false self is a product of my society. My false self has fallen for all the advertising. My false self needs the newest and the best. My false self lives in shame and guilt because I cannot always be number one in everything. I cannot win every lottery. I cannot get the brass ring on every carousel.


But, when I get off the carousel, ground myself in the present moment, and get naked, metaphorically speaking, of course, I can see truthfully and completely. I have been competing externally. Internally, there is no competition. I am the only me there is. No one else has entered the world as I did or when I did or how I did. No one else has lived my life experiences and made my mistakes and hopefully learned from them. No one else needed my lessons. Only me.


All this time I have been holding myself up in stark contrast to everything and everyone outside me. I have lived a life of being offended when anyone else got any piece of the riches and rewards of the world. I thought anything they got was something I didn’t and couldn’t get. But all I had to do was turn my focus inward to realize that I couldn’t compete with anyone other than myself. All I could ever hope to be was the best ME possible.


Nothing can offend me because nothing external can touch me. My real, true, naked self is alive and well inside myself. What Richard Rohr says, which is so helpful, is that when we feel ourselves being offended, disrespected, disparaged, diminished, we need to stop and change our focus. Those negative feelings warn us that we are not thinking clearly or wisely.


Our inflated positive feelings of pride and fame and accomplishment are warnings also. We are living in the false self. Whether we consider ourselves winners or losers, we are stuck in the hall of mirrors. We are falsely delighted or falsely disgusted by our successes and failures because we are comparing ourselves to others. Our chance of getting anywhere with this thinking is about as good as climbing on a stationary bike and expecting to end up in a different location.

stationary bike

So, no more being offended. Literally. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make me feel inferior without my cooperation.” And, I am no longer cooperating. If I start feeling inferior (or superior) I know I have to get my eyes re-focused on my true, invincible, indestructible self. I need to re-focus on who I am and what I am about.

Just as a quick example – imagine my boss is angry with me because I lost a sale. We did not have the product that customer needed and wanted and I told the customer that. My false self will be offended because the boss reprimanded me since he wanted me to make a sale rather than follow, as I like to say, “my own North star.” But, how can I be offended? I listened to my true self, my naked wisdom. I valued my integrity. I did not promote the company’s agenda. I stayed true to myself.


noproduct        northstar

Peace and blessings as we deepen our understanding and increase our joy! Knowledge is power. Self-knowledge is self-power.

Susan and Tony

Supporting Scripture:

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11 (ESV)

“By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:19 (ESV)

“Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.” Genesis 18:27 (ESV)

“The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the maker of them all.” Proverbs 22:2 (ESV)

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 (ESV)

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August 22, 2015 at 10:32 AM 1 comment

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