Years ago I read Brennan Manningâs book, âAbbaâs Child.â On his incredible journey of teaching me about being Godâs âBeloved,â he speaks of the imposter in his life. I think this imposter is what today, we are calling the ego. Here is a conversation that he had with his âimposterâ on the last day of a 30 day silent retreat.
âGood morning, impostorâ¦ You taught me how to hide my real self from everyone and initiated a lifelong process of concealment, containment, and withdrawal. Your resourcefulness enabled me to survive. But then your other side appeared and you started lying to me. Brennan, you whispered, if you persist in this folly of being yourself, your few long-suffering friends will hit the bricks, leaving you all alone. Stuff your feelings, shut down your memories, withhold your opinions, and develop social graces so you’ll fit in wherever you are.
And so, the elaborate game of pretense and deception began. Because it worked I raised no objection. But you (imposter) needed someone to bridle you and rein you in. I had neither the perception nor the courage to tame you. Your appetite for attention and affirmation became insatiable. I never confronted you with the lie because I was deceived myself.
The bottom line, my pampered playmate, is that you are both needy and selfish. You need care, love, and a safe dwelling place. On this last day in the Rockies my gift is to take you where, unknowingly, you have longed to be…… in the presence of Jesus.â
My ego is born out of the same longings that Brennan speaks of. I needed it when I was young, but as an adult, it became a time bomb in my life. I am embarrassed to say that at fifty-three, I am standing naked and unarmed for the first time in my life. I have spent a lifetime trying to be good enough, trying to âlove wellâ so that I could be assured of others love. (Give to get would be a more honest description.) Though I am at the beginning of this honest life, I am at peace. I have my family, a few good friends and a small community of people who are broken, just like me.
If you are still trying to hold up this imposter in your life, I encourage you to loosen your grip as much as you are able. You can humbly embrace your true identity or risk stepping on the land mine of pride that has masked your naked, needy self.
Though the journey can be painful, the truth really will set you free.
â¢ How does your âimposterâ present him/herself to your world?
â¢ Consider your deepest fears and your true longings. What do you do to get hose longings met?
â¢ Consider how your life might look different if you gave up the pretense of self protection and were free enough to simply live your life.
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