Regular readers of our blog will know that the Quaker educationalist Parker J Palmer is one of our sources of inspiration. As I read, write and plan for my new spiritual health check up programme I am developing I am revisiting some of my old favourites.
This I find a really helpful reminder of something I know intellectually but which sometimes needs to drop down into my heart… I need a right self-awareness, not a distorted one. He writes:
I now know myself to be a person with weakness and strength, liability and giftedness, darkness and light. I now know that to be whole means to reject none of it but to embrace all of it… Others may say that ’embracing one’s wholeness’ is just fancy talk for permission to sin, but again my experience is to the contrary. To embrace weakness, liability, and darkness as part of who I am gives that part less sway over me, because all it ever wanted was to be acknowledged as part of my whole self.
One of our friends, Amy Jacober, has written a book about disability called Redefining Perfect, it is one of the most wonderful books and book titles I can imagine. I am not really a perfectionist but I do get frustrated at myself at times. That impacts my spiritual health as it puts me at odds with myself, I am not as accepting and embracing as I need to be to feel that I am flourishing.
If you are interested in the work I am developing around spiritual health then do message me on any of the social media you connect with me on or email firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you details as they are available.
Parker J Palmer (2000) Let your life speak. San Francisco Jossey Bass, 70-71.