Just who do I think I am, anyway?

daring-greatly.pngI want to aspire to be my best self. I want to find the greatness in me. I want to be truly wonderful.

This has been bringing up some guilt for me. Like I’m overstepping my boundaries. Aspiring to be divine when I am a mere mortal. Old ideas about the sin of pride are coming up.

“Who do you think you are?” says the voice. “Do you think you’re Jesus or something?”

Well, no. I do not.

There are examples set for us about how to live the best life. How to live a life of fulfillment, where we are so full of love that it just spills over and over. What this life looks like. It looks like generosity and compassion, in a free and abundant way. Definitely not in a hey-look-at-me way.

Is there something fundamentally immoral with wanting to spill love and joy out all over the place? I feel pretty confident in saying there is not. Rationally, I can say this is surely the kind of life to aspire to.

People make a big deal all the time about Mother Theresa and other folks who are thought to embody selfless generosity and unconditional love. And yet people sometimes want to attack these same historical figures, call their motives into question. Some people cannot trust that someone could have pure intentions – she must have an agenda.

Of course these…haters?…are just making a comment about their own selves.

And perhaps I’m making a comment about my own self as well. When I listen to that voice demanding, “Who do you think you are, trying to aspire to a life of service and compassion?”, something in me wants to respond with, “Yeah, maybe I’m not capable of being more.”

I’m human and imperfect and not trying to hide that. But it’s the devil’s voice that’s trying to get me to hold back from pushing the boundaries of my true potential. No voice of goodness would try and discourage me aspiring to increase the amount of joy in the world.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly;

who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;

but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;

who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

-Theodore Roosevelt

Have you heard this voice from others or from inside yourself? I’d love to hear about your relationship with the messages.

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