Free From the Fear of Others {#31 Days} {Quotable}

Vanier on freedom:

Perhaps the greatest fear of all is the fear of being pushed down into depths of confusion and loneliness and so not to exist. There we are confronted by the demons of anguish and violence. We crave admiration and depend so much on the affirmation of others that we do not see the truth and the loving eyes of God.

We all experience the same struggle living in a society, culture or group that imposes certain values where we find security and a sense of belonging. Our need for this group can crush our deepest sense of freedom, our need to be ourselves. We can be frightened of saying something that we know to be true but that does not fit in with what our group of friends might affirm. We can be frightened of being banned from the group, of losing face in front of our friends. We can become dependent on what others think of us and want us to do or be.

How easily, then, we live an illusion about ourselves, our group, our country, our religion by refusing to see the failings and chaos within ourselves and in them.

We can be frightened of uncovering certain truths about ourselves and our group, frightened by the consequences, frightened by what might have to change, frightened of being left alone. We pretend to be the elite and hide behind walls we have created for ourselves to prevent us from looking directly at the facts, from listening to others, outsiders, who are different and who may reveal to us other truths about life and what it means to be human.

Institutions of all sorts, churches and communities, can be so frightened of losing their reputation and power that they start to hide the truth or distort the facts by interpreting them in a subjective way in order to uphold their “truth,” their reputation, their certitudes, and continue to affirm that they are right, “the best”–and have been all along. We just have to look at how “facts” are distorted and passed on in history books of different countries and eras.

The world of imagination appears to be more beautiful than the real world.

As people develop their sense of truth and justice, their personal conscience and identity grows. People discover who they are. They discover they are someone and that they are called to be free. They are no longer slaves to what others want them to be., no longer slaves to the consumerism and the media that surround them. We grow in a sense of truth as we meet people who not only speak the truth but live it. These people become like Jesus, a light of the world. They are witness to the truth that leads to The Light. {J. Vanier, Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John}

Walk in the light of His truth today. Be free. Free indeed!

This month I’m participating with The Nester in her 31 Day challenge to write every day on a topic of choice. I’m writing this month on how Jesus make us free. Because without him, we’re just a hot mess of a captive.

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