Monday, January 21, 2013

You Are Beloved

     We all have trials, down times, and insecurities in our lives, but for every one of these there is a turning point that takes you right back up. The following quotes from Henri Nouwen’s “Life of the Beloved” show that recognizing that you are ‘beloved’ is a very important aspect of your life and faith.
      ‘There is little or no neutral territory between the land of the blessed and the land of the cursed. You have to choose where it is that you want to live, and that choice is one that you have to keep making from moment to moment ... I must tell you that claiming your own blessedness always leads to a deep desire to bless others.’
      You can’t spend your life struggling with the good and the bad. People have to accept that there are going to be hard times, but that life has so much good in it and that is what you have to focus on. Trials are lessons for improvement; finding the good is going to help you have less stress and more joy in your life. When you begin to struggle with the bad parts of life and focus on what goes wrong, that is when you start heading down the wrong path. Appreciating the positives (which there are more than negatives, even if it’s hard to see it that way at times) will lead to a much happier and fulfilled life. It is difficult to do, Nouwen says that it is a moment-to-moment choice to live in the land of the blessed, but it is possible when you keep yourself focused. You are a blessed child of God. God loves you and cares about you. He is going to see you through those hard times, so don’t overly worry about them or let them consume you.
     ‘Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “Beloved”. Being the Beloved expresses the core truth of our experience.’
      Blessedness is even more than seeing how much God loves you; it’s about realizing that you are worth that love. A lot of people feel detached or far away from God, like He is a power that cares about much bigger issues than little me. But in actuality, God loves each and every person. He made you just the way you were meant to be and you are loved for being you. Nouwen says that self-rejection is the worst thing you can do in being ‘beloved’. By rejecting yourself, you are in a way rejecting Him and His love. Accepting and living as the ‘beloved’ is truly accepting God and faith. You are at one with Him and your spirituality which will help you attain a satisfying and joyous life. And, as expressed in the first quote, once you reach a state of blessedness, you will be able to help others reach theirs. Ultimately, this is a huge goal in and part of life, to be happy and to help others.
     So I challenge you to think about bad parts of your life, your past, your present trials, and your worries about the future, and reanalyze them looking at what positive they can actually bring you. What lessons they have taught. What kind of person they make you for dealing with them. How they help you look at life differently. See the good in everything. Remember that God is working for you and for good, never the opposite. You are His ‘beloved’ and there is reason for that. He loves you because you’re worth being that loved.

Now go out and see the good in the world and help others too!

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