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Bring home the part you left behind

By Dave Henning / September 11, 2018

“So you have to bring home the part of you that was left behind. That is not easy, because you have become quite a formidable person, and your fearful part does not know if it can safely dwell with you.  Your grown-up self has to become very childlike– hospitable, gentle, and caring — so your anxious self can return and feel safe.”- Henri Nouwen

As Alison Cook and Kimberly Miller continue Chapter 7 of Boundaries for Your Soul, they discuss what happens when your Spirit-led self connects with your exile.  At this juncture, the authors advise you to:

  • let your exile know there’s more to you than it sees from its limited vantage point
  • share with your exile the truth of who you are from God’s perspective
  • comfort this tender exile with your attention; it’s now able to release the feelings and misconceptions creating your burden

However, Alison and Kim stress, we correctly admit that change is hard.  Because a protector part you’ve befriended digs in its heels, not wanting to change its ways.  For it’s worked long and hard to protect you from the painful feelings your exiles carry. Therefore, first acknowledge the fears you protector carries.  As a result, the authors go on to list four of the most common fears:

1.  The fear of being overwhelmed.  Respond with this statement: I’m stronger than I think.  As Isaiah 43:2 reminds us- “When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.”

2.  The fear that it’s not worth it.  You benefit from revisiting the past.  Hence, face the past so you heal and move forward in new ways.

3.  The fear that it’s too hard and will make things worse.  Learning to tolerate difficult emotions compares to developing a new muscle.  While it’s likely quite hard at first, the process makes you stronger and more capable.

4.  The fear of loss of identity.  Since God created you, your hurting part still plays an important role.  As the apostle Paul exhorts in Ephesians 2:10, you’re God’s masterpiece!

Today’s question: What soul part that you left behind do you need to bring home?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Your protectors cling to outdated beliefs”

About the author

Dave Henning


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