In Others’ Words: Don’t Forget to Remember … You


Forgetting Nouwen 2015

You should see me trying to get out the door.

I slip on my shoes, gather my bottle of Sobe Lifewater, grab my purse, and head for the garage. Once I get to my car, I remember something I forgot to bring with me — my car keys maybe, or a manuscript I need to read, or my checkbook. So I head back inside my house and grab what I forgot.

Sometimes I repeat this process two or three times, telling my husband or kiddos, “I’m really leaving this time!” and try to ignore the sound of their laughter as I head to the car for the last time (I hope).

And then there are the days I forget who I am …

The days I let how-did-this-happen circumstances overhwelm me and bend me into someone who I don’t want to be.

The days when I let someone else’s expectations squeeze me into a corner and push and prod me into becoming someone I don’t recognize . . . someone who I’m not sure I even like.

The days I let lies scream louder than the Truth … and I listen to them and say, “You’re right … of course, you’re right.” And I look in the mirror and tell myself all manner of things that are enough to make a grown woman cry … and forget who she is.

It is a tragedy to forget who we are. To forget that inside of each one of us — yes, you and yes, me — there is a spark of the eternal that only we can reflect to the world.

It’s Monday. If you do nothing else today, remember who you are.

In Others’ Words: What helps you remember who you are? Who helps you remember who you are?

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  1. May 11, 2015, 5:54 am   /  Reply

    Good post.

    I find that under the current circumstances, there isn’t really a ‘me’ with which I can really identify. My personality seems more like a shadow, changing according to the orientation of the light.

    There is freedom in that.

    • May 11, 2015, 3:46 pm   /  Reply

      You are still here, Andrew. Who you are remains. Different facets of your personality may be revealed at different times … but you are still you.

      • May 11, 2015, 8:51 pm   /  Reply

        Yep, still here.

        This post had me thinking about Tennyson’s “Ulysses”; there’s a passage in the poem that speaks to this question. Unfortunately my access to the phone is to brief to find and comment on the image he used, but you may find it interesting.

  2. May 11, 2015, 7:28 am   /  Reply

    Oh, Beth. I love this post. First because you’ve helped me realize I’m not the only one who runs from car to house two-three times for things I forgot! 😉

    More importantly, though, I so appreciate the truths you share here about remembering who I am. I hid who I was for years trying to fit in. It’s sad it’s taken me to my forties to embrace who God has created me to be, and to be comfortable with that woman. I still find myself hiding her sometimes, but I’m working to live as God created me to.

    And this line? “there is a spark of the eternal that only we can reflect to the world.” Spoke deeply to me.

    • May 11, 2015, 3:47 pm   /  Reply

      Jeanne: That whole running back and forth to the car? Yeah, just being honest.
      This quote just “pinged” with me.
      I had to post it today.
      And you are one of my favorite people.
      No hiding.

  3. May 11, 2015, 8:11 am   /  Reply

    Beautiful transition and vulnerability. Thank you. Frankly, getting older helps establish awareness of who I am and who I am not–despite occasional bombardments–grateful for that.

    • May 11, 2015, 3:48 pm   /  Reply

      You are one of a kind — and beautifully so.

  4. Susan
    May 12, 2015, 5:03 am   /  Reply

    What a great word to start my morning on, Beth:) This is something near and dear to my heart, and yet I still need to remind myself to remember who I am–and Whose I am!

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