My, seemingly, successful runs in this prayer life are when I practice at saying no to the self slowly being shed.

My body underpinning that self doesn’t decide the fullness of me. My family and all my years of growing up definitely set the stage, but not completely. My education, shaped by my culture and my abilities, honed the self I have been. Each of these and more than I voiced are dynamic parts of the self I experience from within and you from without.

I have watch and taken part in serious changes in peoples lives by working in the ER, practicing psychotherapy, sending people to psychiatric units or to jail and having myself undergone neurosurgeries. Each of these have produced changes. Some of those have been profound, reaching deeper into the person than my neurosurgeries. Others, like my neurosurgeries, have generated subtle and still important changes. All of these types of events bring about changes to the self and every time family and friends saw both the person and those changes.

Saying no to the self isn’t a rejection of me. Rather, it is, I prayer, a step-by-step walk away from the lies I had hidden behind. All of this requires a deepening communion with the Spirit. A communion devoid of all my expectations. It isn’t God being stripped but rather me.

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