Thomas Merton reminds me of a wise owl.
“In humility is the greatest freedom. As long as you have to defend the imaginary self that you think is so important, you lose your peace of heart…
As soon as you take yourself seriously and imagine that your virtues are important because they are yours, you become the prisoner of your own vanity, and even your best works will bring and deceive you.
Then, in order to defend yourself, you will begin to see sins and faults in the actions of others. And the more unreasonable importance you attach to yourself, the more you will tend to build up your idea of yourself by condemning other people.”
~ Thomas Merton “New Seeds of Contemplation.”
When we find ourselves caught in the trap of trying to be more virtuous and better than other people, we miss out on our own happiness.
Peace of heart ( love this expression) comes from accepting ourselves just as we are, and being true to our inner nature. It isn’t about how others see us, how impressive we are in the work that we do, or how many people like us on Facebook.
This is a lesson for every adolescent … and every adult who hasn’t gotten over themselves yet.
Love yourself, share your gifts and let the rest go.