"...these broken, wounded, and completely unpretentious people forced me to let go of my relevent self - the self that can do things, show things, prove things, build things - and forced me to reclaim that unadorned self in which I am completely vulnerable, open to recieve and give love regardless of any accomplishments."
These are the words of Henri Nouwen, who chose to leave his tenured position teaching at Harvard to work with L'Arche, a community for mentally handicapped adults. He talks about being faced with his "naked self", unable to rest on his reputation, the books he's published, the knowlege he had to impress them or create "relationships"....the things that made him "relevent" (but didn't satisfy his heart) became completely irrelevent there.
I struggle to be relevent, to prove I have something to offer - we all do, I think. Our inner shelf of personal trophies is full of our deeds, not our attitudes or be-ing's. Yet, the harder I try to prove my worth, the less sure I am of it. It's an odd paradox. I love the idea of "reclaiming my unadorned self" - being free to love and be loved for no reason at all. That really sounds like freedom to me, don't you think?