A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Next Step School of Spiritual Direction in Colorado Springs. Weeks like this are a constant flood of thoughts, feelings, and ideas to be processed. No normal person can process them all; anyway, I can't. Rather, I have learned that it is better to sit with open hands in the flood, eventually grasping onto an idea or two that I can examine more closely once the deluge passes.
One idea that has remained in these last few days is that of "settledness." I do not recall if it was over dinner with Larry or if it was during a group meeting where the term arose. Probably both. Good ideas tend to swirl back around. What really has stirred me is the connection between settledness and masculinity.
As Larry and I have come to know each other a little bit, one of the things that he is helping me to see about myself is my desire to please others. I like to be liked. Unfortunately, because of that desire, I tend to live out of a relational persona that masks my true self. One of his encouragements to me is to live more authentically out of the masculine identity that already resides in me. As a Christian man, my identity is found fully in Christ and the Holy Spirit lives through me. Knowing who, and whose, I am leads to settledness regarding how I relate to others.
I do not need others to appreciate me for my intellect nor my humor.
I do not need to live to impress.
I do not need to soften my answers to make people happy.
Because my identity is bound up with Christ, I am free to be who God has created me to be.