What’s standing in the way between you and feeling fine? In the spiritual life, the end always remains resurrection. Every story concludes with reunion between God and humanity. When things are difficult, or when they are good, the story is not finished. Along the way, there are ups and downs.
One of the greatest obstacles to feeling fine is the self. God is perfect. People are flawed, both collectively and individually. These flaws not only serve to separate humanity from God, but they constantly separate people from one another. Leaning into the self highlights human flaws.
If the self stands between one and feeling fine, then how can we overcome the self? Working to overcome the self is a form of Pelagianism, or a works-based salvation. If one could work to overcome the self, there would be no need for God. Instead, each one of us must surrender the self.
Surrendering one’s self is not as easy to do as it is to realize. One can acknowledge one’s sinfulness and need to surrender to God. One can recognize what stands in the way of feeling fine in God’s world. One can even count various blessings. But, surrendering the self remains a challenge.
Asking the question, “What is standing in my way,” requires a desire to grow. It forces introspection and a step toward surrendering the self.