I…love to clothe this false self…and I wind experiences around myself with pleasures and glory like bandages in order to make myself visible to myself and to the world, as if I were an invisible body that could only become visible when something visible covered its surface. But there is no substance under the things with which I am clothed. I am hollow…And when they are gone there will be nothing left of me but my own nakedness and emptiness and hollowness…
Thomas Merton in Seeds of Contemplation and quoted in Daily Office: Remembering God’s Presence Throughout The Day by Peter Scazzero.

Who am I when all of the masks, bandages, and false clothing are stripped away? The path to becoming my authentic self lies in understanding myself. I must pay attention to my emotions in various settings. When I feel inferior to others and I am tempted to make myself out to be better than I am in that situation, what is it that is at the root of this? I must listen to my emotions but then turn those emotions over to God and ask him to instruct me in the appropriate ways to deal with those emotions.

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