“And now, with God’s help, I shall become myself.”—Søren Kierkegaard
I just want to bounce something off of you to see if this resonates.
My heart is an echo chamber. Voices ricochet off of the walls, the floor and the ceiling, Messages rebound off of every surface and repeat.
I remember a time when I was locked in my heart chamber and the echoes were numerous and constant. Some voices shouted, others barely whispered, but the messages were discordant, conflicting, contradictory.
It was awfully crowded in the company of all those reverberating voices, but I felt a peculiar loneliness. After listening to so many rebounding, disagreeing messages, I wasn’t at all sure who “I” was.
Yet in the midst of that resounding commotion, my heart started to pick up some good vibrations, and something within me began to resonate.
In order to make sense of my story, we will have to go back to the beginning. Once we knew the Voice who told us who we were. But as soon as we decided not to listen to the Voice, we were no longer able to hear it. Since then, our hearts have been sending out pings and pulses, listening for some voice to echo back to us and tell us who we are.
Invariably, voices come back to us. Echoed messages return to us, telling us
- who we are
- who we are not
- who we ought to be
- who we will never become,
When we agree to a repeated message, we adopt it as our inner voice, and we live as echoes.
Erwin McManus explains* the echo phenomenon so well that I think his words are worth repeating. Getting to the heart of the matter, he says:
“Our inner voice was never supposed to be simply an echo; our inner voice was always to resonate with the voice of God”
When, once more, our hearts begin to resonate with the sound of the Voice, the experience is nothing less than a spiritual awakening. When, again, we begin hearing the Voice speaking to us, our hearts respond as to the vibrations of a tuning fork. Our souls start to align with our unique frequency, and our own voices emerge.
And we begin to speak meaningfully into the lives of others.
What might surprise us is that a proper self-understanding is always others-centered. Only as we start to discover who we really are do we begin to offer ourselves genuinely to others in community. As we become ourselves, everyone benefits, because redemption is a community project.
As for me, I still hear echoes. But I am learning to quiet all those voices by quieting my spirit so I can hear the Voice tell me who I am. Although it will not be easy, I am certain that, with God’s help, I shall become myself.
How about you? What have the echoes been saying about you? Who does the Voice say you are?
*(The Artisan Soul; Chapter 2, Voice: The Narrative that Guides)