Being Known

When you keep your relationship with God exclusively fact-based and rational, it’s easy to make judgments about others and yourself. Such judgments reduce your anxiety and increase your sense of safety and protection. However, this way of being also has the curious effect of increasing the isolation you feel, both from others and within your own mind.

If you allow yourself to be known by God, you invite a different and frankly more terrifying experience. You are now in a position of vulnerability. If you permit others to know you, they can make their own assessment of your worth. They can react to you. You give them power to be affected by you and in so doing to affect you. You grant them the option to love you or to reject you. In essence, you must — must — trust another with yourself.

However, I will argue that it is only through this process of being known that you come to know yourself and learn how to know others. There is no other way. To be known is to be pursued, examined, and shaken. To be known is to be loved and to have hopes and even demands placed on you. It is to risk, not only the furniture in your home being rearranged, but your floor plans being rewritten, your walls being demolished and reconstructed. To be known means that you allow your shame and guilt to be exposed — in order for them to be healed.

— Curt Thompson, MD, Anatomy of the Soul, p. 23

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