The pressures of life, the pain in our past, and the stress perspective we choose all swirl around us, and even more so within us. There’s not a woman who can honestly say that she’s unaffected by it all. And because of the storm, we react–if not inwardly, then outwardly–to our hurts, our fears, our perspective, especially if it is skewed. Eventually, our minds, bodies, and emotions suffer the accumulative effect of living an untended life in a stressed-out world.

Susie Larson, “Fully Alive

In a split second, right in the middle of a gaggle of questions, Debbie’s face went from joy to sorrow.

She asked, through an earnest plea for understanding, “What spiritual value does painting a picture or creating art have in my life? Isn’t that selfish?

All I could do was close my eyes and take a deep breath. Initially incensed by her question, I had to get a grip in order to respond, not react.

“Oh, Debbie,” I sighed. “That question actually hurts my heart.”

I answered with another question, “Where on earth is that thought process coming from? What skewed theology has robbed you of such a simple, beautiful, life-giving pleasure, like painting a picture?”

Freeing our True Self

Debbie and I spent the rest of our session talking about “the true self vs the false self.” Spiritual Director and author, Ruth Haley Barton, wisely differentiates between these “two selves.” Please click on “The True Self,” and download my notes on her thoughts.

At one point in our time together, Debbie even commented on the act of pulling weeds. “What spiritual value is there in pulling weeds? Shouldn’t I be talking or telling my neighbors about Jesus instead?”

Now, before any judgments begin here, settle in with these questions. They are so honest and vulnerable.

As Debbie and I talked, her eyes were opened to “the theology of guilt” she obviously “learned” or “caught” as a child or young adult. Certainly, without any doubt, God, the Master Artist and Gardener, wants Debbie to experience joy and beauty. After all, he did create the world and a beautiful garden for his created ones. 

Coming Home to Our True Self

I want nothing more for you than to join me in “coming home to our true, God-breathed” selves.

AND, so much more! Please enjoy exploring this deep subject with me. If you want more, please click here:


Janell Rardon Contact
P.S. Please share your comments, thoughts right here. Let’s engage in life-giving conversation about coming home to our true selves. Blessings!