Getting Back to the Center (Part 2)

icebergThis is now day six since I have moved from Windows to Mac (MacBook Pro).  It has been a fairly smooth transition so far.  Occasionally, I will come across some little thing that is just different than what might happen with Windows.  (Such as attempting to "right click" on the Mac the way I would on Windows.)  However, no regrets.  I like this computer!


The other day, I began posting what will probably be a short series on "Getting Back to the Center."  These are some reflections from Ruth Haley Barton’s book, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership.  The book was helpful and insightful.  A few minutes ago, I read again all that I highlighted in a chapter entitled, "What Lies Beneath."  She speaks of the importance of being aware of what lies just below the surface in our lives that may be influencing our behavior and relationships.  She recommends the practice of solitude or spending time in the presence of God to become aware of feelings that may lie just beneath the surface.  So very often, we are not even aware of what may be there.

A quote from Parker Palmer in "Leading From Within."  "A leader is a person who must take special responsibility for what’s going on inside him–or herself, inside his or her consciousness, lest the act of leadership create more harm than good." (p. 38)


"…what lies beneath the surface–of the ocean or our lives–really matters.  Whether I know something is there or not is in some ways irrelevant.  My awareness of it or lack of awareness doesn’t make it any less real.  It doesn’t much matter whether I have ever heard of what is lurking beneath the surface, and it would be that others are seeing those things though I am not…." (p. 39)

What does lie beneath the surface?  For some of us, personal insecurities are so strong, they have a way of driving and shaping what we do.  Others may have very strong feelings of personal inadequacy and that may result in regular attempts to manipulate and control others.  Still others have an anger which seems to always be present.


Barton says that practicing solitude with God is to recognize that we need to spend time with God understanding that "…what needs to be done in the deep interior places of our life is the most important work to be done right now.  In fact, to try to press on without paying attention to whatever it is that is bubbling up from way down deep is the most dangerous thing we could do."  (p. 40)


What about you?  Are you aware of the feelings and issues that lie just beneath the surfact of your life?  Have you noticed what happens (perhaps in yourself or others) when these are not addressed?

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One thought on “Getting Back to the Center (Part 2)

  1. These are excellent thought provoking questions.  I think most of us are aware of the feelings and issues that are just beneath the surface.  We know they are there but we either don’t know how to tap into them or we are too busy and ignore them.  I think it is a shame when we don’t address them.  I feel like we are wasting a precious gift that God has given us.  The last quote you shared from the book says it all.  We should seek solitude, and that is where we grow the closest to God.