John Powell, a Jesuit priest, wrote the best selling book, “Why Am I Afraid To Tell You Who I Am?” whose life perspectives jarred many.
In the book, Powell shares a story with his readers about one experience he had in New York City. He was walking with a good friend along the way.
His friend stopped by a street stand to buy a newspaper. It’s a stop Powell observed his friend making daily in myriad times.
His friend’s “favorite” newspaper vendor was always gruff and rude. He could not even say thanks for the generous tips given to him by Powell’s friend.
The confused Powell, in exasperation, finally asked his friend, “Why do you give him a tip. He is not worthy of one. He is rude to you.”
His good friend calmly replied, “Why should I let him decide what kind of day I’m going to have?”
It took a client, Antonia, a dutiful house wife, multiple therapy sessions to unlock that principle in Powell’s story.
She had lived in a shuttered house for many years of letting family members and neighbors decide how she thinks, feels, and behaves.
In the course of her deep need to please people, she shut herself out. So fearful of what people will say if she tells them who she is and how she really feels about things.
Over time, as she evolved through her therapy, Antonia learned to become more assertive. More authentic and transparent. The emerging self awareness she was developing changed her life.
Why am I afraid to tell you who I am?
The relational question is based on fear under the surface. It’s psychological. It often operates in an unconscious way.
Such fear has to do with images, words, and attitudes you draw on to make value judgments about your self based on what other people do or say.
Ultimately, the question is concerned with your ego or self-care. Your physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and social survival.
It’s an invitation to discover your spiritual being. Your soul. The very core of your being. And to allow that part of you to help you develop fully in your life and relationships.