Devotions from Henri Nouwen’s book, The Inner Voice of Love

Today’s devotion is on befriending our emotions. It can be discouraging to discover how quickly we can lose our inner peace. Maybe someone enters our lives who creates anxiety within us. Or maybe we thought we were centered and could stay with God, but then someone we hardly know makes us feel insecure. Then we start asking ourselves if we are loved or not, and that person becomes the criterion. We don’t need to be hard on ourselves or make it more difficult to come home again to love. But we don’t have to repress our emotions either. We can acknowledge them and let them pass by. In a way, we have to befriend them so that we don’t become their victim. The way to victory is not to try to overcome those emotions but in building a deeper sense of safety and at-homeness and a more incarnate knowledge that we are deeply loved. Then little by little, we will stop giving so much power to a stranger.
We can be sure that God will truly fulfill all our needs. If we hold on to that, we will not expect that fulfillment from people who we already know are incapable of giving it.