My Dad celebrated his 92nd birthday recently. Perhaps, I should say his family and friends celebrated his 92nd birthday, for we are so fortunate to have him in our lives.
Sometimes when I talk to him in the morning, I ask him if he had a good day, and he always says, "Nancy, it's always a good day." And he means that.
I know, of course, he has had hard days in his life, especially when my mother died. No doubt there will be others, as it becomes more difficult for him to do the things he likes to do, but when he says, "Nancy, it is always a good day," he is speaking out of his essence. His True Self.
What is the True Self? I think the True Self is the self who is in relationship with God, who is mindful of God's presence. I think it was Thomas Merton who talked about the "hidden ground of love" as the basis of our True Self.
Perhaps it is easier to know the True Self by understanding the False Self. The False Self is whom you create outside your relationship with God, the Sacred, the Divine. Our ongoing prayer may be to be aware of our False Self, and that awareness is often the result of growing in spiritual practice.
One of my father's spiritual practices is to read two pages of Luther's Large Catechism every night. He has read through the catechism many, many times, but he always learns something new.
He doesn't read it just to say he has read it or to become an expert on Luther's words or to be some sort of Super-Lutheran. He reads it to strengthen his faith and the ground of his being, his True Self.
Each person's search for the True Self is an expression of God's love, and that's what we celebrated when we said, "Happy Birthday, Dad, Papa, Great-Papa."
How well do you know your True Self? What are you doing to recognize your True Self? I would love to know.