Why does the journey to the calm, peaceful terrain of our soul often require the most violent encounters? When we desire authentic living and a heart of integrity, when we commit to our true self rather than the many fictitous personas, hold on. We're about to run through a buzzsaw.

We expend extravagant amounts of energy attempting to tightly manage risk, working to craft an impeccable identity and concocting safety by charting the future with us securely at the wheel. Eventually, we recognize the futility, and we take a good look at what our commitments to these illusions have cost us. We're only a shadow of our true person. And we are never at rest.

Now we have a choice. If we choose to be free, which is what it means to be true, we must be courageous. What follows will be a death of old ways and old lies. We may wail and curse and attempt to turn back, but, having tasted something more, we keep going. We want to live. And once we step into the truth and abandon the lies we've crafted, we are graced, here and there, with suprising shots of contented joy. We learn, with practice, not to grasp for this grace. But we do receive it, and we are thankful.

When Jesus said that the seed first had to die before it could live, he wasn't blowing smoke.

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