Running on Empty: Contemplative Spirituality for Overachievers

I picked up this book last weekend. I read the first couple pages and thought immediately of several friends who’d love this book. I emailed one of them and she had bought the book somewhere else that weekend too!

I’ll share some notes over the next couple days. It’s been a transformational book for me.
  • Many of us have been hooked on approval since infancy
  • Emotions that are not expressed cannot be fixed
  • In contemplation we return to our naked, poor self and discover who we are apart from the role we play
  • When we take ourselves too seriously, we identify with image, with what we think we are, with our reputation and the applause and compliments of others. Silent solitude liberates the pray-er from the tyranny of the approval and disapproval of others.
  • Breakdowns often lead to breakthroughs
  • Do we value the approval of God more than the approval of others?
Someone told the author: “You seem dreadfully close to losing touch with the Jesus you so desperately want others to know.”
This book comes at a good time for me. I do not feel burned out in any way. But I am an overachiever. It’s been life changing for me to reflect in the past week that God will love me whether I “fail” or “achieve.” Seems simple. We always say God loves you, no matter what.
But it’s extremely easy to stop believing it.
Especially when everyone else measures success a different way.
And our human relationships struggle to imitate truly unconditional love.

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