You Are My Beloved Child
by Thomas Keating
CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER fosters a whole different attitude towards one's feelings; it puts them in a different frame of reference. Most extreme feelings come from a sense of insecurity, especially when we feel threatened.
But when you are being constantly reaffirmed by the presence of God in deep silence, you are not afraid of being contradicted or imposed upon. You might even be humble enough to learn something from insults and humiliations without being overwhelmed by feelings of self-depreciation or revenge.
Negative feelings towards oneself tend to be prevalent in our culture due to the low self-image people develop in early childhood, possibly because of our highly competitive society. Anyone who does not win feels that he is no good in this culture, whereas in the quiet of deep prayer, you are a new person, or rather, you are you.
Taken from Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart (New York: Continuum Publishing Group, 1986).