Welcome from
Eric O. Ledermann

about.me/ericledermann twitter.com/ericledermann facebook.com/ericledermann Eric Ledermann

Thanks for stopping in. Pour yourself a cup o' jo, take a load off your feet, and check out what's here. You are looking at my ramblings about issues of faith, life and culture—they are my own and are not necessarily shared by those with whom I work, live or otherwise engage.

My journey has led my family and me across the country where I have been introduced to a lot of people and a lot of different ways of doing things. One passion, though, runs through all these experiences: building beloved and sustainable community. "Sustainable" community is kind of a strange notion, as communities (people) change constantly, and things are always in motion. So, the latest chapter of my life has led me to the notion of "impermanence"—not an idea that comes naturally in a culture that likes to build monuments to our greatness for future generations to view and admire. But, I'm trying to practice my awareness of impermanence—the idea that nothing is permanent, nothing is forever, and things are always in flux.

Feel free to share your comments and engage in any conversation that may be happening here, but just know that I do reserve the right to delete any spam or anything I deem inappropriate or offensive. I look forward to dialoguing with anyone who cares to dialogue!

Peace and blessings,
                   Eric Ledermann

To subscribe to my blog
enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Book Store

Twitter Feed

BlogPost: The Ego and God

51K5xunS2RL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_This book! It’s calling me out onto the mat and is kicking my…you know what. The theological connections to my Christian faith are disturbing. Brené Brown, in her most recent book on vulnerability, Rising Strong (2015), writes about the power of our egos to “protect” us, but often keep us from dealing with our real hurts.

Brown describes our egos as “that part of us that cares about our status and what people think, … always telling me to compare, prove, please, perfect, outperform, and compete” (62). Ain’t that the truth! Those things can be positive, but they can also be negative. The ego has a purpose: to protect us from harm (emotional, spiritual, and physical). But it can over-function and actually do harm when it causes us to avoid our emotions, burying them so deep that when a sensitive spot is touched we might fly off the handle and can’t explain why—what Brown’s pediatrician husband calls “chandelier pain.” We jump as high as a chandelier when our hurt is touched by seemingly unrelated things like what someone might say or do.

The go helps us fly off the handle at the slightest touch of the more sensitive areas of our feelings and past wounds, deflect and blame others when they get too close, or help us simply shut down or avoid the pain altogether.

Jesus warns us about these things. He challenged his disciples to lean into our suffering by leaning into the suffering, ours and others’. He challenged his disciples to reckon with their emotions when he told them to love with their (our) whole being the God of overpowering grace, hope-filled wisdom, and truth-revealing love. He then told them (us) to love with this ego-checking love from God, just as they (we) are to love themselves (ourselves) with the same. Without this kind of deep, honest, and challenging love we can never hope to grow in our understanding and experience of God, relationships, and life itself.

Without recognizing when our egos are in the driver’s seats of our lives we cannot hope to check it and begin to be curious, as Brown says, about what we’re feeling and why. And without that we can’t realize our deep hope for true connection with God and others—to know and be known, as some theologians and psychologists have suggested.

Another way we avoid pain is busyness, “living so hard and fast that the truth of our lives can’t catch up with us,” as Brown puts it. “We fill every ounce of white space with something so there’s no room or time for emotion to make itself known” (63). This is where sabbath comes into play (I’ve written about sabbath before here, and preached about it many times). Walter Brueggemann and others have written books on it, including his Sabbath as Resistance (2014).

Sabbath forces us to stop, see, reckon, and even rumble (in the words of Brené Brown) with our inner most being. Sabbath is a conscious act of resisting the busyness that so often pulls us away from God, ourselves, and others, and helps us avoid having to deal with the more uncomfortable or even painful parts of ourselves. Sabbath is a journey toward health and wholeness for body, mind and soul.

Have you wondered if there are rumblings going on inside of you that you have been avoiding? Brown invites us to get curious about that: why are you avoiding that feeling or situation? How might you reckon with the uncomfortableness or pain, rumble with it, in order to seek healing and wholeness (“revolution”, Brown calls it). I’m thinking these are good questions to get us thinking about “thankfulness.” These are good questions for me as we enter the season of Advent this weekend, a season of rumbling with the reality of God-with-us and what kind of lives God is inviting us into through Jesus. I’m excited, but, if I’m honest, I’m also scared. God be with me!

Leave a Reply