Recently, I came across an article on an Orthodox portal featuring the words of the abbot of the Holy Assumption Pskovo-Pechersky Monastery, Archimandrite Tikhon (Sekretaryov): "The distinguishing feature of 'modern asceticism' is patience. It was always necessary, but in the past, people were more patient with external circumstances, whereas now they endure themselves more."
I resonate with Father Tikhon's perspective: enduring oneself is, indeed, the most challenging, sometimes nearly unbearable, task. I often find myself irritated by my own actions. I so desperately want to appear successful, beautiful, kind, and loving in my own eyes. But the moment I look at myself without illusions, the struggle begins. Horror and disgust at what I truly am. I strive to align with my ideal, but it eludes me. Then, the desire to escape from myself arises (and I deeply regret that it's impossible).
The most significant issue for modern individuals is that, in the hustle and bustle, we fail to realize who we are, to comprehend our actual strengths and capabilities. The pressures of demands and obligations leave people today unaware of whose life they are truly living. A crucial and intricate aspect of self-awareness is having the courage to accept oneself as is, while continuing the journey toward God. Perhaps, this is what humility is all about?
It seems to me that the only reason one can reconcile with their insignificance is the personal love of God. It surpasses all understanding, is unfathomable, and incredible. The Lord sees me for who I am; He knows me better than anyone. God sees how far I am from His image and, in spite of that, doesn't turn away, doesn't abandon me but continues to love me.
I believe that a crucial part of spiritual life is to cultivate genuine self-love: as an image of God, unique, and irreplaceable.
Original article: https://radiovera.ru/vyiterpet-sebya