This week, Jesus tells his disciples to deny themselves and take up their cross and follow him.
For many theologians this denial is about our false selves. The masks we've built over time. The fears and worries and angers and longings that have clouded our understanding of who we are in God's eyes.
Instead, God invites us to find our true selves. The selves that we often hide from both the world, and even from ourselves. Finding our true self can very much be a labor - one of love, but also one that might feel like we are taking up our cross.
One poem that speaks to be so vividly of taking the crucial step forward to be our true selves is this poem by the Austrian poet, Rainer Maria Rilke. In fact, this is probably my very favorite poem of all time. As you listen to it, close your eyes and imagine God taking you by the hand to lead you to find your true self.