Home for the Restless Heart: Creating a Space of Authentic Affirmation


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This book is a deepening and expansion, from the “top-down,” of the profound insights of the Catholic psychiatrists Conrad Baars and Anna Terruwe. Both of them, by God’s provident grace, came to understand in an almost unparalleled way the nature of human wholeness, and also the nature of the wounds that afflict so many persons in our contemporary world. They explained how human flourishing in the light of God comes about as a result of affirmation—as a result of the “making-firm” of our goodness as individual persons, as well as of the goodness of our humanity (in all of its dimensions), on the solid ground of love. Thus they defined two clinical disorders which, in fact, affect every human heart living within this world to some degree, and which reveal, as it were, the very platform in which our healing and transformation occurs. The first is the pain of experiencing a lack of truly affirming love in our own uniqueness as a person, a love which alone can unveil before us our innate goodness as an incomparable child of God. And the second is the pain of experiencing a lack of affirmation of the goodness of our desires, such that we come to bury them over and do not allow them to find free expression. In this way, in a process called repression, our emotional and psychic (and spiritual) life is wounded, and we experience discord within ourselves due to the unhealthy development of our God-given nature in its orientation towards beauty, goodness, and truth. In this book I speak much more about these two wounds, and about their healing. In fact, I delve deeply into the beautiful truths that are revealed about reality itself through the conviction of how important the full flowering of our incarnate humanity is, not only for our authentic well-being, but for the very glorification and praise of God. As Saint Irenaeus said: “The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God.”