Message of Faith – Wholehearted Living

This weeks Message of Faith submitted by Rev. Joanne Rowden

Rev. Joanne Rowden
Rev. Joanne Rowden

I’ve got great news for you! There is nothing you need to get in order to live fully in your heart and fulfill your purpose in being the light of the world. Isn’t that great news? You may be thinking, “That’s fine, but I don’t feel like I am the light of the world. Now what?” Now comes the work of letting go.

In Daring Greatly, Brene’ Brown gives us 10 guideposts for living wholeheartedly. All of these guideposts call on us to let go. Over time, we have built up walls of protection around our heart. Over time we have done anything we could to avoid being vulnerable. Over time, these very systems of protection that we have created to keep us free from suffering, have caused us to suffer. These modes of protection have prevented us from engaging fully in our lives. So what do you and I need to let go of in order to step fully into living with our whole heart, fully engaged in our lives and in our relationships?


Brene’ has discovered that people who are living from wholeheartedness let go of what people think. How many times I have been inspired only to hold back in fear of what someone will think of me. In addition, we need to let go of the idea of perfectionism. I have found it personally helpful to know that the root of the word perfect comes from the Old French perfit which means completed. We have taken a word that means complete and judged it perfect only if it is without error. Letting go of our own judgments, we can see that we are called to complete things to the best of our ability. The idea that it must be without error causes us to refrain from daring greatly for fear that it won’t be good enough. In the end, we end up feeling powerless to make a difference. Just another idea that I need to let go of in order to live wholeheartedly.

We live in a culture which continues to present us with evidence of not enough, lack, limitation and fear. As a result, it can be difficult to live in the not knowing. To dare greatly asks us to let go of the need for certainty and fear. As we surrender into the mystery of what is, trusting all that we need is being provided, we can come from an openhearted space of simply loving what is.

I have spent too much time in my life comparing myself to others. In that comparison, I have worked hard to be productive and accomplish as much as possible to “prove myself.” The problem with this attitude is that I do not need to compare myself to anyone. You and I simply need to be our unique selves. We simply need to show up and do our best. That is truly all life is asking of us. And, if we live from that awareness, letting go of comparison and the need to always do, we are able to show up with our whole heart!

In living from our whole heart, we are called to let go of anxiety, self-doubt and supposed to. Get still. Find that inner peace. Connect to the God of your being. What is yours to do in love? What is yours to do with an open heart? Be still and listen. The answer is provided and it may just surprise you. I have found that sometimes I am called to do nothing. Sometimes I am called to play. Sometimes I am called to serious action. I have found I am always called. I have also found that I need to let go of the way I think it is supposed to be and allow it to be what it is. I am learning to let go of the need to control.

In Unity, we support you in letting go of what no longer serves you in order to dare greatly. Brene’ Brown tells us, “What we know matters, but who we are matters more.” We are here to support you in knowing who you are. You are the Light of the World. You are Christ expressing uniquely as you. Our Spiritual practice this week asks us all to remember this Truth, “I am Christ.” As you embrace this idea of who you are, how will you engage in life differently? How will you engage in your relationships differently? How will you show up in every moment of every day knowing you are the Light of Christ expressing?

Abundant peace and blessings… Rev. Joanne


Rev. Joanne Rowden
Rev. Joanne Rowden

Rev. Joanne Rowden is the senior minister at Unity Spiritual Center in Westlake, OH. She served as the minister at Unity in Edinboro for 13 years before taking on this new position on November 1, 2014. She lives in Hinckley, OH with her husband.

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