Imagine: glistening snow blankets the mountain range, blinding your eyes, the cold air burning your lungs. You’re losing feeling in your extremities. You haven’t eaten in days. You thirst. And all you see is the whiteness of ice and snow. Not a single shrub. Not a single creature stirs.
This is how I felt when I first began to realize I’m trans. (Of course back then I wasn’t able to say that—only that I’m someone who experiences gender dysphoria.)
In that time of desperation I once visited a Barnes & Noble perusing the Religion—Christianity section searching for a book recommended to me by my then therapist: Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen. And in that section I discovered The Inner Voice of Love.
This book is a collection of Nouwen’s deeply personal reflections during his own dark night of the soul. It’s meant to be taken slowly. Reflection by reflection.
Tonight I picked up the book again after having put it down for months. The remarkable discovery is my lack of turmoil as I read. That’s what it used to stir in me. But not today. Today I find that I’m approaching unity—of who I thought I was, who I know I am, and Whose I always shall be.
“You will be more self-confident and free to claim your unique place in life as God’s gift to you. There will be no need for comparisons. You will walk your own way, not in isolation but with the awareness that you do not have to worry whether others are pleased or not” (The Inner Voice of Love, p 33)